An Innovative Tool for Visualizing, Understanding & Addressing the Carbon Crisis

Posted In: News, National,   From Issue 796   By: Robert E Martin

11th September, 2014     0

For several decades Bay City environmentalist Pat Race has focused his passionate commitment towards conservation and preservation of the natural splendor and inherent value of our national resources through a profound two-prong commitment of education and activism.

As the necessity for implementing carbon reduction has accelerated over recent years, Race has developed an innovative educational tool called The Climate Stick that fulfills a twin objective of providing assistance in discussing the climate crisis, while also forging a symbol for the environmental movement to stop the burning of carbon as people begin wearing it as jewelry and using it as apparel to accessorize their daily wardrobe.

Race has pulled together an IndieGoGo campaign to market The Climate Stick as a widespread teaching tool, setting a fundraising goal of $22,000 that will be used to produce & distribute 20,000 Climate Stick Pendants at the Peoples Climate March in New York City on September 21st.

After the September March, people will be able to obtain more Climate Stick items such as earrings, necklaces, and posters they can use to join this process of education until the goal of carbon reduction is achieved. Any profits from these activities will be shared by the non-profit Climate Stick project with and several other groups focused upon mutual goals for environmental improvement.

The Impact

“Many people are very worried about how fast our climate is changing and how soon these changes will dramatically affect our ability to feed the 7-billion plus people who now inhabit the earth, not to mention the increasingly severe and major climate related events we now see weekly on our TV screens. However, conversation about these issues is so filled with half-truths and competing technologies that we have not been able to create a consensus with the political will to overcome the strength of the fossil fuel industry and it’s supporters,” states Race.

“I have been giving presentations about climate change for more than six years and have engineering, educational & business experience in changing how organizations function,” continues Race. “The facts and focus of the climate debate have changed over time, but it is still difficult to convey quickly and clearly what is at stake as we burn more carbon.””

“But ten weeks ago I discovered a way to make the complete problem clearer with a simple picture – The Climate Stick – that allows people to visualize the issue and understand why it needs to be addressed in ways they had not been able to before.”
“The Climate Stick for Climate Action project is an attempt to bring the use of this visual item to the national conversation of how we turn the corner and start to address the climate crisis. We all know that a mass movement is needed to free up the money that subsidizes coal and oil so that green energy sources can be advanced and brought into implementation a lot sooner than the year of 2050 that is given lip-service in current debate.”

The groups website at allows people to purchase a wide array of Climate Stick items while building a mass movement to stop the burning of fossil fuel by 2022.  “Climate Stick items and pendants are excellent educational tools for teachers to use,” notes Race, “plus we offer over 16 different Climate Stick items with more on the way. People can order Climate Sticks by the dozen and there is even a Custom Fired Glass Climate Stick pendant that you can give to that ‘special someone’ that helps you get through that ‘does any of this make sense’ part of the day,” smiles Race.
Green, Black, Yellow & Red: The Story of the Climate Stick

The Green • The green represents the last 11,000 years up to 1804 CE (estimated date of reaching one billion people on the planet). It is the time when humans developed agriculture and during that time the CO2 in the atmosphere was about 275ppm and the average earth temperature was 55 °F. The total CO2 in the atmosphere was about 2300 Gigatons. The greenhouse effect from the CO2 was beneficial. It helped keep the climate consistent enough for us to develop agriculture in many places on the globe, and allowed for the human population to grow to 1 billion people.

The beginning of the Industrial Age starts sometime after 1750 CE and between then and 1850 CE there was little addition of CO2 by humans to the atmosphere. Choosing 1804 when the population was estimated to reach one billion is a convenient, but arbitrary, date for the change from Green to Black.

The Black • The black represents the additional CO2 in the atmosphere that has mostly been added by humans burning coal, oil and natural gas. What began with the steam engine has continued until 2011 with the result of having 396ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, which added an additional 1,852 Giga Tons of CO2. The average Earth temperature increased 1.5 °F because of this increase in CO2 and in methane which is mostly produced to provide milk and meat for more and more people.

Within the Black section is a Yellow Stripe showing when the CO2 in the air reached 350ppm – the amount that is believed to be the maximum amount of CO2 that can exist in the atmosphere without beginning to change the climate patterns of the last 11,000 years. This level was passed in 1988. Since then in ever increasing ways the climate has started to change, causing more and stronger floods, droughts and more destructive hurricanes. And of course: expanding oceans, melting Greenland and Antarctic ice and increasing ocean, land and air temperatures.

For discussion purposes the line between the Black and Yellow band represents now (2014) and the current level of CO2 is about 400ppm. You can use the Climate Stick from the Yellow through the Red to represent the future and the Green and the Black represent the past.

The Yellow • The Yellow represents the estimated amount of 565 Gigatons of additional CO2 that can be placed in the atmosphere before causing the surface temperature to increase by 3.6°F. At this temperature much of agriculture will be disrupted by changes in the climate and the minimum need for food to feed the 7-9 Billion people on the planet will not be met. As we move forward in time more people will have a harder time getting the food they need to sustain themselves. Some scientists believe that we have 15 years before major food shortages occur; others think that 30 to 40 years is left before the 3.6°F limit is reached. The Yellow represents both the additional CO2 that can be added before major disruptions of the food growing capacity occur, and at the same time it represents 25% of the total amount of fossil fuel that the fossil fuel industry has on its books to burn by 2050.

The Red  • The large oil and coal companies and the petro/fossil fuel states such as Saudi Arabian, Russia, USA and Venezuela have $28 Trillion worth of carbon in the ground that they intend to burn by 2050. Only $7 Trillion of that can be burned without the temperature exceeding a 3.6°F increase. The Red section is three times as large as the Yellow section.

So what • Noted scientists and activists, like James Hansen, Bill McKibben and others have written books, hundreds of articles and made thousands of presentations. They are so fearful of the future their grandchildren will inherit that they have been arrested multiple times at the White House to bring attention to the climate crises.

What will you do now to help eliminate the BURNING OF CARBON FOR ENERGY? Technology exists to turn this tide around and green alternative forms of energy are becoming increasingly more economical & viable to sustain our economy.

Bill McKibben has said ‘Very few people on earth ever get to say, ‘I am doing right now the most important thing I could possibly be doing,” concludes Pat Race. “If people join this fight that’s what they will get to say. This statement directs what I do in my life. Living it produced the Climate Stick. If you think the Climate Stick would help you argue for a sane energy policy and we can stop the burning of carbon, then Bill might just be right.”

Editor’s Note: Please see the display ad on the accompanying page to find more information about The Climate Stick Project.  You can visit their website at and also check out a video about the project at Climate Stick for Climate Action on youtube.

For ordering Climate Stick pendants, posters, and products for as little as $3.00 go to


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