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Global warming report

The cover of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

We've been inundated with some really tough news stories lately, and worrying about the Earth warming a couple of degrees Fahrenheit seems like the last thing we want to do.

But we have to worry.

The latest United Nations report shows that by the time today's babies graduate college or join the workforce, our planet is going to be a very different place. The New York Times did a great visual breakdown here

So what do we do?

I'll have a story later about what's being done locally in the Adirondack region, and how this warming will show its impact.

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For now, however, one good resource I've found is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's carbon footprint calculator. You can enter information about your household energy use, your mode of transportation, your garbage and recycling habits. There are other calculators out there, too, if you do a Google search.

This one will come up with an estimate of the number of pounds of carbon your household produces annually, and compares that to the average household in your area.

The calculator includes "what-if" scenarios like, what if you drove 100 miles fewer a year? What if you air-dried your laundry? What if you started recycling your newspapers and magazines? These then get calculated to see how much you could help reduce carbon emissions if you adopt these new habits.

Every little bit helps. Check out the calculator and see how you might be able to make a difference: www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or gcraig@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1

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