Global Warming Solutions For Government And Consumers
By Bryan Wong
The technology and ingenuity already exists to reduce the threat of global warming. This includes solutions that will stimulate the American economy by creating jobs, saving consumers money, and protecting our national security.
By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as increase the efficiency of the cars we drive, we can take important steps to reducing our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels that are contributing to the threat of global warming.
By using energy more efficiently and using more renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and bio-energy, we would significantly reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2,) methane, and nitrous oxide.
The United States currently produces 70% of its electricity from fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil, but only 2% from renewable sources. Since the burning of fossil fuels releases large amounts of CO2, which is the leading cause of global warming, into the atmosphere, increasing the share of electricity generated from renewable resources would be one of the most effective ways to reduce global warming emissions.
Another effective way to reduce global warming emissions would be to reduce the emissions from cars and trucks, since they produce 25% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. A sensible and realistic way of reducing emissions from cars and trucks would be to create better cars, minivans, and bigger cars. They would be just as powerful and safe as the ones currently on the road, but they would get 40 miles per gallon or more.
By having better transmissions and engines, more aerodynamic designs, and stronger yet lighter material for the vehicle's body, these vehicles would increase the average fuel economy of the current automotive fleet from 24 to 40 miles per gallon over 10 years. This would be the equivalent of taking 44 million cars off the road, which not only would save individual drivers thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle, but also would reduce the CO2 emissions into our atmosphere.
More than 50% of America's electricity is still being produced from outdated, coal-burning power plants that dump pollutants and heat-trapping gases into our atmosphere. Power plants account for one-third of the U.S. total of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
By increasing our use of clean renewable energy, investing in energy efficiency, and reducing pollution from fossil fuel plants, consumers will save money, heat-trapping emissions will be reduced, and the U.S. would have less need for new coal and gas power plants.
A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that we could reduce our power plant CO2 emissions by 60% compared with government forecasts for 2020. This would result in a $440 billion savings for consumers, which translates to $350 annually per family by 2020.
Another good solution against global warming is using more major appliances that comply with new or updated standards. Clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters, furnaces, and boilers all comply with these standards. In 2006, new standards for air conditioners took effect that increased efficiency by 23% over the old standard. This will result in less need for medium-sized power plants in the future. Further progress and gains can be made when it comes to commercial equipment like refrigerators, heaters, furnaces, and public lighting.
Another way to reduce CO2 emissions into our atmosphere is by protecting threatened forests, which store carbon, the base of CO2. When these forests are cut down and/or burned, the trees release their carbon, which raises the level of CO2 in our atmosphere. In fact, tropical deforestation accounts for 20% of all human-caused CO2 emissions each year.
Finally, we can help to reduce CO2 emissions by supporting American ingenuity. The U.S. Government has made some progress in reducing CO2 emissions by developing renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. Federal research dollars have driven technological advances in fuel cells, which runs engines on hydrogen fuel and emits only water vapour.
However, the US Government can do more to contribute to global warming solutions; while investing roughly $1.4 billion in fossil fuel research and nuclear research in 2001, it only invested $376 million for all renewable energy technologies combined. More vehicle research needs to be conducted on hybrid and fuel cell cars, renewable ethanol fuel, and the cleanest forms of hydrogen production.
As you can see, there are many solutions that can be undertaken, both by the government and by the consumer, in order to reduce the threat of global warming. Steps should be taken as quickly as possible to avert the most damage; the longer we wait to take action, the more damage that will occur from our CO2 emissions and the less effect our CO2-reducing efforts will have in protecting our world from global warming.
Bryan Wong is the owner of the global warming website http://www.geteasyinfo.com/globalwarming
A great website that shares quality Info, News and TIPS on Global Warming.
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