Surely by now you’ve heard about global warming and how climate change poses a huge threat to humanity, especially if it is not tackled and controlled sooner rather than later. Global warming is the gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally associated with the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. Greenhouse gas emissions have already caused damaging events that have impacted our livelihood such as extreme weather, rising sea levels, and a great deal of pollution in our air.
Most scientists would agree that the cause of the current global warming crisis is accredited to human activities. Humans have increased the atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third since the Industrial Revolution began, through acts such as deforestation, land use changes, and the burning of fossil fuels. Though carbon dioxide is a minor but important component of the atmosphere and is produced naturally through respiration and volcanic eruption, human activity is the most important accelerate driver of climate change. Industrial activity in the last 150 years has raised carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million.
Some could even assume that the sun’s change in energy output would cause the climate change, since it is the fundamental source of energy that controls our climate system. The sun has in the past played a role in climate change with a decrease in solar activity along with an increase in volcanic activity, but that does not explain the current changes. Human activity is indeed the largest contributor to the current global warming dilemma. This has been confirmed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which consists of 1,300 independent scientific experts from the United States and all over the world, in their assessment reports. The Fourth National Climate Assessment Report for example concludes that by 2050 carbon emissions must be cut 100%, making a complete transition to renewable energy sources. If not, the damage to come will be catastrophic and cannot be reversed.
Some results of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, causing climate change are:
- Shifting wildlife populations and habitats, as well as animal extinction.
- The loss of livable land at low altitudes because of rising sea levels.
- Less fresh drinking water due to melting glaciers which store roughly three-quarters of the world's fresh water.
- Acidic oceans threatening marine life, ecosystems, and the food chain.
- Severe droughts that lead to wildfires, lost crops, and water shortages.
- Disruption in our food supply from both crops and meat production from rising temperatures.
- Higher global food prices, inflation, poverty and other economic threats.
- Thriving species like mosquitos, ticks, jellyfish, and crop pest.
- Diseases spread such as mosquito-borne malaria and zika virus.
- Dying forest from tree-killing insects, fires, heat and drought stress.
- Rain increase causing flooding or extreme cold in some regions with intensified snowfall.
- Hurricanes becoming stronger, more intense and frequent.
- Fierce heat waves that can lead to the loss of lives.
Humans all over the world are presently making efforts to curb the issue of global warming. Countries all over the globe including the majors have established goals to address both climate change as well as economic inequalities. To keep global warming at bay, human activity has to change. To ensure sustainability, we must completely move away from burning fossil fuels that clog the atmosphere. Renewable energy is a source of energy that does not deplete when used, nor does it destroy our ozone. Fossil fuels cannot sustain us because eventually they will run out. At the present rate of consumption, that could be by the twenty-second century.
At the head of the renewable energy mission is the solar industry leading the charge. Solar has proven to be one of the best renewable options because it uses the sun’s radiation which is an unlimited fuel source, and if produced on a massive scale can transition us towards sustainability.
Key points as to why solar is the best renewable energy source:
- The sustainable nature of solar protects the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generation.
- Solar is cost effective and reduces the dependency on expensive fuel and gas.
- It has no harmful emissions that pose a threat to the environment.
- Solar panels are recyclable and last a minimum of 25 years.
- Solar panels help reduce hazardous waste that coal and oil based energy plants produce.
- It reduces air and water pollution, and does not emit greenhouse gasses.
- Solar reduces the risk of health hazards like respiratory issues, various kinds of cancers, and cardiovascular problems.
The use of residential, commercial and agricultural solar is a great way for you to offset your carbon emissions. In addition to saving on energy expenses, we can save the world with the use of solar power. Not every home, commercial property, or area of land will be suitable for solar but there are many ways that we can all pitch in to improve our planet, its sustainability, as well as our health and survival. For example, primary, general and local voting are great ways to make sure that laws, policies and incentives are in place that support green objectives. Driving electric vehicles that can be charged with solar powered charging stations, recycling, building with recyclable materials, or even cleaning up litter are also a few other ways we can do our part. We are all equally accountable, responsible and must take action to sustain our future. Here at PurePoint Energy, our mission will continue one solar module installation at a time.