Fossil Fools Day

Image borrowed from National Geographic

Day 91 – It is no joke that the use of fossil fuels is not good for the planet. However, we rely on them everyday. The gas in our cars, the flame on our stoves and the electricity needed to power our lights are just a few ways we have become dependent on fossil fuels . It is such an efficient source of energy and even its byproducts are used to produce plastic, which can be found in pretty much everything. Unfortunately, the use of fossil fuels is killing our planet. The release of fossil fuels pollutes the air (among other things) and increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which contributes to greenhouse gases. Like an actual greenhouse that traps heat to keep plants and other vegetation nice and warm during the cooler months, greenhouse gases are trapped in our atmosphere and heats up the planet. The more greenhouse gases, the more heat that is produced. This increase in temperature is causing global warming.

So, what can be done? What is the answer to this global problem?

Well, the answer is renewable energy sources. There is much debate when it comes to fossil fuels vs. renewable energy. For me, it seems like a no brainer. Choose the energy sources that will stop destroying the planet.

  1. Biomass – wood waste, solid waste, biodiesel, etc.
  2. Hydropower
  3. Geothermal
  4. Wind
  5. Solar

Imagine a world, where we are able to power our homes with the waste we produce. It sounds like science fiction but it’s already happening at waste management facilities. This type of resource is only viable if the emissions given off by burning trash are kept from entering the atmosphere. Unfortunately, many facilities are not equipped and end up polluting the air.

In 2017, a press release from the Argonne National Laboratory discusses a paper written in the Journal of Cleaner Production, which helps assess the environmental benefits of various waste-to-energy production pathways while avoiding emissions of methane and other harmful air pollutants. The paper was written by Uisung Lee of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. In his paper, he writes,

“By using waste to produce energy, we can avoid emissions from landfills and potentially reduce the need for additional landfills across the country.” 

“Our study shows that using what would otherwise become landfill waste to produce fuel typically generates less greenhouse gases than simply letting the waste decompose.”

The work has already started to move our country and the world to renewable resources. So, what can we do to help the cause?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m in no position to purchase an electric car at the moment, or invest in a wind turbine. The solar panels, on the other hand, are something to look into. What I can do, is support renewable energy whenever and wherever it makes sense to do so. Realizing that this is the direction we all need to move to ensure a healthier planet is the first step. Convincing an oil loving country that we need other options is a Herculean challenge, but as consumers, we have more power than we think.

Tomorrow, voting with our purchases.

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