By Barbara Kessler

I hate to promulgate bad news, but understanding the bad news is necessary to getting active in the green movement.

So here’s another of the FAQs I’ll point to from time to time. This one is a succinct summation which attempts to answer some of the natural questions that arise about global warming, its scope and urgency. It is from the website Climate Star(.org) which features several Hollywood stars promoting action to stop global warming and putting some image spin on the matter with the catchphrase, Global Warming Isn’t Cool. Stopping It Is.

orlando-bloom.gifI noticed Kevin Bacon on the list. Your teenager might be even happier to know that Orlando Bloom is a participant. So that seals it. It’s cool. Now we just need to get the word out!

I like Climate Star’s idea of working the green image. I also like that they offer a tool to calculate your carbon footprint. Other websites offer the same, but this one happens to be especially user friendly.

The idea behind the tool is that once you understand your carbon footprint, you can better track and reduce it. It’s really fundamentally simple: You measure your emissions and “wear and tear,” if you will, on the environment, and then give yourself credits back for what you do that is helpful or counterbalancing.

Climate Star is a partnership of the Earth Communications Office (ECO) and the Union of Concerned Scientists. You can see who is involved by visiting the ECO website. Their advisory board includes scientists from many disciplines, several environmental groups, politicians (yes, Al Gore among others), philanthropists and communicators (like Bill Nye, the Science Guy).