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ClimateYou Commentary: Climate Change & What we can do

If you toss a coin, the odds are equal that it will land heads or tails. It’s an even bet, 50-50 heads or tails. Say it lands heads. What are the odds that a second toss lands heads? Still 50-50. Say it lands heads again. A third toss? Still 50-50. But if you ask a different question, What are the odds that two coin tosses both land heads? The odds are 1 in 4 — HH, HT, TH, TT. What are the odds of 3 tosses all landing heads? 1 in 8 — HHH, HHT, HTH, HTT, THH, THT, TTH, TTT. 4 tosses? 1 in 16. 5 tosses? 1 in 32. What are the odds of there being 51 record highs in November to only one record low? One chance in 2601, so we can safely assume that something besides pure chance is operating. That something is climate change.

The weather is getting warmer. Unless we act to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases caused mostly by burning fossil fuels, weather will only continue to get hotter. Drive less, walk or cycle more, lower the thermostat and water heater, put on a sweater. Run the dishwasher and washer/drier a bit less often. Buy selectively at the supermarket and throw out less food (consider that it takes energy to grow and get it to you). Flick off lights when you leave a room. Turn in your gas guzzler for a higher mile-per-gallon model, or a hybrid or an electric vehicle. Don’t fly if you can take a train or a bus. Recycle. Urge your Congressperson, state representative, and local council member to support green climate policies. Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. The personal matters, and so does policy

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