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June 20th was a record setting day, but this record is nothing to celebrate.
The Russian Arctic has been experiencing a recent heat wave that brought the temperature in Verkhoyansk, Russia—a town north of the Arctic Circle—to 100.4°F on June 20th.
This National Geographic story quotes climate scientist Ruth Mottram who said, “Saturday’s record wasn’t just a quick spike before a return to more normal summer temperatures for the Russian Arctic: The heat wave behind it is projected to continue for at least another week. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the town, where records have been kept since 1885.”
Across the board, global climate experts agree that the earth is heating up in large part due to human activity. Human reliance on fossil fuels to power our industrialized world is filling the atmosphere with greenhouse gasses and particulates that are preventing heat from escaping the atmosphere. NASA’s website has a great, easy to understand explanation here.
Climate change will affect every aspect of life on earth—from causing more severe storms and unpredictable weather patterns, to species extinction and the increased spread of infectious diseases.
This is not new information, but considering the record breaking heat in someplace like the Arctic Circle, we thought we’d put together this list of things you can do to be an ally for the environment.
Start at home
The easiest way to start fighting for the environment is at home. Consider the things you spend money on and buy from green companies with a proven commitment to the environment. Also consider NOT buying when you can reuse, or recycle something to use again. Here is a link to some easy ways you can change your spending habits.
Participate in state and federal politics
There are always changes being made to climate and environmental policy at the state and federal level, and you have every right to participate in the discussion. Write or call your representatives to voice your approval (or disapproval) of the various environmental policies being debated right now. At the end of the day, our individual actions as consumers won’t have as large an impact as would regulating international CO2 levels with international climate agreements that curb the worst climate offenders like coal fired power plants, fracking, pipeline construction and other large scale industrial projects.
Lend your support to climate justice groups
There are some great local and national groups working to stop climate change. One great organization that is being led by youth is the Sunrise Movement. Check out their site and see how you can help.
Invest in cleaner solutions
Of course, if you are a homeowner, you can invest in clean home technology like solar power and all of the accompanying technologies like mini-split heat pumps, electric vehicles, and solar battery back-up systems. These technologies will reduce your carbon footprint and save you lots of money that you can then use to support the Sunrise Movement!