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Act on Climate Change

There are many practical actions individuals can take to address climate change. Here are some resources that can help you get started.

1. Learn more and stay informed:

Climate Change Communication

Climate Science

  • The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) provides a basic overview of global warming, its causes, and its impacts.
  • Explore the history of Earth’s climate, view real-time satellites datasets in 3D, check out the Sea Level and Global Ice Viewers, and more on NASA’s interactive climate site.
  • Skeptical Science provides answers to many of the most common myths and misunderstandings about climate change.
  • RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.
  • links to the U.S. National Climate Assessment, which summarizes climate change in the United States every four years. also is a clearinghouse for all climate change research by the U.S. Government.
  • The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) organizes thousands of climate experts worldwide to synthesize, summarize, and report the latest scientific understanding of the causes, consequences and potential solutions to climate change.

2. Reduce your carbon emissions:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a tool (last updated 1.19.16) to calculate your carbon footprint and provides personalized suggestions for reducing your emissions.
  • The David Suzuki Foundation provides additional suggestions on how to cut your own emissions.
  • The Find Green-e Certified tool can help you find and buy electricity produced by renewable energy sources.
  • The Database for State Incentive for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) can help you find programs and financial incentives to buy or install green power or improve the efficiency of your home. Enter your zip code to find programs in your area.
  • Support renewable energy and other carbon-reducing projects by purchasing carbon offsets for you and your family. Green-e offer various options.
  • The UN’s Lazy Person’s Guide for Saving the World and Year of Living Sustainably provide tips and information about how you can reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and host of “Global Weirding,” a climate and science video series, shares tips on how one person can take action to make a difference:
  • Purchase carbon offsets for your personal emissions. Companies like Cool Effect can help you identify and purchase carbon offsets. Organizations that sell carbon offsets are evaluated and authenticated by third-party verification groups. When evaluating and purchasing carbon offsets, check to see how the offsets are verified. The Stockholm Environment Institute and Greenhouse Gas Management Institute provide more information, including a list of verification bodies, here.

3. Become a citizen climate scientist:

4. Take political action:

One of the most important things you can do is write (by regular mail) or call your local, state or federal representatives. Letting your decision-maker know what you think, especially about specific policy proposals being considered, can make a real difference.

  • Contact your elected officials. Visit Project Vote Smart, where you can type in your address and instantly find all your federal and state representatives, their voting records, issue positions, ratings, and campaign finance information.
  • The League of Conservation Voters aggregates voting records of US Senators and Representatives into the National Environmental Scorecard.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Action Center provides tools and information to take a variety of political actions online and offline.
  • Citizens Climate Lobby arms citizens with the information, skills and opportunities to lobby Congress, state and local officials, and other leaders.
  • connects activists and organizes climate actions big and small around the world.

Note: The postings above are provided as informational resources and do not indicate endorsement by The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication