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Climate Change Handbook: A Citizen’s Guide to Thoughtful Action

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  • Information presented in three formats: full handbook, low-resolution booklet, and 18-page folding booklet.
  • Climate change is real. Average American households are a significant source of GHG emissions, as well as the ultimate end-users of most energy production. Therefore citizens have the potential to make a difference now and for future generations. This handbook provides climate science basics, including the historical changes in GHG releases, the roles that lifestyle and population play in the climate scenario, the significance of carbon footprints, and an overview of the current climate situation. A detailed carbon counter is attached to the guide. The guide then illustrates the difference between adaptation (taking steps to live with the changes) and mitigation (taking steps to slow the rate of change.) Adaptation examples include food, water, shelter, transportation, recreation, and careers. Mitigation focuses on effectively engaging with local government, through serving on advisory boards, communicating with public officials, and leading community climate change actions. One useful way to mitigate climate change is through citizen science efforts. Citizen scientists help professional scientists better understand the impact of the rate of change on plants and animals, which is crucial for preserving species; and for assessing potential insect and disease outbreaks in agriculture, natural resources and public health. Taking personal action is a key element of this handbook. Citizens are challenged to consume 20% fewer resources, to bring American consumption levels down to Western European levels. Readers are given 10 practical steps to take to make the changes, including a Jumpstart list to complete in a single weekend. The Resources section provides additional information, and readers are encouraged to contact the authors for further questions.
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  • Apel, Mark, Lauren McDonell, Jay Moynihan, Darien Simon, and Viviane Simon-Brown. December 2010. Climate Change Handbook: A Citizen’s Guide to Thoughtful Action. Contributions in Education and Outreach 4b, Forest Research Laboratory, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
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