Climate Change Affects Us All

Climate change had started a long time ago when some of the greatest inventions in human history revolutionized modern societies. Those ground-breaking innovations have given us automobiles, electricity, computers, space travel etc. The price of all these? Production of excessive carbon that is ultimately deposited in the atmosphere.

Climate change is a gradual process that doesn’t impact the lives of most of us in a profound way everyday. It’s easy to ignore it or simply deny it as a hoax. Climate change is much like a cancer: it’s secretly growing without being noticed for much of the time; but when we realize its existence it’s often too late.

Climate change is simply not a matter of opinions. The science, data and research that had gone into this area derived a conclusion that’s agreed upon by 97% of the scientist community. Given the overwhelming amount of facts and evidence, I am still in disbelief on the sheer number of population who are in denial. I am even more shocked when the White House withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement. Fortunately, this setback only strengthened the determination of all remaining members of the accord. The most notable news is that France recently announced the plan to end sales of gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2040.

I believe education is the fundamental remedy of any forms of denials of science, data and facts. I also believe replacing fossil fuel based energy generation with renewable sources is the holy grail to keep advancing our civilization and to keep a sustainable balance with mother nature. With these two beliefs, I collected some publicly available data (2008–2015) from U.S. Energy Information Administration in order to educate myself on power plants that supply electricity to the grid around the country. I specifically paid attention to:

  • means of power generation (fossil fuel, solar, hydro, bio-mass etc.)
  • total consumption of fuel
  • total amount of energy generated from fuel
  • total amount of power generated (electricity and heat)
  • percentage of total power generated by fossil fuel and renewable means

I will be sharing the data and analytics in the coming weeks as a series of blog articles. I am learning a lot from this data. I hope others can find this useful too. I would love to donate and share the database, code and analytics to nonprofit organizations that might find it useful to their missions.