What does carbon footprint mean? • a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment (climate change) • It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning: • fossil fuels for electricity • heating (oil or propane furnaces) • transportation • Measured in tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent. • Developing/supporting renewable energy sources like wind power can help us reduce our carbon foot print
Why does it matter how much carbon I produce? • Because there are 7 Billion “I’s” on Earth • In October 2011 the world population broke the 7 billion people mark • If everyone says someone else will do it, we have 7 million people not helping to solve the problem • Businesses alone can not solve this problem, but they do have a role
Why does carbon dioxide matter? • It is a green house gas • This means that it helps to trap solar radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere • Most scientists agree that the world’s temperature is going up • Most scientists agree that the increase in temperature is melting ice caps—causing sea levels to increase
So? Why do I care about polar bears? • They are cute • We shouldn’t just kill them because we can • Because melting ice becomes water…
Melting ice becomes water? • So you don’t care about polar bears • You don’t think they are cute • You could care less if they become extinct • You think Coca – Cola will find a new mascot • Then be selfish—if water levels rise because of the melting arctic ice fields…
Rising Ocean Level Predictions • Some predictions estimate that if all of the sea ice melts ocean levels could increase by 61 m • There is very little agreement about the rate of sea level rise, but there is agreement it is happening • Many predictions suggest a 1 m increase in the next 100 years
If sea level rises about 1m in Halifax: - the blue area will be water - the yellow area is where storm surge will stop
What does that really mean? • Over 600 million people live in coastal areas that are less than 10 meters above sea level • Two-thirds of the world’s cities that have populations over five million are located in these at-risk areas • Underwater cities could become a reality
Rising Global Temperatures • Scientists do not agree on the rate of temperature increase, but most do agree an increase is happening • IF global temperatures rise we could experience: • Stronger weather systems (Ex. Hurricanes) • More heat waves • Changes in seasonal weather patterns that could cause droughts—crop failure
An image from Hurricane Juan (Sept. 2003) Sailboat washed up in a yard along the Bedford Basin, NS.
The information doesn’t all agree yet, so we could wait to act… The issue is: What if we wait too long? There is a certainty in reducing our carbon footprint: It can’t hurt.
What do you think we should do? Task: Write a 1 page journal response that address: 1. What we should do to reduce our carbon footprint • What are 5 things the average person could do • Do you think individuals should bother? 2. If you think sea level rise is something we should worry about and why/why not 3. If you think temperature rise is something we should worry about why/why not
How you will be marked Main Goal: I want to see that you thought about it. 85-100: Answer all questions and give excellent detail. 70-85: Answer 2/3 of questions and give good detail. 60-70: Answer 2/3 of questions with some detail. 50-60: Minimum ½ page response that makes sense in relation to the topic questions.
Sources Image 1: http://www.gotgreenenergy.com/solutions/unifiedfootprint/powerfootprint.html Slide 1: http://www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonfootprint.html Image 2: http://blog.nalates.net/2011/12/08/climate-and-science/polar-bear-on-ice/ Image 3: http://majoh.deviantart.com/art/3D-Sunken-Ship-85213532 Slide 8: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/question473.htm Slide 8: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-change/community-adaptation/municipalities/162 Slide 9: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-change/community-adaptation/municipalities/162 Slide 10: http://www.climate.org/topics/sea-level/index.html Image 4: http://thevictoriagalaxy.blogspot.com/2011/06/lost-city-of-atlantis.html NOTE: This is not the “real” Atlantis, it is just a picture of underwater architecture. Image 5: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/field/stop1.asp Image 6: http://www.ec.gc.ca/ouragans-hurricanes/default.asp?lang=en&n=F530523F-1