The New Normal

When my family and I lived in San Diego, we used to love going to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of UCSD. I still get email updates from Scripps occasionally, and in the most recent version of Explorations, there is a fantastic article about climate change and its potential effects on water delivery in the western United States.

Keeping with my recent focus on environmental issues, I highly recommend reading the article when you have a chance. Although it focuses on the western United States, communities around the world can benefit from rethinking their use of the water resources in their areas. Climate change is happening, and we all need to do our part to conserve our resources and prepare for the “New Normal.”

Earth Hour Inspires Eight Year Old to Save the World!

For those of you that went through your lives last Saturday without even realizing there was a world wide movement happening, let me fill you in a little bit. Earth Hour is an event designed to inspire people to take action on climate change. It all started in Sydney, Australia last March, and on last Saturday, cities of all sizes around the world participated by turning off non-essential lights for an hour. My family participated in our own small way by turning off all of the lights inside and outside of the house. It doesn’t seem like all that much, but we all felt like we were part of something bigger.

That leads me to my daughter, a newly christened environmentalist. She has always cared deeply about other people, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that she found Earth Hour very appealing. That night while we were all sitting around in the dark, my daughter asked if Earth Hour can help make the planet a better place, why not do Earth Hour every night instead of one night a year. That sounded like a good plan to me so we agreed that the Probst house would go dark for an hour each night so we can do our little part to save the world.

Now, I can’t say we’ve lived up to our promise every night, but we’re trying. With work, school, sports, Girl Scouts, etc., life can be a bit hectic to commit to such a bold schedule right away. I think if we can pull off a weekly Earth Hour to start, we’ll eventually be able to work our way up to a nightly hour in the dark.

If you’re interested in helping save the world (and a little money), try turning off all non-essential lights around your house for an hour this weekend. It’ll make you feel like you made a difference, and it’s a great time to bond with your family. Who knows, you may have a little environmentalist in your family too.

Himalayan Glaciers in Retreat

Going along with my Live Earth post a couple weeks ago, an article in the New York Times caught my eye regarding the melting glaciers in the Himalayas. Although there is not a lot of historical data to indicate whether or not the glaciers are retreating more than normal, the data that we do have is very scary. For example, the Chorabari glacier has retreated 860 feet since 1962. That’s almost 3 football fields! That’s pretty crazy when you think about it. Unfortunately, the same thing is happening to the other glaciers in the Himalayas.

My parents recently went to Alaska, and before they left, I kept saying that it’s a good thing they’re going up there because the glaciers might not be there during their next visit. I never really meant it, but now that I’ve learned more, I’m thinking I might not be too far from being right. At this rate, I may never have the chance to see a glacier, and my kids may not ever know that glaciers even existed. What I really want to know is what happens when all of this fresh water hits the ocean.

We all just need to do something to stop global warming. Even something as small as changing the light bulbs in your house can make a difference. It’s time for use to make a change.

Live Earth Is On!

I’ve been checking out the Live Earth website and all of the different video feeds from all over the world. Like they said on the Live Earth Blog, it’s almost impossible to choose which concert to watch. Everything is so good! I’ve been flipping back and forth between all of the different concerts and have been enjoying every minute. A couple bands that I’d never heard of really impressed me: Paolo Nutini at the UK show and Blues Nation at the DC show.

If you haven’t checked out the website or tuned in on television, you really need to see what you’re missing. This event is for all of us, and if we can all do something small to help the environment, it will add up to a lot.