Energy Use Leads to Greenhouse Gas Emissions
It has become a part of common wisdom that decreasing energy consumption is good for the environment, but how exactly saving energy helps the environment may not be readily apparent. When humans use energy, it produces a negative externality in the form of greenhouse gas emissions; each bit of energy we use translates into corresponding release of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and other harmful gases. When using certain types of energy, this release is more easily identified than others–for instance, burning gasoline in a car creates a direct release of CO2 and other gases into the air. In the case of electricity, the harmful emissions are not created at the home of the end user but at the power plant that generates the electricity. Coal power plants release greenhouse gases in large quantities. Certain types of plants, such as hydroelectric power and wind power generators may not release greenhouse gases themselves, but the materials used to construct them are made in facilities that release greenhouse gases. Therefore, lower energy demand from energy-saving measures translates into less stress on energy plants and less need to construct new plants, which results in fewer harmful gas emissions.
Greenhouse Gases Encourage Global Warming
Greenhouse gases like CO2 are considered the primary cause of global warming by many scientists, which is why limiting energy is so important for the environment. Greenhouse gases have the ability to trap infrared heat radiation from the sun, so the more greenhouse gases there are in the atmosphere, the hotter the atmosphere becomes. Growing demand for energy, especially in the form of gasoline, has led to a huge increase in global greenhouse gas emissions. By limiting the use of energy, especially dirty energies such as gasoline, one can make a positive impact on reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. Read the rest of this entry »