The LWVUS has selected Global Climate Change as one of two top priorities and has the following goals:
  • Increase awareness of climate disruption and adaptation policy initiatives
  • Increase the activist base
  • Increase advocacy supporting climate adaptation policies
  • Coordinate with Oxfam America on targeted state strategy
  • Organize public outreach activities

With this in mind, at the LWVAL May, 2009 Convention, Joyce Lanning, Natural Resources Chair presented a program on Climate Change and provides the following excerpts and resources.

According to John Holdren, U.S. Science Advisor, there is a high probability
  • “that climate is changing in ways unusual against the backdrop of natural variability;
  • that human activities are responsible for most of this unusual change;
  • that significant harm to human well-being is already occurring as a result;
  • and that far larger –- perhaps catastrophic — damages will ensue if serious remedial action is not started soon.”

We Need to Pass Strong Climate Change Legislation in 2009

1. The environment of our cities, counties, state, nation and world is negatively impacted by the way we extract, manufacture, use and dispose of the stuff we enjoy, including the energy that moves us around and powers our lives. See and

2. Since the environment provides more than stuff and energy – including many ‘ecosystem services’ like clean water & air, soil and pollination for growing food, habitats for us and other creatures, and more – we destroy it at our peril. Short term gain could be long term pain. and for more information -

3. A crucial and pressing issue that impacts almost everything in the environment is global warming – temperature increase as a result of burning fossil fuels and releasing other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and the changes in climate and ocean acidification that result.;

4. Although the large majority of scientists and very many political leaders think that the situation is extremely serious, there are things that we can do to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by shifting our production and consumption patterns to slow the dangerous buildup of greenhouse gases that threaten the planetary systems we leave to future generations. We must also learn to help ourselves and others adapt to the changes we can’t avoid.

5. Current analyses of our economic crisis are also seeing economic opportunities by connecting jobs and financial recovery to energy and environmental changes in a push to create a new green economy.

6. Pricing carbon to account for the full cost of emitting it is now being debated in Congress along with clean energy, energy efficiency and transitioning to jobs in a low-carbon economy . Strong climate legislation is urgently needed – see the links below for commentary and analyses of the American Climate and Energy Security bill at and go to to contact your legislators. The world faces a deadline in December, 2009 as parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (including the US) meet in Copenhagen to agree on international targets for reducing carbon emissions to take effect in 2012.

Some other references to and analyses of the ACES bill - note especially the stance of your congressperson and his or her contact information:

Beyond the ACES bill -

For LWVUS resources, see below, and for more information and climate change links, visit Joyce Lanning’s blog, Cooling a Warming Planet, at
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE — Resources: League of Women Voters of the United States

LWVUS Statements. Letters & Press Releases
Comments to EPA on Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding, June 11 , 2009
League Urges Ways and Means Committee to Support Stronger Climate Legislation, June 9, 2009
League Urges Speaker Pelosi to Help Strengthen Climate Change Legislation June 8 , 2009
Call for financial support for international adaptation to climate change, April 14, 2009
Support for clean energy policies, March 25, 2009
Support for climate change assistance to developing countries, March 25, 2009
Principles for Effective and Efficient Climate Legislation, Press Release, March 5, 2009
National Call to Action on Global Warming, March 5, 2009
Praise for Senator Boxer's Climate Change Principles, February 4, 2009
Letter urging quick and strong House action on climate change, January 15, 2009
USCAP climate change proposal is too little, too late, January 15, 2009
Praise for renewable energy plans in stimulus plan, January 15, 2009
All statements related to climate change, 2006 to the present
All press releases related to climate change, 2008 to present

LWVUS Policy Positions & Supporting Material
Call for aggressive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions (1-page fact sheet), February 2009
• FAQ on taking aggressive action to cut greenhouse gas emissions
Key elements for an effective cap-and-trade system (1-page fact sheet), February 2009
Call for 10-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants (1-page fact sheet), August 2008
FAQ on 10-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants

Background Papers
• Cap-and-Trade versus Carbon Tax: Two Approaches to Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Positive Feedbacks and Possible Climate Runaway: The Need to Act Without Delay
Coal--The great hope, the false promise, or a disaster in the making?
State Actions Address Climate Change
Cities Take Action to Curb Global Warming
Economic Effects of Not Taking Action on Climate Change

