What Can I Do?
There are many practical actions individuals can take. Here are some resources that can help you get started.
1. Learn more and stay informed:
Climate Change Communication
- Join the YPCCC Mailing List to get the latest breaking research on public climate change awareness, attitudes, policy support, and behavior.
- Subscribe to Climate Connections, a daily public radio series, to hear stories about how climate change is impacting our lives and what diverse people and organizations are doing about it (produced by Yale Climate Connections, formerly Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media).
- Climate Access is an international network supporting the community of climate change communicators, including recent research, tips, and “what works.”
- Refer to Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication, created by the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University and ecoAmerica.
- Find out how the White House is taking action on climate change.
- Join the Climate Nexus daily “Hot News” email brief at the bottom of their homepage.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) provides a basic overview of global warming, its causes, and its impacts.
- Explore the history of Earth’s climate, view real-time satellites datasets in 3D, check out the Sea Level and Global Ice Viewers, and more on NASA’s interactive climate site.
- Skeptical Science provides answers to many of the most common myths and misunderstandings about climate change.
- RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.
- GlobalChange.gov links to the U.S. National Climate Assessment, which summarizes climate change in the United States every four years. GlobalChange.gov also is a clearinghouse for all climate change research by the U.S. Government.
- The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) organizes thousands of climate experts worldwide to synthesize, summarize, and report the latest scientific understanding of the causes, consequences and potential solutions to climate change.
2. Reduce your carbon emissions:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – What You Can Do includes a tool to calculate your carbon footprint and provides personalized suggestions for reducing your emissions.
- The David Suzuki Foundation provides additional suggestions on how to cut your own emissions.
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Green Power Network can help you find and buy electricity produced by renewable energy sources.
- The Database for State Incentive for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) can help you find programs and financial incentives to buy or install green power or improve the efficiency of your home.
- Support renewable energy and other carbon-reducing projects by purchasing carbon offsets for you and your family. Green-e offer various options.
- Join the UN I’m for Climate Action campaign and share on your social media profiles.
3. Become a citizen climate scientist:
- Volunteer with Earth Watch to work with climate scientists.
- The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology C3 Project helps people get involved as “citizen scientists” documenting and understanding the local impacts of climate change.
- Record your bird sightings and track migratory birds as a National Audubon Society Citizen Scientist.
- Track when leaves grow and flowers bloom in the spring with the National Phenology Network.
- Record the hatching and migration of monarch butterflies with the USDA Forest Service.
- Collect information on coral reefs and reef fish with REEF.
4. Take political action:
One of the most important things you can do is write (by regular mail) or call your local, state or federal representatives. Letting your decision-maker know what you think, especially about specific policy proposals being considered, can make a real difference.
- Contact your elected officials. Visit Project Vote Smart, where you can type in your address and instantly find all your federal and state representatives, their voting records, issue positions, ratings, and campaign finance information.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Action Center provides tools and information to take a variety of political actions online and offline.
- Citizens Climate Lobby arms citizens with the information, skills and opportunities to lobby Congress, state and local officials, and other leaders.
- 350.org connects activists and organizes climate actions big and small around the world.
Note: The postings above are provided as informational resources and do not indicate endorsement by The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication
"Scanning" image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, user GlacierNPS.