Much of the technology and ingenuity required to seriously reduce the threat of global warming already exist. This includes solutions that are going to stimulate the American economy because they will be creating jobs, saving consumers and government money, and will be helpful to protect our national security. The Global Warming meme is on and the key is sustainable or renewable energy.
By committing to and investing in renewable energy and, just as important, the energy efficiency of appliances we use and the cars we drive, we can take significant steps towards minimizing our dependency on fossil fuels. We know that our consumption of oil is contributing to the threat of global warming.
We should (and are capable of) use energy much more efficiently and benefit from much more renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, and bio-energy. We must rapidly work towards a significant reduction of emissions of heat-trapping gasses, like carbon dioxide (CO2) methane, and nitrate oxide. We need well-educated executive managers who are ready to go all the way.
In the United States, we currently produce 70% of our electricity by burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil. Only a meager 2% of our energy comes from renewable sources. Because burning fossil fuels leads to the release of huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 is the major cause of global warming and expanding the production of electricity gained from renewable resources is definitely among the most powerful approaches to decrease global warming emissions.
One more efficient strategy to reduce emissions that lead to global warming would be the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by cars and truck. Actually, vehicles produce around 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. We do have the technological know-how to implement a smart and realistic approach for reducing emissions coming from cars and trucks. It would be relatively simple to create better and bigger cars and minivans, they would be equally powerful and safe as the current ones, but they would run at least 50-60 miles to the gallon. Besides this approach, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the reliability of electric cars.
This development will not be stopped, and by the time we produce our electricity in a sustainable way, electrical powered transportation is going to contribute immensely to the reduction of global warming. But before we go electric all the way, creating vehicles that have better transmissions and engines, better aerodynamic designs, and sturdier yet lighter material for the car’s body, would drastically increase the fuel economy of current automobiles by over 50 percent at least. This increase of fuel-efficiency would be the equivalent of reducing the US car fleet by 44 million, resulting not only in the reduction of CO2 into our atmosphere but also would save individual drivers hundreds or thousands of dollars in fuel costs per year.
Today, over 50 percent of America’s electricity is still produced from old and inefficient coal-burning power plants that dump huge volumes of pollutants and greenhouse (heat-trapping) gasses into the atmosphere. Power plants are responsible for one-third of the total CO2 emissions in the U.S. By seriously increasing the use of clean, sustainable and renewable energy sources, investing heavily in energy efficiency, and dramatically decreasing pollution from fossil fuel plants, all consumers will reduce their costs, emissions of heat-trapping gasses will be reduced, and we would have considerably less need for new power plants.
A recent study, conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has learned that we can decrease the CO2 emissions of power plants by 60% in contrast to government predictions for 2020. For consumers, this might lead to a $440 billion financial benefits and this translates to roughly $350 per household per year by 2020.
An additional fine remedy against global warming is the use of more efficient appliances that comply with new standards. New washers and dryers, dishwashers, water heaters, A/C units, furnaces, and boilers all meet these new standards. New standards for air conditioners took effect in 2006, and that improved the electricity efficiency by 25% over the previous standard. Consequently, this will lead to less medium-sized power plants in the foreseeable future. If standards are revised for appliances like refrigerators, heaters, or public lighting, we could see further progress and gains.
CO2 emissions into the atmosphere can also be significantly reduced by protecting forests. Trees store carbon, the base of CO2. When forests are cut down or burned, the trees release their carbon and that raises the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. Actually, tropical deforestation is accountable for 20% of all human-caused CO2 emissions each year. Let’s do something about it.