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Date: September 05, 2013

"What YOU can do about climate change" - latest YouTube from PICS

Reducing your carbon footprint just got easier with the release today of a new online video that uses animations and humour to teach people how they personally can help prevent global warming.

The “What YOU can do about climate change” 10-minute video is the latest in a series of free educational products in the “Climate Insights 101” series created by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) – a collaboration of British Columbia’s four research intensive universities.

The YouTube hosted video explains how a carbon footprint is calculated, and then outlines a range of measures individuals can take to ensure their actions don’t unnecessarily accelerate climate change.

PICS executive director Tom Pedersen says it is important that people know they can make a difference, and be part of the solution.

“This month will see the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of climate change, and leaked drafts state that there is now a near certainty that human activities are causing global temperatures to rise,” he says. “This reinforces the need for each of us to ensure our decisions result in the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new video has many practical tips on how to do this. For example, Canadians throw away approximately 40 percent of the food they buy, thus creating the harmful gas, methane, in landfills. The solution? Eat your leftovers. Also, reduce food transport GHG emissions by planting a garden and buying local produce. Take “staycations” rather than overseas vacations, and travel by rail or car-pool.

Pedersen acknowledges that problems associated with climate change such as more frequent extreme weather events and uncertainty over future conditions can make people feel helpless. But he says much of the control lies within our own hands – and it’s not just up to big business to clean up its act.

“As individuals, we number in the billions, and the most powerful weapon we have in this battle is the ability to control our own carbon footprint, particularly in wealthy countries,” he says. “For example, British Columbia households produce a third of the province’s GHG emissions, so the decisions we make around transport, food, and how energy-efficient our homes are, have a significant impact.“

To watch the new video – or view other products in the “Climate Insights 101” series – visit the PICS website or search YouTube under ‘climate education’. The series’ videos and free online courses have attracted a global audience since launching in 2011, with more than 30,000 user plays to date. Upcoming new modules on the topics of “Mitigation” and “Regional Climate Change and Adaptation” are scheduled for late 2013 and spring 2014 respectively.

Media contacts:

Editors' note: Broadcast versions are available on request.

Media contact: PICS Senior Communications Officer, Robyn Meyer at 250-588-4053 or rmeyer@uvic.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @uvicnews

Photos page:
"What YOU can do about climate change" - latest YouTube from PICS Images

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(image: fern)