Energy & Climate Change


It’s important to be aware of how climate change is effecting our community, to prepare for a future with more extreme weather and increase our resilience. Also, to consider our own actions in the path to sensible decarbonization. Here’s some ideas for those of us lucky enough to be living in Southern Baja.

Sea level rise predictions for Los Barriles. Blue is best case, red is with drastic pollution cuts. Every degree of temperature makes a massive difference. Source: Climate Central Coastal Risk Screening Tool

Vote

Being an environmental voter is the number one action citizens can take. Talk to your local election office about voting online as an overseas voter. Americans can get help from the Overseas Vote Foundation. Once you’re registered (and vote) then consider taking the next step. Call your Senator and Congressperson to ask for environmental policy. This is what will move the needle. Citizens’ Climate Lobby offers a monthly calling tool with the phone numbers and simple scripts to read to the congressional staffer. Check it out HERE.

Electricity: consider solar

The electricity from our electric company is generated at a fossil fuel plant in La Paz. It pollutes the air and hurts the people who live nearby. One great option is solar energy to power your home, and soon your vehicles! Los Barriles has local solar installers who can help. Ward (contact info needed).  Cody from ToroNet does solar – email Cody at cody@toronet.mx – and Cabo Green Power –  624-122-0346  david@cabogreenpower.com

Building materials

Construction of a new home is a gigantic source of carbon pollution that drives climate change. So when you build your dream home in Baja you can consider a few options. First, size. A smaller home is more efficient to build and operate. Second, materials. Check out alternatives to concrete block that will help your homes performance and could also lower the “high carbon intensive materials” like concrete block and cement.

Earth/adobe is a sustainable building material to consider. Compressed earth blocks using adobe are made locally in Buenos Aires: Earth-Block.com. Earth-Block.com 100% ecological building blocks. Structurally and thermally superior to any other building material available now in the Baja.   earthblockbcs@gmail.com

People are also using classic adobe, you can stay in an adobe casita at Rancho La Venta. Some neighbors are also putting the same earth/adobe mix into bags and building their walls themselves, a technique called “super adobe.” Folks have done large scale earth homes using cob, check out this luxurious private ocean front home: Casa Concha, which is for rent (and sale).

Recycled styrofoam blocks are also available, they perform better in heat than traditional concrete block. Our co-founder Theresa built her home with this, as did one of our biggest community supporters, Yoga Garden in Los Barriles: EF Block. EF Block: Recycled, reformed, polystyrene construction system Kay: skuekert@yahoo.com 624-142-8158 MX/ 541-234-4426 US

With climate change we know it’s going to get hotter, so it’s very wise to consider building material that will protect you.

Transportation

Pollution from our vehicles is not great to breathe, and as our region grows it’s more important to reduce tailpipe pollution. Batch your driving trips, plan for future electric vehicle charging at your property, and consider buying an e-bike instead. When it comes time to replace your existing vehicle, see if you can go smaller, and go electric.

Talk about climate change

Climate scientist and communicator Katherine Hayhoe says the most important thing we can do about climate change is to talk about it. Talk with your friends, neighbors, and workers. Read her great book: Saving Us with your book club. Be an advocate for climate solutions and be part of ensuring future generations can enjoy Baja – with a livable climate – like we do.

American greenhouse gas category breakdown

Greenhouse gas emissions/pollution in the United States, as per the EPA.

Global emissions have a different mix of sources, however electricity and heat production (or cooling) remain the same, around 1/4 of all GHG pollution.