Our View: We each can do our own part to combat global warming

December 13, 2006 11:00 pm

Whether or not humanity is responsible for global warming is irrelevant. But as we noted in Wednesday's editorial, we must be responsible for countering the warming, for its consequences certainly will matter to us. As our oceans warm, its ecosystems — which we depend upon for food, jobs and recreation — could potentially collapse. That would be devastating to our local economy.

While the solution to ocean warming must be international in scope, each of us can play a role locally in helping to reduce global warming. Here are some things each of us personally can do:

•Drive less — Try carpooling, organizing short car trips into a single run or taking a brisk walk rather than getting into the car. Added benefits: Less money spent on gas and auto maintenance.

•Drive smart — Of course, not driving at all is virtually impossible. But we can drive smart by ensuring our vehicles are properly tuned and that the tires are properly inflated. This conserves fuel, and less gas burned means fewer greenhouse gases from our tailpipes.

•Conserve power — Buy energy-efficient appliances. Turn off lights when not in a room. Side benefit: Slightly lower electric bill.

•Reduce the need for a heater — Besides waiting a degree or two more to turn on the heat, insulate and weather-strip your house. The lower electric or gas bill will pay for the improvements.

•Plant a tree — Over a tree's lifetime it will remove tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

•Eat locally produced food — Produce and other foods that must be shipped from foreign countries or across the continent require energy to package and transport. Farmers' markets or looking to see if the food is made in California or Oregon helps reduce this.

Granted, our individual contributions will be small. But in doing something, we help change others' behavior and encourage conservation. At the very least, we are contributing to the solution rather than fomenting the problem.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What other steps can be taken to counter the problem of global warming? Send a letter to the editor via e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it