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chasing answers newsletter #6
Mother's Day, family fun, my latest read, and my favorite "green" Twitter accounts to follow.
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I recieved from her.” - George Washington
Welcome to the sixth edition of the chasing answers newsletter, and Happy Mother’s Day to all those Moms out there! It’s the most important job in the world, and for those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up with an amazing, supporting, loving Mom, it’s something for which you are forever grateful. So Moms, please enjoy YOUR day.
I hope everyone had a great week. For me, it started with my daughter’s birthday. She turned five, and she was super excited about it. Her current obsession is gymnastics, and since we can’t fit any more gymnastics equipment in our house, we decided to get her a trampoline. The one we got is probably twice the size she needs, but we figured, why not?
What I failed to consider is that it would take twice as long to assemble. On top of that, someone thought it would be hilarious to label all of the parts one thing on the parts sheet but then refer to all of them as something completely different in the assembly instructions.
I’m not known for my patience, so this resulted in three hours of family fun with everyone watching ol’ Dad fling tools across the yard like Happy Gilmore, while quietly cussing out the neighbor for asking, “how’s your day going?”
Ultimately, it got assembled, my daughter loved it, and we all had a blast on it, so it was worth every painstaking minute.
This past weekend I began reading Paul Hawken’s book, Regeneration: Ending The Climate Crisis In One Generation. I’m still early in the book, but I’m super impressed so far.
In the book, Paul offers up a Reader’s Reference Guide very early on. This short section explains some of the basics of the climate crisis, going all the way back to 1824, when Joseph Fourier first showed how atmospheric gases trap heat and regulate the atmosphere.
This section is incredibly helpful for anyone new to the space, making the book great for beginners and people with years of experience in climate. Below are a few of the critical questions he answers in this section.
Is there a difference between climate change and global warming?
He does a great job here of answering a question many people have and clarifying two terms that often get used interchangeably but don’t mean the same thing.
“Global warming refers directly to the accumulation of heat in the earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans resulting from increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate change describes the broader set of changes, including shifting rainfall patterns, drought, glacial melting, and flooding caused, in part, by the increased levels of water vapor that can be held in a warmer atmosphere.”
What is the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide?
Again, these are two terms I think people often use without completely understanding the difference between the two.
“Carbon is an element. It becomes a gas - carbon dioxide - when combined with two molecules of oxygen. In the atmosphere, carbon levels are measured as carbon dioxide. In soil and plants, it is measured as carbon only. One ton of carbon converts to 3.67 tons of carbon dioxide.”
What can be done to reverse warming?
Here he lays out three very clear steps that need to be taken to stop and reverse warming.
“Reduce and cease net carbon dioxide emissions over time.”
“Protect and restore the enormous stores of carbon contained in our forests, wetlands, grasslands, salt marshes, oceans, and soils.”
“Bring carbon from the atmosphere back to the earth by sequestering carbon dioxide.”
I’m really looking forward to the remainder of this book and may do a review of it in its entirety once I have finished. I also hope to write more about the climate crisis in the future. As someone who grew up being out in nature ALL THE TIME, the climate crisis and the preservation of nature and wildlife is something that is near and dear to me. I would love to hear from you on whether or not this is something you would be interested in reading about in the future, so if you have a minute, please leave a quick comment below.
In the meantime, here are three of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow if you are interested in these topics.
@EarthDay - An excellent resource for statistics, facts, and a roundup of articles related to climate change and environmental and wildlife conservation. You can expect multiple tweets a day, providing plenty of reading material if you really want to dive deep into any of these topics.
@Defenders - This account focuses primarily on saving and preserving different species of wild animals but will also touch on the preservation of plant species. If you love seeing beautiful pictures of nature, this one is a must.
@storyofstuff - The Story of Stuff is an online documentary released in 2007 by Annie Leonard focusing on the consumer culture we have created over the last 70 years. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it. That documentary has grown into its own website featuring numerous offshoots of the original, including The Story of Electronics and The Story of Bottled Water. The Twitter account is an excellent place for facts and statistics, and they also do a great job of shining light on other projects fighting the climate crisis.
That’s all for this week.
As always, I would love to hear from you.
If you read something here that resonates with you, leave a comment.
If you would like to discuss something further, shoot me an email.
If there was something you absolutely hated, @ me on Twitter.
And if there is something you think I should be writing about, please let me know.
If you want to see more of my work, visit chasinganswers.co.
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