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This paper discusses views from different writers on the nature of the environmental crisis passed by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and discusses their suggestion for alternative, renewable energy sources available now and in the future.
Climate change due to CO2 emissions
The effects of climate change manifest in environmental degradation and various other global warming effects. As we continue spewing more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air, we are affecting the climate in many more ways. According to W., high concentrations of CO2 will boost worldwide temperatures by more than 4 degrees C. This will have the effect of increasing sea levels by 6 inches to 2 feet. Ice caps that cover most of temperate regions like Greenland and Arctic sea ice will start melt. Other changes that will be felt due to global warming include changes in efficiency in production of energy, rise of renewable energy and unknown changes in economic patterns. These changes of course will affect people in different ways and mostly in negative ways.
W. cautions on the excessive pumping of carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars, forests, industries, buildings and agricultural activities into the atmosphere. He says that evidence of excessive emission of these gases can be felt. Variety of independent research centers have documented that the planet has been on a warming trend and shows no signs of ending despite recent global temperature fluctuations. He say that more ice caps will melt, temperatures will rise because the CO2 pumped into the atmosphere stays there and is irreversible and its build up will result in ‘catastrophic’ warming .
Renewable energy sources
In a July 17, 2008 speech, W. speech dwelled on renewable energy. He said that the answer to saving the climate relied on first ending reliance on carbon based fuels. He suggested that the solution was to using inexpensive fuels that do not cause pollution. The first suggestion was solar energy, tapping and using even a small portion of this energy will provide all of electricity that America uses. The second suggestion is the use of wind energy, this alone can also meet 100 percent of America’s energy needs. The other suggestion to renewable energy is geothermal energy, which he said is capable of providing American homes and businesses with enough energy requirements. He cited that the government and the private sector are now using billions of dollars on new investments into the development of renewable sources of energy like concentrated thermal solar, photovoltaic, geothermal plants and windmills. He also highlighted on the importance of devising or improving a variety of ingenious ways to improve on efficiency and conserve wasted energy.
In his book The World is Flat, W. explains about why America needs ‘a green revolution and how it can renew America.’ He talks about renewable environmental technologies (ET) and writes that the country needs ‘Geo-greenism’ as a clean type of energy to save the world from overheating. In all he suggests the following as the best alternative renewable energy sources; geothermal energy, green power, wind power, solar energy, hydropower and being energy efficient.
Another senior writer at Climate Central, Michael D. Lemonick, suggests that because of technological drawbacks on conserving solar power, the best way to tap the sun’s energy on a 24-hour basis is to launch solar panels into space and beam the power back to earth what he calls ‘space-based solar power.’ W. suggests that although space-based solar power sounds rockets science for now, it can be a reality in future. Another suggestion is non-carbon energy sources to help avoid worst effects of climate change.
Effects of excessive CO2 and other greenhouse gases will be catastrophic if not contained now. Some of the effects like melting of ice caps, rising temperature and rising sea levels can be felt. To avoid further destruction, we need green energy solutions like geothermal energy, green power, wind power, solar energy, hydropower, space-based solar and being energy efficient.