Did you know that Australia is one of the highest greenhouse gas producers in the world? Each of us is responsible for producing 28 tonnes of CO2 per year. We rely so heavily on fossil fuels like coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel available – to generate our electricty that each household is responsible for about 8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions just through energy use. These emissions are actually increasing every year and if we don’t get them under control now, we’ll have little hope of managing climate change.
Ok, here’s the good news. There is a way to stop your energy use from contributing to global warming. And that’s to use renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro power to generate the electricty you use. It’s quite likely we’ll start to see backyard wind turbines and rooftop solar panels becoming more popular in the same way that water tanks are becoming valued additions to suburban backyards across Australia. There will soon be more and more ways to make use of renewable energy in your own home – energy that doesn’t rely on greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels.
But the easiest way for you to immediately make use of renewable energy is to switch to Green Power. Also called green electricty or natural power this is electricty produced from renewable sources. In Australia we have a government run scheme where suppliers who meet strict criteria can register as Green Power providers.
There are three types of Green Power you can buy – accredited, non-accredited and offset products (which are not actually green power suppliers but reduce emissions in other ways such as by planting trees). I recommend you go with a government accredited supplier of Green Power and look at carbon offsets for the other problem areas like transport and household waste.
You can choose to buy all of your electricty as Green Power or just a percentage of it and there are options that will cost you no more than what you are currently paying. Choosing 100% Green Power will cost you a few dollars extra each week, but for that amount you can rest easy knowing that your household energy use is having ZERO impact on global warming. A cynic might say that what you are buying is freedom from guilt, but the reality is that if we don’t pay now we will all pay much more later.
Green Power costs slightly more, because at the moment it costs more to produce – but like all things that cost will come down as more people make use of it. We also have to consider the fact that although coal power is intitially cheaper to buy the true cost of it is much higher when you take into account things like air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions & acid rain – all things which you and I will ultimately pay for through our taxes (not to mention through damage to your health). I recommend you choose the highest level of Green Power that you can afford.
One thing that does cause some confusion is whether you will actually recieve green power direct to your house. The answer is no, but in reality it doesn’t actually matter becuase all electricity generated from all sources is mixed together into the national electricty grid – it’s impossible to tell the different types of electricity apart. You can be sure though that for every KWh of green electricity you pay for an equivalent amount will be added to the grid on your behalf. That’s one less KWh supplied by coal power and a guaranteed reduction in CO2 emissions.
Online Free Bets site BigBonusBets switched to Green Power at the same time as I changed my light globes to energy saving CFL’s. The result was that my first Green Power bill was significantly lower than my previous bill despite the fact that I am now paying a few cents extra per KWh. Bottom line: if you do nothing else to stop global warming, do this.
Here are some important facts about global warming.
The average temperatures worldwide have risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, most of this rise comes from human’s activity in recent decades. This data is according to Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. According to data on global warming the last twenty years were the hottest decades in the last 400 years, the past two decades could also possibly be the hottest in several millennia, this is according to several climate studies. According to studies eleven of the past twelve years were among the warmest since the year 1850.
So who is feeling the effects of global warming the most right now? That would be the arctic, the average temperatures in Alaska and other northern regions have risen at twice the global average.
The arctic ice is quickly disappearing, it is estimated that the arctic may have its first ice-free summber by the year 2040 or before. Polar bears and natives to the north are already suffering from the loss of sea-ice.
Glaciers in the northern regions are melting fast, and so are mountain snows. A good example of this is Montana’s Glacier National Park which used to have 150 glaciers in 1910, now it only has 27.
Aside from the arctic many other regions worldwide are feeling the effects of global warming. It is a fact that coral reefs suffered the worst bleaching in 1998. Coral reefs are sensitive to water temperature
changes. Many experts on global warming estimate that these sorts of events will increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as the sea temperatures rise.
The frequency of extreme weather, such as heat waves, tropical storms and wildfires are expected to rise according to experts. Here are some more interesting facts and numbers that really do show that the Earth is warming. Studies show that during the 20th century, sea level has risen an average of 7 inches after 2000 years of relatively little change.
Proxy records are sophisticated ways of measuring surface temperatures over centuries and millennia. According to Proxy records taken, there has been widespread warming over the 20th century with a very high amount of that warming occuring in the 2 last decades.
Some people still debate whether global warming is really happening. It is now shown that there is a consensus among experts that global warming really is occuring. This conclusion is shared by the national science academies of developed and developing countries, as well as many other organizations which include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It seems that the only real debate left is how fast the warming is occuring and how much damage will global warming create. Here are some important global warming facts that show that global warming is affecting us today, right now. There is a loss in biodiversity worldwide, and many species of plants and animals are at the risk of extinction due to disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems and the pollution of oceans. The IPCC estimates that global warming will put 20 to 30 percent of species globally at a high risk of extinction possibly by the year 2100.
One obvious fact is that there has been a decline in the number of polar bears up north. Many studies prove this fact.
Polar bears need sea-ice and much of that sea-ice is disappearing, as that happens many polar bears go hungry and die.
In 2008 the polar bear was added to the endangered species list, and was the first species to be added to the list directly because of global warming.
The oceans are getting more acidic, this is due to environmental pollution from smokestacks, cars, and other pollutants.
The oceans absorb the CO2 and it forms carbonic acid. A study published in 2010 by Nature Geoscience warns that if things continue as they are the oceans could acidify at a rate unseen in the last 65 million years.
Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing the nation, but few people are aware of how it can affect them. Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are the most vulnerable. Heat waves are among the deadliest killers due to global warming.