Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series
December 27, 2012
The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, gives a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The series covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
Atmospheric pollution manifests itself in many ways, ranging from reduced visibility to dangerous respiratory problems and discomfort. Atmospheric pollution can be gaseous (e.g. ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and/or particulate (e.g. soot, dust). The degree of pollution is dependent on a number of factors: source, transport from source, and build up over time through air stagnation. The stagnation index maps show where in the United States air has stagnated, leading to potential impacts on human and environmental health.
The National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. These products include forecast and warnings of environmental events that can impact human health, such as excessive heat, flooding, severe cold, and more.
When both temperature and humidity are high, humans can experience considerable heat stress. In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather.
This video documents the impact of the 2011 drought on the water supply of two Texas towns. It discusses how the higher temperatures have increased the evaporation from open reservoirs, resulting in a drop in their water levels. The use of water in fighting wildfires has also contributed to this drawdown. While some jurisdictions have been able to develop pipelines to other sources, others have had to resort to trucking water in.
This classroom activity introduces equity issues surrounding climate change. Students research the assigned developed and developing nations, discuss climate change, and label the differences between energy usage and the effects of climate change on two world maps. In the end, the class negotiates an energy treaty.
In this lesson, students complete a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory of their personality type as an introductory step to understanding what green jobs might suit their personal styles. From the information on this online tool, they look at different Green Jobs to explore possible careers.
This activity engages students in a role play to negotiate an agreement between the United States and China about climate change policies. Students use given background material or can do their own additional research to present their assigned stakeholder's position in a simulated negotiation.
This activity addresses naturally occurring climate change involving ENSO (El-NiÃo Southern Oscillation). In this activity, students play the role of a policy maker in Peru. First, they determine what sort of ENSO variation is occurring. Then, they must decide how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for possible weather-related problems.