I’m sure that you have heard of the BP oil spill, which killed eleven people and countless animals. This spill wrecked havoc upon the environment in the gulf, marring and killing all that it contacted. In America and around the world, outrage towards BP was widespread. Travesties such as this are not uncommon; less than a year ago, one to two million gallons of oil was spilled into the ocean off the coast of Nigeria. Although this spill was larger than the Gulf oil spill, the world media has barely covered it, limiting any outrage towards Shell and the the oil industry to Nigeria alone. Coastal villages have become flooded with oil, wetlands have been laid to waste, and fishing areas have grown barren. The effects of this spill are expected to last for a minimum of thirty years.
As most people know, fossil fuels also contribute to global climate change. The concentration of certain molecules has a strong correlation with global temperature, and CO2 is currently at an unsustainable concentration. The fuel that we use to run our cars and appliances is also contributing to higher rates of cancer, heart disease, and asthma.
So why do we continue to use this fuel that is so harmful towards our environment and our health? Certainly not for the lack of a better alternative. The list of potential sources for renewable energy is lengthy, and includes geothermal power, hydropower, solar power, and wind power. Investing in these technologies will not only lead to a healthier planet and a healthier populace, but also lead to economic growth. Clean energy already employs over 2.7 million people; every dollar invested in the renewable energy industry creates three more jobs than a dollar invested in fossil fuels.
Green tip of the week: go to the farmers’ market! Every Tuesday, across from the HUB lawn, you can buy delicious food from the local farmers’ market. Food that is grown locally does not have to be shipped vast distances, and thus has a lower carbon footprint.