The more you look at the facts surrounding renewable energy the more powerful the argument is to make the switch.
For just a moment let’s remove the hype and politics and have a sincere dialogue about how renewable energy can impact your daily life. Leaving other people’s agenda out of the conversation and focusing just on the facts available, a clear and powerful argument unravels in support of renewable energy. Take into consideration that in a single day, on average, 16,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere by human energy consumption and that number is growing. Whether you believe global warming is real or not, that amount of carbon dioxide is neither healthy nor natural and I welcome an argument otherwise. Outside of the health factor, renewable energy can produce a 4 to 1 gain in jobs over the coal powered industries, that’s right, 4 jobs for every 1 in coal. Let’s delve a little deeper into these facts together as we are certain they will surprise you.
While the U.S. consumes around nine times more energy than other nations, China’s booming economy and lax pollution control methods is beginning to produce harmful side effects. Some experts believe that China may overtake the U.S. as the leading producer of greenhouse gases in the next few years. As proof of this, many Chinese cities are shrouded in a toxic gray cloud; it is so bad that according to the European Union only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million people living in cities have access to air considered safe. Additionally, estimates show that nearly 500 million people in China don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water. This severe air pollution has led to children dying from lead poisoning and has made cancer the leading cause of death in China. These heavy clouds of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are not only China’s problem; they are being carried across the ocean, spreading the particulate pollution to the American west coast states of California and Oregon. Ironically, it is because of China’s capabilities in providing renewable energy technologies, like solar panels, quickly and cheaply, that has allowed renewable energy to become more affordable around the world.
In our previous article we discuss how business is booming for companies going green. The companies have found that by implementing sustainability programs they experience savings economically and environmentally. With reduced costs come increased profits, thus the motivator for finding other efficient methods to reduce costs, starting the cycle of sustainability. According to the Earth Policy Institute, investments in wind power produces nearly 3 times as many jobs as the coal industry, while solar power is even higher with 4 times as many jobs from the same investment. Reports have also shown that employees are happier when working with companies embracing sustainability, increasing employee retention.
Renewable energy like solar and wind power does not produce any greenhouse gases or pollution outside of the original production of the equipment. The benefits of renewable energy extend past the U.S and China. In fact it has been shown to be more cost effective to use solar panel installations for the nearly 2 billion people without access to power than it would be to extend the existing electrical grid. If we can learn lessons from the greenest countries in the world, renewable energy creates prosperous economies and a healthy landscape.
The past few decades were built on the technology boom of the internet and associated business, the next generation of growth is poised to be around renewable energy. The coal-fired power plants allowed people to industrialize and create the solutions that power renewable energy solutions. Let’s salute the contribution fossil fuels have played in our evolution as a species and allow it to gracefully fade into the history books. Politics and hype aside, renewable energy can and will impact your daily life for the better.