democracy is a work in progress

Climate Change

Problem Brief

Tools2020-02-26T16:36:43-05:00

Tools & Resources

Make your voice heard in government

GovTrack.us enables you to track and learn about legislation proposed in Congress. It can also connect you with your US senators and representative so you can tell them how you feel about the bills that interest you.

VOTE411 was launched by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) in October 2006. It is a one-stop-shop for election-related information, including responses from state and local candidates to specific questions.

Project VoteSmart provides free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to all Americans. It aims to give you the information you need to … vote smart.

For Vetted Solutions

Project Drawdown is a world-class research organization that reviews, analyses, and identifies the most viable global climate solutions and shares these findings with the world. Want to see how possible it is to solve the many facets of the climate change crisis? This is a great place to start.

For Business Leaders and Investors

Ceres, a sustainability non-profit, offers a variety of reports, tools, and other resources to educate and inspire investors and corporate leaders to take action on sustainability issues, including climate change.

Climate Progress Dashboard was designed for investors by Schroders, a global asset and wealth management company based in Luxembourg. It analyzes the political, business, technology, and entrenched industries sectors to compare a range of factors in terms of likely degrees of warming. Schroders believes its clients need to understand the risks and opportunities of climate change and the pace of the transition to a decarbonized world.

Aqueduct from World Resources Institute offers two sets of mapping tools: One that that helps companies, investors, governments, and other users understand where and how water risks and opportunities are emerging in the US and around the world. The other measures river flood impacts by urban damage, affected GDP, and affected population at the country, state, and river basin scale.

For Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Conservation X Labs applies technology, entrepreneurship, and open innovation to source, develop, and scale critical solutions to the underlying drivers of climate change and other threats to life on earth. The organization was co-founded by Alex Dehgan, a conservation biologist and former science adviser and chief scientist at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), who worries that the loss of plant and animal species are lost opportunities to discover potentially life-saving medical treatments. By offering prizes to spur innovation and through its own programs, the organization expects to test and bring to market a wide range of creative technology-based solutions to problems brought on by climate change.

For Local, State, and National Governments

Institute for Sustainable Communities is a Vermont-based not-for-profit that helps local communities to build resilience to climate-related disruptions. It has active programs in all 50 states.

For Citizen Scientists

eBird and iNaturalist are just two projects that use crowdsourced observations to gather data on birds and other species that is shared with science researchers. The research contributes to our knowledge of species populations and migration patterns and any changes occurring to them.

iMatter was founded in 2007 as Kids vs. Global Warming and continues today as a youth-focused activist organization. Its activities now include community awareness projects, speaking engagements, federal lawsuits, and worldwide marches.

In Your Community

The Climate Reality Project mobilizes at the grassroots level to make urgent action on climate change a necessity at every level of society. The project empowers everyday people to become activists, equipped with the tools, training, and network to fight for solutions and drive change planet-wide. It has established 100 active chapters in the US and mobilized more than 19,000 Climate Reality Leaders in over 150 countries.

In Climate research needs to change to help communities plan for the future, climate scientist Robert Kopp describes an iterative, community-driven model for addressing the impacts of climate change that has its roots in the land-grant universities of the 19th century.

At Home

Solar-Estimate offers a free resource that helps homeowners learn about home solar panels and provides an easy-to-use calculator that determines a general estimate of the savings you would get from having solar panels. Note that to get this estimate, you will need to enter your contact information so that up to four companies can contact you with actual estimates.

Everyday Enviro is a weekly podcast hosted by Danielle Vogel, founder of the first and possibly only grocery store created to make progress on climate change. She talks with friends, colleagues, and former colleagues about eating, drinking, and shopping and offers her listeners simple ways they can minimize their carbon footprint.

Purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle greatly reduces CO2 emissions and for one car company, this is its primary reason for being. Car and Driver magazine reviewed the top 25 hybrid and electric vehicles in 2018 and lists the base price of each vehicle.

Charity Navigator offers this list of highly rated action and advocacy organizations that support environmental protection and conservation issues. It’s nicely organized and presents budget, program, and historical information on each so you can decide which organization is most worthy of your investment of time and/or money.

Carbon Footprint Calculator. Curious what your carbon footprint is? This easy-to-use carbon footprint calculator from the US Environmental Protection Agency can tell you in just a few minutes.

Learn More

How will climate change affect where you live?

Climate Effects on Cities in 2080 interactive map is an application developed by the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science. It includes analysis of 540 urban areas in the US and Canada and maps the expected climate-related impacts for the year 2080 under two scenarios: 1) should there be no change in current policies (captured by the climate model called RCP 8.5) and 2) should relatively realistic mitigation efforts be adopted (captured in the climate model called RCP 4.5).

Climate Hazards in 2050 from Climate Central gives you a look at which hazards will affect individual cities the most in the year 2050. It compares two scenarios: 1) one with no change in current policies (model RCP 8.5), and 2) one that cuts emissions to zero by 2070 (the low-emissions climate model called RCP 2.6).

Climate Central’s Urban Warming is an interactive tool that allows you to see how much dozens of cities have warmed since 1970. It allows you to compare warming in a particular city against state-wide warming and the average warming across the US.

Monitor the scope and impacts of climate change

Climate Change Dashboard from NOAA offers a nifty if somewhat technical overview of different aspects of climate change and current projections. The interactive dashboard provides analyses of such effects as sea level rise, glacier melt, and the warming effect of heat-trapping gases. More detail on each item is a click away.

NASA’s Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet monitors key indicators of climate change and explains NASA’s role in providing data that is essential to climate change research.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations organization established in 1988 for assessing the science related to climate change.

Related Problems: National Debt, Infrastructure, Immigration

Researched and written by George Linzer
Reviewed by Lisa Palmer

Published on November 5, 2019

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Progress Updates

Iowa Bank Goes Carbon Neutral

2020-07-24T14:08:45-05:00July 1st, 2020|

The Decorah Bank and Trust Company in Decorah, IA has reached a major milestone that few businesses can claim: its operations are officially carbon neutral.

Climate Change Status Report 11.01.2019

2020-03-05T19:25:13-05:00November 3rd, 2019|

Despite continued resistance, a teen speaks powerfully to the UN, a senior climate denier converts, business comes around, and the media makes a concerted effort to keep climate change in focus.

Leader Profiles

Larry Grimstad: Renewable Energy Investor

2020-05-19T11:19:56-05:00

Through personal projects and his business, banker Larry Grimstad has invested in wind and solar energy projects as the smart business choice for building a more stable future for his community.

Danielle Vogel: Climate Change Grocer

2020-02-26T09:31:07-05:00

Frustrated by Congress' inability to act on climate change, Danielle Vogel decided to start a grocery store for the specific purpose of improving the world’s climate, as she says, “one bite at a time.”

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