My name is John Rivers and I am writing this blog to help raise awareness on the subject of climate change. I live in MN and have a beautiful wife, two great kids, and a dog that sleeps so much it makes me jealous. While I was always a little bit ‘granola’, I first started to learn about global warming about 10 years ago. I am a huge fan of PBS shows like NOVA, Frontline, and Nature and in the mid 2000’s it was not hard to find episodes talking about the topics I found interesting. This led to a greater desire to do things ‘green’ and think twice about decisions that used to be mundane.
Near the time the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, a good friend of mine showed me how to use a kill-a-watt meter to measure my electrical consumption and we embarked on a friendly contest to see who could use the least electricity. This led to cutting my families electrical usage to less than 1/3 of the previous average. We also added hybrid vehicles, 385 gallons of rain barrels, efficient lighting, insulation and numerous other small improvements. As time passed I became somewhat less vigilant and outspoken on the topic in part because in some circles I was viewed as a crazy tree hugger and in part because I knew that the changes my family had made were not enough to make a big difference for the planet.
In 2013 I had the opportunity to attend the Climate Reality training and was nudged by my good friend and my beautiful wife and off to Chicago I went. It was very beneficial to spend time with likeminded people and helped give me perspective that there is still a lot to accomplish but that in order to accomplish it, we need to ensure people are introduced to the facts on the reality of climate change. Like many challenges that have existed prior, change takes time and things are not accomplished without the efforts of many. My efforts will include this blog, presenting formally or informally on climate change to any groups or individuals who will listen, getting engaged in some of the many local groups, and trying to set the best example I can. For many people, thinking about taking action or making a sacrifice now to benefit their great grandchildren is too abstract; but we are already seeing evidence of climate change impacting us today and so for many, taking steps is becoming easier. My hope is to inspire some to take additional actions and for others, to engage in a peaceful and constructive dialog.