Few issues are as important to the sustainability and future of our planet as global warning. Global warming is a widely debated topic, and some people downplay the thought that mad-made pollution and deforestation is causing strange weather patterns and damaging the environment and atmosphere. Those who recognize its effects, however, are keen to take decisive action and minimize the damage before it is too late. This way of thinking has spurred an interest in using alternative energy instead of traditional fossil fuels.
The Problem With Fossil Fuels
The infrastructure of many societies and industries rely heavily on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, like coal, gas and oil, are formed naturally in the earth and then mined or extracted to be used a source of fuel and energy. Fossil fuels are used to heat homes, power transportation and provide energy to just about everything that needs it. However, the formation process takes millions of years and, quite simply, once these levels have been depleted, it will be a very long time before more can be found. With population and economic levels growing exponentially, these finite supplies could be gone within a lifetime. Also, fossil fuels produce dangerous levels of carbon dioxide when they are burnt to create energy. It is these harmful emissions, or ‘greenhouse gases’, that are damaging the atmosphere, and they are one of the major contributors to global warming.
Emerging Energy Sources
There has been a huge shift in attitude towards turning ‘green’ in recent years. Many big industries, as well as the general public, have been eager to invest and embrace cleaner sources of energy. Wind energy is highly effective and off-shore wind farms continue to be created in the United Kingdom, as well as across Europe. These turbines convert the kinetic energy provided by wind into electricity, and they can be powered by even gentle breezes. Solar power continues to grow in popularity, and many households are fitting solar panels to convert sunlight into energy. Solar panels can greatly reduce the cost of central heating, and just a few panels can help heat a home’s water tank. Also, hydropower is a way to harness moving water and rainfall into a source of energy. Although it has been used for centuries, recent developments can convert this power into electricity on a large scale.
New Energy Sources Changing The Planet
A worldwide investment in alternative energy and a gradual change from fossil fuels will greatly benefit the planet. Reducing emissions and greenhouse gases will help curb the effects of global warming, and using renewable energy will stop the wasteful exhaustion of natural resources. Alternative energy will create a green and sustainable future. Households can reap the benefits, too, as energy prices will no longer be dictated by escalating prices in coal, oil and gas.
Alternative energy has struggled to make a foothold and emerge as a viable alternative to fossil fuel. It still requires research and development, and some current government subsidies are not attractive enough to convince industries and consumers to completely change over from fossil fuel. However, progress is being made, and a widespread adoption of renewable energy will greatly benefit the planet and society.
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