Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Human activities have caused the concentrations of heat-trapping "greenhouse gases" to increase significantly in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are necessary to life as we know it, because they keep the planet's surface warmer than it otherwise would be, but, as the concentrations of these gases increase in the atmosphere, the Earth's temperature is climbing above past levels. To learn more follow the links below.
School activities such as the following contribute to the accumulation of greenhouse gases.
|Activity||More sustainable alternative|
|ENERGY: Use of energy derived from fossil fuels for building operation (oil, natural gas, electricity derived from coal, natural gas, etc. and other)||
|ENERGY: Use of fossil fuel energy for school vehicles||
|ENERGY: Energy use for personal vehicle commuting by staff and students||Use low-emission commuting options, including walking/biking|
|GOODS: Purchasing goods (including food) produced in a far away location (transport uses energy, producing greenhouse gasses)||Purchase locally-produced goods|
|GOODS: Purchasing more of any item then can be used, wasting the energy expended to produce it. (includes food)||Purchase only as much as is needed.|
|GOODS: Disposing of goods: energy used to transport for disposal produces greenhouse gas, break down of goods in landfill or via incineration produces greenhouse gases.||Eliminate waste.|
|GOODS: Purchasing goods with virgin content||Choose goods with recycled content, which eliminate energy needed to refine raw materials.|
Climate Change - General
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Website of scientific international panel investigating climate change and producing assessments, reports
State of Oregon
For Kids - climate change
For Teachers / Schools - climate change
Carbon and Ecological Footprint Calculators
Clean Air – Cool Planet
Climate Change Education.org
Cool School Challenge
Cool School Challenge aims to motivate students, teachers, and school districts to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions school-ide.