Any action to reduce or eliminate the release of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere helps slow the rate of warming and, likely, the pace and severity of change at any given hot spot. Local sources of carbon emissions vary from region to region, suggesting that solutions are often decided at the community level. The Climate Hot Map points to regional examples of climate-friendly energy, transportation, or adaptation choices. Some regions, however, must rely upon global solutions such as international agreements to reduce the carbon overload in the atmosphere that threatens them. Small islands, for example, are a paltry source of carbon emissions and yet are disproportionately affected by the consequences of global carbon overload as accelerated sea level rise threatens the very existence of low-lying islands.
“The less gasoline we burn, the better we’re doing to reduce air pollution and harmful effects of climate change,” Walke says. “Make good choices about transportation. When you can, walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation. For driving, choose cars that get better miles per gallon of gas or choose an electric car.” You can also investigate your power provider options—you may be able to request that your electricity be supplied by wind or solar. Buying your food locally cuts down on the fossil fuels burned in trucking or flying food in from across the country. And perhaps most important, “Support leaders who push for clean air and water and responsible steps on climate change,” Walke says.
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