August 19, 2007

write your congress{wo}man




Hi everyone - this is actually a guest post from my DAD :). he's definitely one of the reasons why i was excited to join sew green. he has continually been interested in environmentalism. he also has roots in activism - and asked if he could write something for us. i was thrilled. thanks dad!

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I am sure that this is no surprise to the readers of this blog but recent reports have found that the estimates of changes due to global warming have been seriously understated. For example:

Science magazine reported in March that Antarctica and Greenland are both losing ice overall, about 125 billion metric tons a year between the two of them — and the amount has accelerated over the last decade. To put that in context, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (the most unstable part of the frosty cloak over the southernmost continent) and Greenland together hold enough ice to raise global sea levels by 40 feet or so, although they would take hundreds of years to melt. We hope.

In January, Science reported that actual rises in sea level in recent years followed the uppermost limit of the range predicted by computer models of climate change — meaning that past studies had understated the rise. As a result, the study found that the sea is likely to rise higher than most previous forecasts — to between 50 centimeters and 1.4 meters by the year 2100 (and then continuing from there).

Science Express , the online edition of Science, reported last month that the world’s several hundred thousand glaciers and small ice caps are thinning more quickly than people realized. “At the very least, our projections indicate that future sea-level rise maybe larger than anticipated,” the article declared.

This blog’s attempt at encouraging people to change their daily habits in various ways is an important way to try to help reduce global warming.

But so is writing one’s representatives in government. You can find these people in the United States at the following sites:
write your house representative
write your senator

{ed. note: if anyone knows of how to reach representatives in canada, the UK, austrailia, etc. leave links in the comments. also tell us if you've ever received a response or what your experience has been}

Feel free to copy and paste the three pieces of info noted above into a letter to your Representative and Senators.

While they may have done some work on improving fuel standards for vehicles, tell him/her that they need to do MUCH, MUCH more. Talk about the need to develop alternative fuels, to stop oil companies from ripping us off by not paying the royalties they owe the government, to do more about encouraging the development and the use of public transportation, to not support the development of nuclear energy because of the danger of the waste, etc.

Additionally, keep writing them. A letter once every few weeks asking them about what they are going to do about some environmentally related issue will make them notice that the voters want action. With the convenience of computers one can copy, cut and paste, and send pieces of newspaper or magazine articles with relative ease.

You’ll get a reply. Usually, it will be a canned response extolling what he/she has done about issue x, y, or z. Write him/her back thanking him/her for the reply and then asking him/her what he/she is going to do about issue a, b, or c that he/she did not address in the letter. Politely, but clearly, remind him/her that you expect him/her to keep working on these issues.

Is it worth a few minutes of your time occasionally? I think it is!

12 comments:

Rebekka said...

Hi Lisa, details for contacting Australian representatives are here

m said...

In Canada, it's as easy as typing in your postal code here.

Camilla said...

You can find your MEP (Member of European Parliament) here:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members.do?language=EN

Camilla said...

And to find your representative in the UK government go here and type in your postcode

lisa s said...

excellent - thanks for the additional links!!!

now it's time to get writing!

Lisa's Dad said...

Thank you all for your assistance with finding government representatives in your home countries, etc. I hope you will write them occasionally.

ms. pea said...

Thanks Lisa's Dad! What we can do at home as individuals is important... but holding our elected officials accountable is what we must do as voters. If we don't let them know what we expect from them, they can't really represent our interests. And we can be sure they're hearing regularly from the oil companies!

Samantha said...

I will write my congressmen. I will also vote accordingly in the next election as well.
Great post!

holly said...

great reminder! i get to work with development workers overseas, and they are quick to remind me that we forget how much we can influence our representatives, and how much change in the whole world the influence of the u.s. decisions can actually make! we've gotten so jaded to our government doing much good, but those outside the u.s. that know how much they are affected by us are quick to remind me that this is one of the most powerful tools for change!

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Adam said...

Thanks for sharing! I do some work with the AAM and I really hope Congress finally gets the energy bill they've been working on through soon with some progressive changes on fuel standards like you mentioned. The big problem is that the House Democrats is still trying to find a balance that raises standards and doesn't hurt the industry at the same time. I really hope the compromise that raises standards and separates trucks and cars so that consumer choice is taken into account is agreed on. Its got a lot of bipartisan support and its bumps up fuel standards in a way that could really help our country

A Year In A Day said...

Hi, I'm in Australia and we run a blog called A Year In A Day - we've been doing one personal and one political action every day since mid April and our goal is to eventually have 365 subscribers (who simply get notified of our posts so that they're reminded about taking action) ... so that we can say to government and media that 365 people know, care and want the action of A Year In A Day! Sometimes our political actions are small, but committing ourselves to our goal also demonstrates that it is only by setting targets that you get real action! There's no way we'll get a 90% reduction if we don't start now!