“All across the world, in every kind of environment and region known to man, increasingly dangerous weather patterns and devastating storms are abruptly putting an end to the long-running debate over whether or not climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster”.
– BARACK OBAMA, speech,
Apr. 3, 2006
Let’s talk carbon
Are you wondering what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint? Every individual in this world, has their own power to decrease their carbon footprint, and there are plenty of ways to do that. We always encourage people to think about their personal lifestyle decisions, along with seeking some different opportunities to reduce their impact on climate change.
Some ideas to begin reducing your carbon footprint are lowering the carbon footprint of your vehicle, your travel, your home, a special occasion, your work or office, and your overall life.
Below explains how you can reduce your carbon footprint…
- 1) Of your vehicle. Some ways you can do this are knowing to accelerate slowly and more smoothly than how you normally would, drive the speed limit, continue doing a steady speed, and prepare to stop and go. Also, make sure your vehicle has regular maintenances like oil changes, fuel filters, and so on. And be sure to have it running effortlessly, don not keep it running while you’re not in it.
- 2) Of your travel., You could carpool, combine your travel with another, you could also ride your bike or walk, which are great exercise methods as well. Think about if the trip is even worth it.
- 3) Of your home. When you’re at home, some great ideas to reduce your carbon footprint are to recycle the newspaper every week (do not throw out), and keep your heat and cool systems tuned and when it’s finally time to replace them, the best thing you can do it ask for ‘Energy Star’. Keep your water taps under control as well, like when you brush your teeth or shave, make sure to turn the water off when you’re not using it. Also, if you’re not using the TV, radio, water, etc, make sure you turn them off.
- 4) Of a special occasion. Whenever you receive invitations, recycle them. If you have empty boxes, wrapping paper or cards, especially on birthdays or Christmas, recycle them as well. Go to the store and purchase a big blue recycle box, it’s extremely cheap, and well worth it. Or you can just use one of the un-used boxes at home to store paper and cardboard.
- 5) Of your place of work/office. Everytime you leave work at the end of the day, be sure to turn your computer off, as well as the lights. While your at work ask yourself if you actually need to print. If you do, it is a great idea that you double-side print, as it saves paper. If you need to throw any paper out, it is substantial that you have a recycle box as every place of work wastes paper the most.
- 6) Of your overall life. If you at all receive mail that is complete junk, it is possible that you can call the company, and have your name removed from their lists. Eat less meat. If you are already a vegetarian, great. You save 3000 lbs of carbon dioxide per year at the least. Do not waste food, it gets thrown out, and produces methane in garbage depots, and carbon emissions as well from transporting the wasted grub.
- 1) Terrestrial/Biological sequestration
- 2) Geologic Sequestration
Factors on how the energy is received and lost into the atmosphere
Factors such as the solar radiation or the orbital movements of the earth, but today green house emissions largely from industrial processes has been the key impact in the climatic changes and they result to increased temperatures hence global warming.
The issue is global and affects all spheres of human existence and activities in the world and it’s sensitivity requires urgent response and stringent measures & policies to reduce gaseous emissions into the atmosphere, a move which made nations meet to discuss the way forward. Among the notable parties involved were developed nations who are key contributors to industrial and green house emissions resulting to higher changes of the climate.
In normal climatic conditions, there’s the rate at which energy is received from the sun and the rate at which it is lost into the atmosphere and it’s the key determinant of the equilibrium temperature and climate of earth. This energy is distributed around the globe by winds, ocean currents, and other mechanisms to affect the climates of different regions of the whole world.
“I don’t mean to imply that we are in imminent danger of being wiped off the face of the earth – at least, not on account of global warming. But climate change does confront us with profound new realities. We face these new realities as a nation, as members of the world community, as consumers, as producers, and as investors.
And unless we do a better job of adjusting to these new realities, we will pay a heavy price. We may not suffer the fate of the dinosaurs. But there will be a toll on our environment and on our economy, and the toll will rise higher with each new generation”.
– EILEEN CLAUSSEN
a way to achieve green house emission successfully
Kyoto Protocol is the most significant and recent legally binding agreement which compels developed nations to reduce emissions; with the commitment to the agreement coming to force in Feb 2005 after deliberations and consultations since the first meeting in 1997, and a target to achieve green house emission by 2030.
This is not the sole international treaty adopted to push for a limit in emissions which lead to global temperature rise but there are several as can be evidenced by the first step taken by several countries in 1992 by the formation of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
My name is Kayla, I’m 28, and I am a nurse at the hospital. I’ve noticed throughout the whole time I have been working there, that all of the nurses and doctors waste so much stuff.
Every morning I walk into work, there is always a big garbage bin by the entry way just filled to the top with paper, cardboard, food.. you name it. At first it didn’t bother me, but then I met this lady, Maryann, an old patient of mine, that was about 80 years of age. She had changed my outlook on life, and the way other people live, as well as the environment.
