what is ahead in our future and what could it mean

December 3, 2010
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What if we run out of gas? What does the greenhouse effect mean for us? What can we do to stop it? You seldom hear the question anymore, “what are we going to do about global warming?”, because the truth is there has been no significant rise of temperature in the last twelve years, and no major cities have been flooded due to the sea level rising. Two years ago this was an urgent situation, but now many believers have become doubtful and skeptical. However, global warming is still happening in small increments and we need to stop it. First, what are our solutions to cars? Can we make them more fuel efficient or have them run on something completely different? Second, what is the greenhouse effect? Finally, what can we do to stop global warming? How can we save money? And how can we do our part?

Wherever you go you see cars, whether it’s a truck, sports car, or hybrid they all share one thing in common, they run on a liquid fuel called gas and we need to change this. To begin with, we are currently running out of gas, and with all the cars on the road today the Carbon Dioxide emissions are becoming a problem to our environment. In addition, the cost of fuel most likely won’t go up, but if the usage of everyday gas cars continues at the rate they are already being used, we will only have five years of liquid fuel (gas) left. Luckily however, we, the US, have a lot of natural gas, and the largest amount of fossil fuels. Methane, the stuff that goes into our stoves at home, is half the cost of gas, and we have enough of it to drive on for ten years as opposed to five. Unless CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) increases its requirements to increase automobiles miles-per-gallon, natural gas is the best option. However, we have not come up with a way to transfer natural gas into our cars. Also we should look into supporting the efforts towards cleaning coal because we have so much of it, but it’s really dirty. Some skeptical activists may say what about the Tesla Roadster or hybrids? Right now the Tesla is the only fully electric car, but since it holds this quality it is very expensive due to all the batteries in it. Unless batteries suddenly get cheaper this car is not our future. On the other hand, hybrids are very promising and get good gas mileage, but would be even better if they were to run on the cheaper natural gas.

Even though the greenhouse effect is looked upon badly, without it all the water on our earth and the earth as a whole would be frozen. However, all the Carbon Dioxide that is added to the air makes it harder for the heat to get out of our atmosphere which then causes global warming. An easier way to describe this is the “car in a parking lot effect”. It’s a medium warm day and nice outside. You’re just coming back to your car after visiting a friend for half an hour. You open your car door, and a burst of super hot air comes into your face. This happens because the sunlight shinning through your windshield becomes trapped inside, and has no way to get out. It cannot go out the way it came in because the windshield (atmosphere) stops it, and therefore the sunlight turns into heat. Additionally, as the United States’ Carbon Dioxide output gradually goes up, India’s and China’s have been shooting up over the past years. This sudden increase would descend though if president Obama had signed and abided to the Kyoto treaty. This would mean that countries would reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses they emit if their neighbors do the same. However, he didn’t and now India and China refuse our help to get them to lower their skyrocketing Carbon Dioxide levels. Also some people may argue that the sea levels have been rising, the ice has been melting, and the temperature is increasing greatly. I’m sorry to say these facts are not true, and according to many scientists the scenarios that Al Gore has put into your head will only happen in a very very very long time from now if this continues to go on. The plain fact is that .4 degrees Celsius is from human warming, .12 degrees Celsius is from the US, .025 degrees Celsius is from the US gasoline contribution. Overall the temperature has gone up three-fourths degrees Celsius, and to be honest, who can really feel that small change in temperature?

As long as we live there will be pollution and we can’t stop it, but we can minimize it to very little. First of all, you can do your part to help stop wasting energy. To do this you can install efficient lighting such as fluorescent lights. In addition, you can put in good insulation so in the summer the cool air stays in, and in the winter the hot air stays in. Also a cool roof will cut down on your needs for air-conditioning, because it is a two layer roof which reflects a portion of the solar rays hitting your house, and also radiates some of the absorbed heat. Along with these things, we need to keep coal, oil, and gas underground until we can clean and purify them. Some may question when will this all pay off? Well, just starting with insulation, you will get your money back in 7 years in increments of 14% per year. This is a lot better than putting your money into stocks because it’s cheaper and there is no tax on the 14% you get back each year. Finally, the best way to get the Carbon Dioxide out of the air is to not even put it there in the first place.

Pollution and global warming will always be occurring, but we need to do our best to stop it. We need to cut down on the amount of gas cars use, and find a better source which doesn’t create so many Carbon Dioxide emissions. We can substitute gas for natural gases, such as methane, or we can use coal, if we find a way to make its clean and purified. Without the greenhouse effect our whole world would be frozen, but when Carbon Dioxide is added to the air it makes it harder for the heat to leave our atmosphere, and therefore it becomes global warming. If we, the US, can monitor our own Carbon Dioxide emissions we need to work with India and China to let us help them lower theirs. Finally, there are many ways to do your part and conserve energy. You can install efficient lighting, have good insulation, and have a cool roof to save energy for your home. As a whole, the world needs to work together and strive to stop putting Carbon Dioxide in the air.

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