The title of this column may sound a little strange but it’s appropriate to the changes we are all going to face in the coming years.As humans we seek a comfort zone in our lives that we rely on to provide us with the security we need to make a life for our families and ourselves. To do this we have depended on a stable and predictable climate.The second report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due out this week. This report will contain details on the effects of global warming by area. This report will include a more detailed discussion of what is expected to happen in the next 20 to 80 years. This means ˜we’re not in Kansas anymore – Bubba.”Like the doors between things known and things unknown we all need to step through them to combat the increase in global temperature. Some of these steps include using compact fluorescent light bulbs, recycling many items like plastic bags, cans and paper, using a programmable thermostat to control your home’s temperature and drive less, walk more.Governments around the globe have been and are taking steps to deal with some of the problems. Take those plastic bags that are our local Super-Store. Ireland has taken a real dislike to them and in 2002 put a price on their heads. There is a ˜PlasTax” of about 20 cents US$ on each bag. The tax, since it was enacted, has reduced the use of plastic bags by 95%. South Africa is on the anti-bag kick and has outlawed them since 2003. German supermarkets charge between 5 and 10 cents a plastic bag. Numerous other countries are taking similar steps.By getting rid of the plastic bag we cannot only reduce the litter and environmental damage they cause but not use oil and energy to make them. Known for its cutting edge approach the City of San Francisco, as well as the entire county, has become the first US city to ban ˜the bag”.Starting in July 2007 all major supermarkets in California will be required to take back and recycle plastic shopping bags.It is not that much of a reach for a cities like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to starting thinking about more than just taking them back. With the large tourist population that comes through here it could start to make a difference. Humm? Think of all that money stores would no longer spend on plastic bags.So, what would people do without ˜the bag”? You could BYOB “ bring your own bag”. Where “the bag” has been banned or restricted many stores are selling customers colored, recyclable and reusable hemp bags, at cost, for much less more that the price of a cup of coffee.There are many ways we can all help combat global warming and if you want to find out more the following link will take you to a site the lists 51 of them.http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/environment/It is your world. Just how hot do you want it to get?
Think Global – Act Local!