The climate crisis is bad and getting worse every day. Here is a map showing the dangerous temperature increases that have occurred in the United States due to carbon pollution between 1970 and 2020.

Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, the U.S. national average temperature has climbed by 2.6°F, and the states have warmed — many significantly.

These unprecedented temperature increases are destabilizing our climate in alarming ways. Here in California we have experienced devastating drought, extreme heat, huge wildfires, and an intense series of atmospheric river rainstorms.

It’s clear we must quickly and decisively reduce our emissions from fossil fuel use. Acting now to limit our carbon pollution, and stabilize our climate, will be much less costly than continuing to suffer from its dangerous consequences.

What should we do?

To help us understand how to take action experts have created summaries of climate policy choices. Here is a list created by MIT Climate Interactive:

  • Energy Supply has eight policy options: coal, oil, natural gas, bioenergy, renewables, nuclear, new zero-carbon and carbon price
  • Transport has two policy options: energy efficiency and electrification
  • Buildings & Industry has two policy options: energy efficiency and
  • electrification
  • Growth has two policy options: population and economic growth
  • Land and Industry Emissions has two policy options: deforestation
  • and methane & other
  • Carbon Removal has two policy options: afforestation and technological

To learn more about effective climate solutions, and how to advocate for them, attend the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, hosted by the Community Environmental Council on April 29 and 30 in Alameda Park.

Our local Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteers invite you will visit our booth at the Earth Day Public Square, and attend our presentations at the Climate Action Stage Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 1 p.m.

CCL is a nonpartisan grassroots volunteer organization with more than 200,000 members in chapters around the country. Our core mission is to lobby for effective climate policy action by Congress.

The good news is we already know the array of transformative policies and technologies we need to stabilize our climate. Our challenge is to build the political will to act at the speed and scale necessary to preserve a livable world. It’s up to us!

John D. Kelley, an architect, writer, and community organizer, is the leader of the local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, a national grassroots volunteer organization.


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