Newsletter-Ready Articles
Lighting the way to a greener environment (2-page article on energy-efficient lighting)
Staying warm and living green (2-page article on improving home heating efficiency)
Water--Let's use this precious resource wisely! (2-page article on water conservation)
Carbon offsets: A cautionary tale (2-page article on voluntary carbon offsets)
Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions--Two approaches (2-page article comparing cap-and-trade and carbon tax systems)

Things People Can Do
Things you can do for free (or almost free)
Do a little, change a lot: A biographical sketch on saving energy

The National Voter — Articles on Climate Change
The Heat Is On: Climate Change and Emerging Policies, October 2007
There Is No Free Lunch--But There Are Cost-Effective Solutions, October 2007
Sounding Off: Global Warming's Simple Remedy, June 2007
An Open Letter to the Next President, October 2008

Other Resources
Video of Climate Change Panel at LWVUS 2008 Convention
• LWVEF project — The State of Climate Change

Individual Actions Count Too – and can save you $$
Each of us can take action now - continue or start one of the steps below.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP ACTION ITEMS adapted from Ten Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth by Katie Lambert at

Going green is easier than you think. There are little things you can do every day to help reduce greenhouse gases and make a less harmful impact on the environment. Taking care of the Earth is not just a responsibility -- it's a privilege. In that spirit, HowStuffWorks came up with 10 things you can do to help save the Earth. Note that links to web pages are underlined or shown in color.

1. Pay attention to how you use water. The little things can make a big difference. Every time you turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, you're doing something good. Got a leaky toilet? You might be wasting 200 gallons of water a day [Source: EPA]. Try drinking tap water instead of bottled water, so you aren't wasting all that packaging as well. Wash your clothes in cold water when you can. Run full loads in wash machines and dishwashers. Upgrade to low flow toilets and other water-savers ( Run faucet water and water lawn only as needed. Set up sprinkler system moisture sensors. Better yet, replace lawn with drought resistant plants. Use grey water for watering non-edible flowers and plants. Try Alabama River Alliance’s Save and Share Campaign.

2. Leave your car at home. If you can stay off the road just two days a week, you'll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds per year [Source: EPA]. Combine your errands -- hit the post office, grocery store and shoe repair place in one trip. It will save you gas and time. If you will be parked and sitting for 10 seconds or longer... turn off your car's engine.

3. Walk or ride your bike to work, school and anywhere you can. You can reduce greenhouse gases while burning some calories and improving your health. If you can't walk or bike, use mass transit or carpool. Every car not on the road makes a difference.

4. Recycle. You can help reduce pollution just by putting that soda can in a different bin. If you're trying to choose between two products, pick the one with the least packaging. If an office building of 7,000 workers recycled all of its office paper waste for a year, it would be the equivalent of taking almost 400 cars off the road [Source: EPA ]. Bring reusable bags when shopping.

5. Compost. Think about how much trash you make in a year. Reducing the amount of solid waste you produce in a year means taking up less space in landfills, so your tax dollars can work somewhere else. Compost makes a great natural fertilizer. Composting is easier than you think.

6. Change your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) last 10 times longer than a standard bulb and use at least two-thirds less energy. If you're shopping for new appliances or even home electronics, look for ENERGY STAR products, which have met EPA and U.S. Department of Energy guidelines for energy efficiency. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills. [Source: EPA]. (Learn more about proper disposal of CFLs.)

7. Make your home more energy efficient (and save money). Clean your air filters so your system doesn't have to work overtime. Get a programmable thermostat so you aren't wasting energy when you aren't home. When you go to bed, reduce the thermostat setting -- you won't miss those extra degrees of heat or air conditioning while you're asleep.

8. Maintain your car. Underinflated tires decrease fuel economy by up to three percent and lead to increased pollution and higher greenhouse gas emissions [Source: EPA]. Underinflation also increases tire wear, so it will save you money in the long run if you're good about checking your tire pressure.

9. Drive smarter. Slow down -- driving 60 miles per hour instead of 70 mph on the highway will save you up to 4 miles per gallon. [Source: Consumer Guide Automotive]. Accelerating and braking too hard can actually reduce your fuel economy, so take it easy on the brakes and gas pedal.

10.Turn off lights when you're not in the room and unplug appliances when you're not using them. It only takes a second to be environmentally conscious.