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New arguments for clean energy

With all of the environmental issues that are affecting the United States and the rest of the world, it’s hard not to think about climate change and the damage it has caused and will continue to cause. With the denier-in-chief running the country and gutting all the necessary government agencies in charge of dealing with this issue, I am growing more concerned with our ability to adapt to the things to come. Since climate deniers like President Donald Trump are so steadfast in their belief that man-made climate change is a hoax or conspiracy, those of us who want to better the world through green technology need to try some new arguments for clean energy investment. Maybe entertaining the idea that man-made climate isn’t real may help our arguments to make progress.

Even if the CO2 emissions and other pollution from cars and factories are not creating the greenhouse effect, it still makes no sense to keep these practices. It is hard to deny that pollution is affecting the health of people and the environment. It is well established in the medical field that unnecessary particulates in the air is not healthy. With this knowledge, what is the argument against emissionless cars? The only argument I have seen is that since these cars’ energy is not cleanly produced, they still leave a big carbon footprint. However, that entire argument is predicated on the notion that the electricity for the electric cars comes from coal and natural gas plants. If the entire grid consisted of renewable and safe energy sources, this problem would go away.

It is far more sustainable to utilize renewable resources for energy. Fossil fuels require a process that is millions of years in the making. We use these fuels faster than natural processes can replace them. Simple math tells us that this is not sustainable. Running out of fossil fuels would be catastrophic for geopolitics and it would pave the path to conflict. The only way to prevent this is to transform the entire system across the planet.

The economics for clean energy are also a good reason to pursue these technologies. In terms of jobs, it is clear where the growth is. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, when you include the work of installing clean energy systems, there are 14 times more jobs in the clean energy sector than the fossil fuel industry.

For individuals and families, investing in clean energy isn’t just the ethical thing to do, it’s the economical thing to do. With the release of technologies like Tesla’s solar roof and battery systems, people can replace their roof with a beautiful slate-like panel system that is comparable to replacing a roof, and it pays itself off in energy production in just a few years. This gives people a cheap solution to be more energy independent and help decrease their carbon footprint. On cost, aesthetics and independence alone, a convincing case can be made without the climate impact.

If we take the proper steps to invest in clean technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear, these can provide us with more than enough energy to power the planet. According to the Land Art Generator Initiative’s research, in the year 2030, if we had enough solar panels in the world that would cover the land area of Spain, we could power the world on that alone.

That may sound big, but if you take Spain’s land area of 195,364 square miles, divide that by Earth’s 196.9 million square mile area, and multiply that by 100, you get a total of .0992 percent of the Earth needing to be covered with solar panels. That alone would power the world. Then with other technologies, the world could run at an energy surplus. The entire planet would have an excess of energy. This would drop prices. It could even be argued that if there is no scarcity, we don’t need to put a price on it. There is no way the demand could make a dent into the supply.

Perhaps with reasons like this, we can convince people to invest in the clean energy future. In terms of health, international relations and economics, there are more than enough reasons to believe in the implementation of these technologies. Even if people doubt the science of climate change, these arguments are hard to beat in terms of their benefits to humanity.

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