Climate Crisis — Going Beyond Renewable Energy

Charles Hinckley
3 min readJan 15, 2022

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Climate crisis refers to climate change and global warming threats that call for immediate action. The United Nations defines climate change as long-term temperature and weather changes. They can be natural, resulting from the solar cycle, or man-made through burning fossil fuels and environmental degradation. Meanwhile, global warming is the earth’s climate heating due to human industrial activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, that leave greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While climate change entails natural and human activities, global warming is purely a human creation and measures the planet’s surface temperature.

The greenhouse effect predominantly causes climate change and global warming. This results from increasing carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and fluorinated gases concentrations. Carbon dioxide, in this case, is the primary culprit. Still, these gases are naturally-occurring, but human activities, including burning fossil fuels, farming, and deforestation, raise their levels.

Using renewable energy efficiently is one way to reduce greenhouse emissions. Biofuels, for instance, entail grown fuels such as corn ethanol. They replace fossil fuels, including petroleum and diesel. In addition, the plants that produce biofuels use carbon dioxide when they grow. When vehicle engines burn these fuels, they emit carbon dioxide that the same plants later absorb. The result is zero net emissions. Also, wind and solar energy produce no emissions. In many countries, wind and solar power are more affordable and accessible than fossil fuels.

Besides using renewable energy sources, there are other effective ways to reduce emissions. One way is to reduce meat consumption. It takes so much energy to raise livestock and produce meat products that industries finally deliver to customers. By taking alternative foods, every individual reduces their carbon footprint by up to eight pounds daily. Besides, growing fruits and vegetables takes lesser energy than raising livestock.

Other strategies include reducing waste, reusing household items, and recycling waste. For example, people can buy household items with little packaging, which results in less waste. Additionally, reusable items such as water bottles ensure that a person does not repurchase the same item, reducing waste products. Recycling household waste also reduces carbon dioxide by 2,400 pounds every year.

Air conditioning and heating also take up a lot of energy in homes. Individuals can practice keeping temperatures at moderate levels. They can switch off heating and air conditioning when one is away to save power. Similarly, setting the temperature levels slightly lower can have significant savings. For instance, programming the thermostat two degrees lower on a hot summer can reduce power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions by up to 2,000 pounds annually while maintaining comfortable temperature levels. Additionally, wall insulation helps regulate temperatures and saves up to 25 percent energy. Besides, fans consume less power than air conditioners.

A person may also learn how to drive smart and less. This involves driving only while necessary. They can opt to walk when possible. If they choose to drive, they can ensure that their vehicles run efficiently. Additionally, maintaining a car by servicing it often leads to better fuel economy and, in turn, fewer emissions.

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Charles Hinckley
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Charles Hinckley — Investment Banker based in New York #renewableenergy #solarpower #windpower #solar #chuckhinckley #charleshinckley