Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Movement for Tomorrow



When I was younger I remember going to the Bonneville dam, located on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon. I used to always be fascinated by the large turbines and learning about how water was being used to generate the electricity for my home and thousands of others.  It had never occurred to me that coal was supplying over half of the nation with power and that one quarter of the world’s coal reserves are found within the United States. (Learn more about the Coal and the United States here at Energy.gov)


Unfortunately for the planet to use coal as an energy source we burn it. This releases sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, various particulates, and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is one of the main causes of global warming.  The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the worse it gets for plants, animals, and us. Author Bill McKibben founded the website 350.org, whose mission is to change the way we live and ultimately save us from the extinction. 


350 parts per million (ppm) is the number that many scientists have determined to be a safe level of carbon dioxide. With a level currently at 394 ppm and rising (according to co2now.org), something needs to be done to lower the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which includes reducing our use of coal as energy and turning to renewable sources.  Visit 350.org to learn more about what you can do to spread the word and help reduce our climate impact. 



~*~Julia M. Fletcher

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