Climate Change



Climate Change Background

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.

Schools are a Source of Greenhouse Gases (GHG)

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)
  • Reduce energy needs and use.
  • Switch to renewable energy sources
ENERGY: Use of fossil fuel energy for school vehicles
  • Reduce miles traveled by school buses. (revisit school boundaries, partner with local transit agencies, encourage walking and biking, consider school field trips and sports team activities)
  • Eliminate use of older buses that don’t meet newer, higher emission standards.
  • Use alternative-fuel 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 Resource Links

Climate Change - General


Climate Change site
Climate change from waste

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Website of scientific international panel investigating climate change and producing assessments, reports

State of Oregon

Climate Change Website

For Kids - climate change


A student’s guide to global climate change
Kids activities website

For Teachers / Schools - climate change

Carbon and Ecological Footprint Calculators

Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Shrink Your Footprint
Global Footprint Network
Climate Crisis, Carbon Calculator

Clean Air – Cool Planet

Campus Climate Action Tookit

Climate Change

Portal website for teachers

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.

Focus the Nation

National non-profit striving for a clean energy economy

Northwest Earth Institute

Discussion course on global warming