She used to always come in and out of the hospital for quite some time in the beginning of when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She was such a recycle freak. She would explain to me how horrible it was for people, the atmosphere, and especially, for the air. Of course she would always say something to the unit clerks and nurses. Yeah, she was that type of lady.
And no, he does not have diabetes, we checked him out. I was actually really surprised. He did eventually lose the weight, though. Maryann said he took some biking for weight loss classes.
Long story short, now I think it is important for everybody to recycle things. The population in this world is growing, not shrinking. Individuals around the world can honor the decrease of their waste, as they are not only helping to lower environmental damage, they are also making this earth a much better place.
How Carbon is Made Available in the Atmosphere
Well, first off, the atmosphere contains carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and methane which are both gaseous and work at heating the earth and this is usually a main concern to humans because it affects the climate and also can result to hazards like tsunamis if the concentration of these gases is unchecked.
Carbon is when the atmosphere combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas which traps heat in the atmosphere thus helps heating it up and prevents the earth from freezing. However if there is a lot of concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it could result to more heating of the earth thus resulting to a high rise of the atmospheric temperatures which results to global warming.
What is composed of carbon?
Human and animal bodies are also composed of carbon, and when they die and get buried, the carbon in them is transferred back to the earth. During respiration, humans and animals breathe in oxygen and in turn breathe out carbon dioxide.
Plants and trees also use carbon dioxide in combination with sunlight to aid in the process of photosynthesis which helps them to make food thus supporting their growth and development. The carbon later becomes part of the plants.
When plants and animals die and gets buried, they usually turns to fossil fuels such as coal or oil, both of which are made of carbon and when burnt by humans as they seek energy from the fossil fuels, the carbon dioxide escapes to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. This is potentially lethal because the processes contribute to a higher percentage of carbon emissions which rapidly induce global warming.
This is further worsened by the increased needs for energy from fossil fuels which is used by humans in manufacturing and other needs. Thus, fossil fuels continue to be burnt each day, leading to increase in carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.
Other human activities such as deforestation to create room for agricultural land or development of urban areas is also a key factor leading to unregulated levels of carbon since trees which are cleared can store relatively higher amounts of carbon than replacement of agricultural crops.
This also contribute to a higher percentage of carbon in the atmosphere especially through air pollution, which is destructive to plants and trees.
There is need for intervention to prevent further release of carbon in the atmosphere failure, to which the human lives will be on peril with further increases of carbon into the atmosphere.
There are very few objections to the theory as a whole; everyone in the scientific community agrees that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is on the rise, and almost everyone believes that it cannot help having some effect.
To declare, as some editorialists have done, that the warming has not yet appeared and therefore the theory is wrong is like arguing that a woman hasn’t yet given birth and therefore isn’t pregnant.
– BILL MCKIBBEN,
The End of Nature
Green Energy is Renewable Energy
Green energy, also often referred to as renewable energy, comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, algae and geothermal heat. The best benefit about tapping and using these energy resources instead of energy from fossil fuels such as coal energy is that they are renewable, meaning that they are naturally replenished after use.
Renewable energy sources also have a much smaller impact on the environment than energy from fossil fuels such as gasoline, which produce pollutants such as emitting carbon dioxide during combustion which largely contributes to rise in temperatures when it gets concentrated in the atmosphere and hence causes global warming.
Green energy however, utilizes energy sources that are readily available all over the world including in rural and remote areas such as wind energy or solar energy.
Green energy can replace fossil fuels in all major areas of use including the production of electricity, water or fuel for engine-powered machines.
The most prevalent type of renewable energy is the solar power from the sun which is turned into electricity. Since there are several uses of electricity today ranging from general lighting, to cooking, to heating and also for powering electronic devices, then solar energy makes a perfect match to replace electricity and thus a way for households to embrace green technology.
Wind power is also largely untapped despite the great potential it offers in the production of electricity.
Wind air is used to rotate turbines which provide electricity and since higher altitude areas have stronger winds, then it’s vital to put into use this power source because it offers a solution of reducing green house emissions and thus reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide which could be released in the environment in case power from fossil fuels was used.
Hydro-power also called hydroelectric power is also a good alternative which is also more efficient in the production of electricity since mass production can be easily achieved. Hydro-power is generated by forcing water running through massive dams to turn turbines.
Another source of green energy which should also offer a solution to green house emissions is geothermal power. Geothermal energy is found under the earth crust and originates from both the original formation of the planet and the radioactive decay of minerals. Geothermal energy occurs in the form of hot springs.
Biomass also offers a solution since organic materials which occur naturally such as wood waste, sawdust and combustible agricultural waste can be converted into energy with far fewer green house gas emissions than petroleum based fuel sources.
