Tag Archives: climate change

Climate Change – Covered by Warranty?

CC: This is the Terra Firma Customer Care line. How may I help you today?

HM: Hi, this is Hugh Manity, and I’m calling about a warranty issue on the climate. When can someone be out to fix it?

CC: Just a moment please sir, while I call up your account… Mr. Manity, it appears that you’ve contacted us on this issue in the past and been informed that the damage is outside your warranty coverage. Is this correct?

HM: That’s correct, but I called in a tech of my own, and he said the damage isn’t my fault and should be covered by warranty. I want you to fix it.

CC: I am very sorry sir, but our tech found that the change in your climate is in part due to your own actions, and therefore not covered by warranty.

HM: That can’t be right. My guy said that the stuff I’ve done is too little to account for the changes and that they must be natural. The changes made to the atmosphere by me are too small compared to what volcanoes and other natural sources put out on their own.

CC: I’m sure you’d like to believe that sir, but that’s just not how the system works. Your planet has a balance that it can deal with and it doesn’t take as much as you’d think to throw it off. Our tech also noticed a few other issues we think you should be aware of before they cause you further problems.

HM: Like what?

CC: I see in the notes on your account that we’ve previously explained to you about your climate change being in large part due to your carbon dioxide emissions. Has the effect of those emissions on your oceans been explained to you yet?

HM: What about my oceans? They’re huge. They can take it.

CC: Not really, sir. Some of that carbon dioxide is dissolving into your oceans and making them more acidic. Frankly sir, this may be a bigger deal than the original issue you called about today.

HM: You have got to be kidding me. Is that covered under warranty?

CC: I’m afraid it doesn’t, sir.

HM: Dammit! What am I supposed to do about all that? I can’t afford to make a lot of changes to my lifestyle, and I certainly can’t afford to pay for repairs on my own! Can’t you make an exception? I’ve been a really good customer.

CC: Our hands are tied, sir. If you want your climate and oceans repaired, you’re the one who has to handle it.

HM: But you’re talking billions of dollars and massive changes to my lifestyle! It’s ridiculous! Surely you don’t expect…

CC: It’s not about my expectations, sir. It’s about yours. I can say that the sooner you get started, the better.

April Showers Bring… Snow? In Southern California!

It was a strange weekend. It was supposed to be my kids’ first soccer game. That got snowed out.

We had some warning of the weird weather, but none of the parents believed me when I insisted that the games would be canceled. They said the league only cancels games for thunderstorms. Well, ice, snow, and temperatures below 40 degrees F at game time turned out to be quite sufficient to cancel as well. Good thing, since we wouldn’t have let the kids play in those temperatures anyhow. Soccer uniforms aren’t too good for that, and I can’t imagine parents sitting around watching a game in such cold weather.

I’ve come to regret thinking so much about how soccer was going to go, however. I completely forgot to consider my garden, so now we’re waiting to see what survived the cold.

So far the tomatoes look all right. The peppers looked bad with the snow on the, but might survive after all. Both are in containers, so we should have brought them in to be sure they’d be all right. We’ve done that before. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have any other vegetables planted quite yet.

We’ve been cracking a few climate change jokes. We know that climate change is a long term, global phenomenon, but when local weather gets so strange, jokes are easy to make. A bit over a week ago, we had temperatures up to 90. Makes the snow feel so much colder when you aren’t used to it anymore. And this week we may get into the 80s again, depending on how the weather really goes. The whole winter was on the unusual side, with days of pouring rain in December to where we got the usual for an entire year that week, then a dry January, and just a lot of ups and downs with the temperatures.

Now we’re just waiting for summer. Everyone I talk to is convinced it’s going to be a really hot summer. We’ll have to see how it goes.

How Do You Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change Without Scaring Them?

Climate change is one of those topics your kids are going to hear about eventually. If you think about it from a child’s perspective, it’s a kind of scary thing to think about. They take things such as the possibility that polar bears will go extinct due to melting ice in the Arctic very seriously and even personally.

It’s hard to balance protecting your kids with growing informed citizens who will care about the environment. Kids care almost too much for their own good.

Keep It Age Appropriate

It’s not always easy keeping talks about the environment and climate change age appropriate. Kids just have to catch a news story or educational program to start asking questions you aren’t sure how to answer.

My #1 rule has always been to keep it honest but age appropriate.

Try to focus on the things you can do as a family to help the environment. Discuss using less, recycling, driving less and so forth. Talk about why you make the choices you do.

As kids get old enough, start looking for appropriate volunteer opportunities. If your child has a particular interest, try to have the opportunity match it.

You can also help kids to learn the difference between climate and weather. This is one of those things it seems many adults have trouble with, but it could be an advantage in discussions if your kids do understand that weather is short term and climate is long term.

Get Into Nature

Kids will appreciate nature more if they see it in person. Not just the backyard or the local playground, go hiking and camping. If there are campgrounds in your area, you shouldn’t need to go far.

Try making hiking and camping a part of family vacations, especially if you travel to an unfamiliar place. Talk about how things change from place to place.

If you happen to know how climate change is impacting an area you’re in, you can talk about the evidence for it. It’s not always definite enough to blame changes on climate change, but other times you can see that the climate of an area is not what it used to be.

