In a world where most artists are interested in making their mark on this world, Albert Gilewicz is interested in reducing, possibly even erasing, his own carbon foot prints; and he encourages everyone else to do the same. Speaking before a small crowd at the House on the Hill at Cheraw State Park last Thursday, Gilewicz’s topic was titled Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.
“Do you believe humans significantly affect climate change?” Gilewicz asked his audience, several of whom nodded.
According to Gilewicz, research has shown that “97 percent of climatologists believe humans affect climate change.” Statistics also show, he said, that only 58 percent of the American general public is convinced humans have an affect on the environment. And in Europe, Gilewicz said the same research determined 85 percent of the general public agrees with the climatologists.
“I’m not a tree hugging, granola eating hippie,” said Gilewicz, “my approach is more pragmatic. The key is responsibility.”
Why are people reluctant to believe they have an affect on climate changes, is what puzzles Gilewicz. Do people argue with their doctors when they’re diagnosed with cancer, he asked. “What if they’re (the climatologists) right?”
Gilewicz is convinced that everyone can, and should, make a difference. His own daughter was not convinced of his energy saving strategies, Gilewicz said, until he replaced every single bulb in her apartment with energy saving bulbs and she saved $17 on her electricity bill the next month.
Gilewicz brought his message home by pointing out countries around the world that share our exact line of latitude, such as Tunsania and China. He talked about how these countries are experiencing some of the same problems, such as drought, that face Chesterfield County.
It’s quite possible, said Gilewicz, if climates continue to rise, “your beautiful South Carolina Jessamine will be growing in Buffalo. However, he emphasized, “you can drive the way this county moves forward, ” by your reducing your waste, reusing and conserving energy.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Gilewicz’s visit to Cheraw was sponsored jointly by the Cheraw Arts Commission, the Four Seasons Garden Club and the Cheraw State Park. His Sustainable Sculpture Series, recently exhibited at the Mary G. Burr Gallery at the Cheraw Community Center, consists of soapstone carvings. The E-5 on US 1 project explores the impact of climate change on South Carolina with specific focus on water, energy and lifestyle. The underlying theme revolves around the economy, environment, ethics, education, and energy.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, ext. 224, or by email at email@example.com.