The good news is we know what to do. The good news is, we have everything we need now to respond to the challenge of global warming. We have all the technologies we need, more are being developed, and as they become available and become more affordable when produced in scale, they will make it easier to respond. But we should not wait, we cannot wait, we must not wait.
– AL GORE,
speech at National Sierra Club Convention,
Sept. 9, 2005
Capturing and Storing Carbon
The menace of global warming continues to crawl and threaten the whole globe due to the increase in emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Should the carbon dioxide emissions be allowed continue growing, then humans should be prepared to live with dire consequences of further increases in atmospheric temperatures which could see the rise of desertification hence complicating agriculture which can be equaled to more impoverished lives.
There will also be a upward rise of the sea-levels which eventually means more and stronger storms, hurricanes, tsunamis and other natural hazards of high scale ratings and thus can cause the loss to lives of many people as well as destruction to property worth millions of dollars.
This is because fossil fuels provide the largest portion of the world’s energy and thus fossil fuel-burning plants will still remain substantial even as much as we may try to embrace green technology.
After capturing the carbon dioxide emitted when these fossil fuels are burnt, it should be should be safely sequestered from the atmosphere and stored in safe reservoirs.
This is involves the process of capturing carbon dioxide from fossils fuel burning plants such as power stations before carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoirs for storage; it also involves the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then storing it to in reservoirs. The reservoirs are normally located underground deep into the earth’s crust or deep into the oceans.
1) Terrestrial/Biological Sequestration. This mainly involves the removal of carbon from the atmosphere by biologically means such as the use of plants and trees because during photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. This means that plants and trees cover should be maximized to increase carbon dioxide taking in by the plants.
Now when the plants die and organically rots, a portion the carbon in them is eventually stored in the soil but for effective carbon storage, the dead plants and trees should be sequestered.
To achieve this, humans should embrace reforestation and no-till agriculture. There also should be establishment of programs such as peat bogs and wetland restoration as well as range-land management.
2) Geologic Sequestration. This involves the process of capturing carbon dioxide which is released by fossil fuels-burning processes such as coal burning energy plants or natural gas-processing plants and then storing in reservoirs in deep underground geological zones such as deep into the ocean or in the earth’s crust.
There are several causes of carbon dioxide emissions and they can be divided into two categories; natural causes and human causes.
1) Natural causes include activities which emit carbon dioxide organically such as the decomposition of organic materials in the soil, volcanic activities which release gases from deep below the earth’s surface as well as respiration of animals like human beings who breathe in oxygen but breathe out carbon dioxide.
2) Human activities may include human settlements and economic activities which lead to deforestation. When trees are cut down, their reduction means that less carbon dioxide will be removed from the atmosphere since trees and plants in general take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. This is also a major contributor to global warming and desertification.
More complex human activities leading to high carbon dioxide emissions include the burning of fossil fuels as is common and widespread in industries and thus with the increased industrial processes and the needs to have products.
This means meeting certain set standards that humans consider conducive for better standards of life clearly mean that there will be increase in the emissions of carbon, unless there are laid down procedures and processes to capture the carbon emitted, a scenario which oft lacks since the process of carbon capture is too costly and could pose as an extra expense to industrial companies seeking to maximize revenues.
Human activities such as gasoline combustion in motor vehicle or airplanes also contribute to the emissions of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. This is also true for other engine-powered machines which require combustion of gasoline or other petroleum products.
Effects of Carbon Dioxide Emissions
When carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, more than plants can remove and thus remains in the air, it causes air pollution which leads to respiratory diseases such as asthma.
It can also lead to water pollution. This does not result directly from the carbon dioxide released into the air although it still counts when it rains but the largest portion is contributed by improper waste disposal by industries as well as the decomposition of organic materials in water supplies causing acidity in water bodies and supplies.
The main effect of water pollution can be felt by water creatures such as fish and also by wildlife which rely on untreated water for survival. This doesn’t mean that humans go scot free. The amount of healthy and drinkable water as well as water for irrigation purposes is also affected and thus reduced.
Carbon emissions also lead to soil pollution which greatly affects the production of adequate agricultural foods and thus poses great danger and threats of desertification aridity and consequently famine.
The most threatening and dangerous effect of carbon emission is Global Warming.
What can Be done about these carbon emissions?
To curb and ensure reduction of carbon in the atmosphere, then there should be policies, measures, mechanisms and actions which must be observed and adhered. For instance carbon sequestration could greatly contribute to the capture of carbon hence it’s reduction. But this is done on industrial scale and on human levels the adaptation of green energy is a great step towards the reduction of atmospheric pollution of the air such as the use of solar energy. Industries need to go green to.
Think of reforestation. This is a mechanism which needs to be greatly enforced since it offers a long term and quiet affordable solution.
It’s also paramount to sensitize the human population about the potential threats of carbon in the air and urge then to embrace the use of alternative energy such as devices which use solar energy. They could also use public transport instead of personal vehicle to commute hence less emissions from gasoline combustion.