OSLO (Reuters) - Thousands of bloggers including a European Commissioner traded tips on Monday about how to confront climate change and other environmental problems in an Internet blitz.
Organizers of the October 15 U.N.-backed “Blog Action Day” said about 15,800 sites had signed up and were offering ideas to millions of people via blogs, or online diaries, ranging from planting more trees to how to recycle plastics.
“Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future,” according to www.blogactionday.com.
The blogs are a new sign of concern about the environment, reflected in everything from a U.N. summit about climate change last month to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the U.N. climate panel on Friday.
“There are big differences in national levels of environmental awareness — though my impression is that the level is increasing pretty much everywhere at the moment,” EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas wrote in his blog.
The U.N. Environment Programme said that “by uniting the world’s blogging community, we can reach a combined audience of millions to raise awareness of the environment, get people thinking and trigger a global debate.”
UNEP spokesman Nick Nuttall said people often felt overwhelmed by global environmental problems — bloggers such as one called “Dumblittleman.com” could help with their tips on recycling household items such as blue jeans or eyeglasses.
Jeans, for instance, can be cut up and used in other clothing. Glasses can sometimes be re-used, often by people in developing nations, if handed in to a specialized recycler.
“This is the first blog action day of its kind. Hopefully it can go from strength to strength,” Nuttall said. Any revenues were meant to go to green charities.
Fielding online questions, Dimas said new EU members Romania and Bulgaria would have to invest in curbing pollution to meet EU standards. And he said the EU would consider going it alone if U.N. rules on pollution from ships seemed too lax.
Among other blogs, Copyblogger.com said that “tiny actions can save the world” and encouraged people to shift to lightbulbs that used less energy, or to quit a job requiring a long commute and instead start up a home-based business.
Others included more practical sites such as “ask the career counsellor” or “Indian cookery podcast”.
The U.N. climate panel said this year it was at least 90 percent likely that human activities, led by burning fossil fuels, were stoking warming that would lead to more heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising seas.