Talk About Local Issues

Climate change is not all about polar bears dying and glaciers melting. It’s also about what’s happening in your own area.

Is water becoming an issue? How has climate change effected winters in your area?

Find out together what’s going on with your local climate. If you don’t know much about the local situation already, you may learn some really interesting things yourself.

Read a Book Together

There are a range of books available that can help you to discuss climate change basics with your kids, all the way up to more advanced discussions. A good book can explain climate change in ways you probably won’t think of on your own. Here are some titles to consider buying or looking for at your local library:

The Magic School Bus And The Climate Challenge
A Kids’ Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming: How to Take Action!
How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming
Mission: Planet Earth: Our World and Its Climate–and How Humans Are Changing Them
Climate: Causes and Effects of Climate Change (Our Fragile Planet)

What Should You Teach Your Children About Climate Change?

As a mother concerned about how the climate of our planet is changing, sometimes it’s hard to decide just what to tell my kids about it. There’s a lot to explain, and it changes as kids grow older. I don’t want to scare them, but I don’t want them casually wasting things either.

What do you tell children about climate change?

Younger Children

When children are really young, I don’t think explaining climate change as such is effective. What is effective is to teach them to not waste food or other items. They can start to learn about recycling.

Young children are usually great about repurposing things you might otherwise throw into the trash. So many things can be parts of various art projects. Sometimes it’s hard to balance keeping things for future projects with keeping clutter out of your home. Once kids get the idea, they’ll often try to keep just about everything you’ll let them.

Kids in Elementary School

Elementary school is a good time to start getting a bit more into the details of why you want your children to recycle and not waste. You can discuss what littering and pollution in general do to the environment, and how your lifestyle can help.

Be aware of what’s being taught at this stage at your child’s school. It may or may not agree with what you want your children to learn about climate change.

I find it important for my children to understand that humans are most likely a factor in global climate change. I don’t mind explaining that some people disagree, because that’s something they’re going to hear at some point. Better they get used to hearing about why we believe as we do than to be confronted with a different perspective they don’t know how to handle.

You should also see what your local schools are doing to reduce waste at their locations. Do they have recycling bins? Do they have a gardening program for the kids? Are they offering information to parents online or by email rather than printing every notice out?

Middle School on Up

The older kids get, the more you can teach them about climate change, individual action and volunteering to make more of a difference.

This is a good time to really get into why you make the shopping choices you do. If your kids are really interested you may have covered this topic at a younger age, but as they get older start talking to them about why you shop where you do. Tell them what’s good about going to thrift stores, especially when they start resisting. Come up with a plan to balance their needs for a particular look with environmental considerations.

Kids in this age group are eligible for many kinds of volunteer opportunities. They don’t have to go for environmental causes in particular; it’s just good to get them used to the idea that helping others is something they should do.

If you raise your children to consider the environment, it will come more naturally to them. They may rebel against it at times, but if you pay attention to their concerns and needs you can find the balance that will help them appreciate all they can contribute to making the world a better place.

Being Eco Friendly Despite the Disapproval of Others

There are many things that makes being eco friendly challenging for individuals. The lack of support they often face can be a big one.

This is something my husband and I deal with at times. His parents aren’t precisely fans of the environmental movement, although they’re very good about recycling. But they also make disparaging remarks about environmentalism.

Sometimes what it takes is showing how much more effective being eco friendly can be. They weren’t too sure about our choice to cloth diaper our youngest, but they are certainly enthusiastic about the likelihood that she will potty train at a younger age than the other two. They can get behind that idea easily.

In many cases, that’s what it takes. Don’t just phrase it all as being better for the environment when people say they don’t see the point. Show them how it benefits you or them personally. Most people can get behind that.

It doesn’t always work, of course. The value presented has to be one that appeals to them more than the convenience or comfort of doing things the usual way.

It’s also a simple fact of life that not everyone will approve of every single thing you do. It doesn’t matter what you do. Someone is going to find something to disagree with or disapprove of.

If you’re trying to bring people over to your way of thinking when they disapprove of your environmental beliefs, don’t start a ton of arguments with them unless that’s what works with that person. Many people do better with being given the information regularly until it works its way into their thoughts as their own idea. Pushing isn’t always the solution.

That can be hard to face, especially considering the urgency of many environmental topics. But if it works better than shouting at each other, you use the tools you have to.

The topic of global warming and climate change meets disparagement from many people, for example. Even if they agree that the planet is overall warming, many say it’s not human caused and that we’ll cope with what happens. The very real human costs aren’t real enough to them to make a difference, and the future is too vague.

In this area I often change the focus. See what they know about ocean acidification, pollution in general, the problems farmland has due to overuse of fertilizers, the problems with pesticides, and so forth. These are topics you can get into that may be concrete enough to get some agreement that action in that area is warranted. It’s better than no action.

Sometimes you just have to face that some people will never change. For some it seems like practically a matter of personal honor to disregard the environment. They’re not going to change their minds easily and they may be vocal about their refusals.

You may not be able to change everyone’s mind about even the simplest of environmentally friendly choices, but you can try to work with people to help them see where they are willing to change.