Dear Mr/Mrs. President,
Alternative Energy and Why
We live in a rapidly changing world filled with new possibilities and opportunities at every second of the day. We are blessed to be living on such a beautiful planet, I mean we could be living on Jupiter with 186 year long hurricanes, we should value how we treat our only home. There are so many ways we can help preserve our environment that we live in and one that I think we should focus on is how we obtain energy. The United States currently gets 81% of its energy from fossil fuels; oil, coal and natural gas. We should use renewable energy options, such as wind, solar and hydropower, because fossil fuels are causing climate change and there are renewable energy sources that are better for the environment that will help preserve our beautiful Earth and ensure a home for future generations.
We need to use more renewable energy options because fossil fuels are causing climate change. When we burn fossil fuels, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere. It gathers in the atmosphere so when light energy from the sun come into the atmosphere it is trapped by the layer of CO2, this causes the planet to get warmer. Because we use fossil fuels as our main source of energy, the Earth is continually getting warmer. Although a significant number of people don’t believe in global warming, there are some serious effects of a warming planet. Ice sheets covering Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic have melted a concerning amount. This has caused sea levels to rise, so we can expect more rainfall. Other effects of global warming include; stronger hurricanes, flooding and our supply of fresh water will decrease. This is why need to invest in other options for energy. We can’t use fossil fuels for energy and still expect the earth to function the same way as it always has. The Earth is our home and if we keep treating the environment the way we do now we will create an environment that can’t sustain life as we know it.
While fossil fuels are cheaper and easier to obtain, there are options that are better for the earth. There are renewable sources, like hydroelectric and solar, that are cheaper, don’t produce as much carbon dioxide and can support new jobs. Solar energy is free, it comes from the sun, and produces only 0.2 to 0.07 pounds of CO2 gas per kilowatt-hour compared to natural gas which produces 0.6 to 2 pounds of CO2 gas per kilowatt-hour or coal which produces 1.4 to 3.6 pounds of CO2 gas per kilowatt-hour. With this much of a difference in CO2 between renewable sources and fossil fuels, we could lighten the load of CO2 on the earth’s atmosphere. Solar energy can support new jobs for manufacturers, maintenance workers, and researchers. Renewable alternative options are new for the U.S and there is still research to be done and transitions to be made but there are opportunities for jobs and for the U.S to lead the world with alternative energy. If small changes are made now, we could make huge changes for the future.
In recent discussions of climate change, a controversial issue has been whether global warming is real or not. Some argue that there has been no proof of rising temperature in the past twenty years. Others argue that we must look at the past century to see a change in temperature. According to NASA official Charles Ichoku, the earth’s temperature usually rises four to seven degrees celsius over 5,000 years and in just the past century the Earth’s temperature has risen 0.7 degrees celsius, which is about ten times faster than the usual rate. If we continue this pattern the temperature could rise 35 degrees celsius over the next 5,000 year. According to this view, the planet is warming, it may not be as fast as we thought but it is still rising. In sum, the issue is whether you chose to look at the recent past or to look at our entire past and future. Global climate change is important because if we do not accept it, we will be in trouble in the near future. Our planet could be unlivable, and if life doesn’t matter to you, what does?
We can help preserve our home for the future if we can recognize that the earth needs help and we can help our environment. We should use renewable energy options because fossil fuels are changing our climate and there are better options for the environment that won’t damage it. Fossil fuels will destroy the earth if we continue to use them as our main source of energy and just because fossil fuels are cheaper does not mean we should use them. If we value money over the earth, what does that say about our country?
"Benefits of Renewable Energy Use." Union of Concerned Scientists. N.p., 8 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
"Explore Solar Careers." Department of Energy. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
"Home." Alternative Energy Sources. N.p., July 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Ichoku, Charles. "How Is Today’s Warming Different from the Past?" NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
"The National Academies Presents: What You Need to Know About Energy." Fossil Fuels — The National Academies. N.p., Feb. 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Pollack, H. N. A World without Ice. New York: Avery, 2010. Print.