Renewable Energy for Everyone
Right now the United States as well as the rest of the world is struggling with the issue of climate change. According to NASA’s climate research, 9 out of the 10 hottest years recorded have occurred since 2000. The global temperature has gone up almost 2 degrees since 1880, and carbon dioxide levels, which are at 405 parts per million, haven’t been this high in 650,000 years. The topic this blog will cover is renewable energy, with a focus on how it will be provided to communities with low resources. I first became interested in this topic when I entered high school. At the time, I didn’t know much about the environment or how humans have used up many of its natural resources. As I did more research I started to realize that what humans were doing was not sustainable, and that eventually, things would need to change. With my education I would like to be a part of that change if I can. I think it’s critical that people start thinking of solutions for energy resources now before it is too late. It is already clear that the current resources we use will not be there for much longer. Oil companies have even started fracking to acquire more oil from a deposit. This process can destroy the landscape in the area and be harmful to the Earth. As companies and governments realize this, the switch to cleaner, renewable forms of energy is slowly occurring. Renewable energy is something that should replace traditional forms of energy and be widely available for the general public.
Renewable energy needs to be implemented globally, not just in the United States. The New York Times article China Aims to Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020 by Michael Forsythe looks at China’s plans for the future of energy. The article focuses on a plan from China’s National Energy Administration to expand renewable energy resources in the country. According to the government, this plan will add 13 million jobs to China’s renewable energy sector by 2020. Forsythe also covers the issues China has faced dealing with non-renewable forms of energy. He points out that China is “the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses”. He also states that “oil and coal industries prospered under powerful political patrons”. The situation that China is in shows that there is a global need for change in the way that humans produce their energy. Coal and oil companies run the current market for energy in China, but renewable energy companies will be taking over pushing these companies out of their lane. Renewable energy prices are getting lower and becoming more affordable, so there is a potential for renewable energy to be widely available. This evidence addresses my topic as I want to focus on the availability of renewable energy to communities with low resources. I would like to find out if China is going to make their renewable energy widely available or if it will be something for the middle and upper class only. Currently in the United States, you do not see to many homes with solar panels, and the ones you do see tend to be in better neighborhoods.
Renewable energy programs should focus on providing energy to all citizens, not just those who are wealthy. I realize that people in wealthy communities will have no problem receiving these forms of energy as they are implemented. What I am more interested in is how people who do not live in wealthy communities, or live in communities with low resources will be treated as better forms of energy emerge. My reason for wanting to explore this topic is that I want to see governments as well as private companies providing as much for low resource communities as they do for wealthy ones.
The United States has some catching up to do when it comes to utilizing renewable resources. Another New York Times article by Eduardo Porter titled On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront are Falling Short focuses on renewable energy in the united states, specifically in California. Porter points out that even in California, a state that is usually thought of as very environmentally conscious, the government has not done much to plan out the future. In fact when compared to other states attempts to lower carbon emissions, California took 28th place, when measured for the drop in carbon emissions between 2000 and 2014. Some of this was a result of the draught however some cases were the fault of the state. When California closed its San Onofre power plant, the energy lost from that was replaced mainly by natural gas. When the state makes moves to close plants like this one and replace them with non-renewable energy sources, it shows that the government is not preparing for the future. It is important for the United States to prepare for a future based on renewable energy because our current resources are not going to be available forever. Even if the current federal administration will not do so, states still have the power to implement laws and go forward with renewable energy as a replacement for the current system.
Forsythe, Michael. “China Aims to Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020”. The New York Times. Jan. 5, 2017.
NASA: Climate Change and Global Warming. http://climate.nasa.gov.
Porter, Eduardo. “On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront are Falling Short”. The New York Times. Jan. 17, 2017.