RESOURCES

WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY?

At the National City Chamber of Commerce (NCCC), we are committed to help our business and local community to develop and flourish. However, we are also dedicated to ensure that sustainability is integrated into development efforts because every decision we make has an impact on this world.

 

The United Nations defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In simple terms, sustainability is about you and what kind of world you want to leave for your children and grandchildren. It is also commonly described using the Three Pillars of Sustainability: Economic Prosperity, Ecological Integrity, and Social Equity. 

 

The Green Business Program simplified sustainability into 5 core categories: Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Waste Diversion, Alternative Transportation, and Healthy Living. These categories intersects with the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

 

Our resources page will guide you through each of these categories and provide you with various options for you to make your lifestyle more sustainable. We also welcome any businesses or organizations to join the NCCC in our Green Business Program Partnership to collectively help develop sustainability in our communities.

THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING, WHY AREN'T WE?

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?

Climate Change is the long-term change in the Earth's climate. While it is a naturally occurring phenomenon, the rate of climate warming has increased drastically over the past century. 97% of climate scientists agree that these trends are due to human activities, such as fossil fuel production and deforestation, which contributes to increased greenhouse gas emissions. These greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) traps heat from the sun within the Earth's atmosphere causing global warming

EFFECTS & IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Global temperature has already increased by 1.7°F since 1880 and global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment:

  • Extreme Weather:

    • More Frequent and Intense Heat Waves. United States has observed more record highs than lows (in temperature) for a staggering 34 consecutive months (as of October 2017).

    • Longer and More Damaging Wildfire Seasons due to heat and drought. California has its worst fire season ever; 8747 fires have burned through 1 million acres and killed 43 people. Over 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate in Southern California in December 2017 due to the extremely dry weather. Relative humidities along the coast are much drier than that in the interior desert in the summertime. Fire has been so extreme that state officials added a new fire risk level.

    • Heavier Precipitation, Flooding, More Intense Storms. There were eight consecutive hurricanes formed in the Atlantic basin this past hurricane season, a first since the late 1800s. Out of the eight, three are of Category 4 or higher - Harvey, Irma and Maria, devastating communities across the US Territories and States.

  • Costly and Growing Health Impacts: Rising temperatures result in more deaths as a result of heat-related illnesses and the spread of diseases. Climate Change also enhances the spread of pests that carries life threatening diseases like dengue, malaria, and Lyme disease. Air pollution from fossil fuel production leads to an increase in respiratory diseases and water contamination promotes the spread of waterborne diseases.

  • Environmental Degradation:

    • Accelerating Sea Level Rise at a rate of 3.4 millimeters annually due to melting ice caps leads to coastal flooding.
    • Habitat Loss is causing flora and fauna to disappear. As sea ice disappears, Arctic animals are struggling to survive. Coral reefs, home to a diverse marine species, are bleaching and dying due to increasing sea temperature. Forests are more prone to deadly infestations.
  • Social Impact:

    • Climate Refugees. Rapid coastal flooding, extreme weather, and depleting natural resources displaces people and forcing them to move elsewhere. One example is the Syrian conflict as suffering and social chaos caused by the drought fuels the civil war, forcing refugees to flee to other countries.

  • Economic Impact: 

    • Food Price Increases​ as the agriculture industry is impacted. Farmers are struggling to keep up with shifting weather patterns and increasingly unpredictable water supplies. Farms are more likely to face attacks from weeds, diseases and pests, which reduce yield.

    • Increased Hurricanes Cost Billions. Hurricane Harvey and Irma alone resulted in over $250 billion in damage to the economy.

    • Impact on Market Sectors. Aside from the agriculture industry, fisheries, forestry and tourism industry are also sensitive to climate change.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Human-made emissions and rapid climate change continues to drastically deplete and alter our natural resources, environmental well being, and security. However, we can still make a difference to mitigate climate change. Just simply start with things that you can change in your everyday life - with a bit of experience and over time, it is possible for everyone to live a more sustainable lifestyle and lower our carbon footprint. You can start by calculating your annual carbon footprint and utilize this resources page to take action to be more sustainable!

Sustainability is a universal goal and everybody, regardless of age or nationality can do their part to make a positive impact.

To interact and learn more about the various local organizations that are committed to promoting sustainability and what resources are available for you please visit The Green Zone at the National City Chamber of Commerce Annual Events. 

Content for this section provided in part by, NASA's Global Climate Change Website.

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