How You Can Go Green and Save the Environment
By Samuel Schnee, EarthScope Intern (Tam High)
April 7, 2017
We interviewed the CEO of SolEd Benefit Corp, David Kunhardt. He talked to us about solar energy and global warming. He told us about many ways that we could go green and help the environment.
If you want to make a difference you can drive an electric car, try to get bills pass that force factories to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions. Also, there are green energy organizations where you can pay to tap into their green power grid. A great option for people who live in Marin is Marin Clean Energy. This is what I mentioned earlier. You sign up and pay to be given clean, renewable energy. You can get 50% renewable energy or 100% renewable energy. It doesn’t cost too much, and doesn’t hurt the environment. You can find out the details at their website, https://www.mcecleanenergy.
org/ . Many other communities are trying to follow MCE in their goal to help the environment.
The first topic he talked about was global warming. Global warming is a term for the greenhouse effect that is occurring in our atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses are getting trapped in the atmosphere. They let sunlight and heat in, however they don’t let as much out. Without any greenhouse gasses we would freeze to death, however we have too much. This is, like the name global warming implies, heating the earth. Some places have felt the repercussions of it, while others haven’t. Florida, for instance, has partially been flooded. The rise in temperature has caused glacial ice caps to melt. This raises the water level, causing flooding. Florida has been hit with massive storms, many of which have caused destructive flooding. Other parts of the world haven’t really seen the effects as obviously. However global warming is everywhere. You might see a tree somewhere near where you live. If it blooms sooner than it is supposed to, that is because of global warming. If the seasons seemed mixed up, with winter being too warm and summer too cold, that is also because of global warming.
Farmers have also been feeling the effects of global warming. The growing seasons have been thrown out of their usual patterns due to the increases of temperature, and changes in the weather. Crops are sprouting, flowering, and dying at different times than usual. This has caused farmers to have to shift when they plant and pick their crops.
There are natural causes to global warming, however scientific studies show that we humans are mostly to blame. We are the main pollutants of the world. China and the US are the top polluters. One of the most common ways people pollute is by driving their cars. The gas used is escaping into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. Factories and animal slaughter houses are also big emitters.
Something we can do about this is get electric cars. Another is to switch to solar energy. David Kunhardt’s company manufactures solar panels. Once made, solar panels are completely green. They emit no CO2 and don’t cost anything once installed. Manufacturing a solar panel emits a lot of greenhouse gasses. But with the energy you save, it evens out in about a year and a half. After that whatever you are powering will use no bad energy, only clean solar energy.
David Kunhardt says the maximum amount of CO2 in the atmosphere should be 350 PPM. PPM means parts per million. That refers to how many parts out of a million are in a certain amount of air. He says, “we have blown right past that.”
You can also find out more about solar panels from SolEd Benefit Corp’s website at http://sol-ed.com/.
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