(Johnston, 2016) This is a proposed theory of how the United States can get to 100% renewable energy in the next 33 years. Renewable Energy Proposal
With the results of the last election in the rear view mirror the thing that is most alarming to me is the environmental agenda of the Trump administration. I should rephrase, the lack of an environmental agenda of the Trump administration. Trump’s plan includes a massive reduction in the EPA’s budget (31%) and getting rid of several of Obama’s environmental initiatives. “First, let’s be clear: The proposed cuts are not really about saving money for the federal government. EPA’s budget accounts for roughly 0.2 percent of the total federal budget, virtually the lowest funding level for any major federal agency. And this is not new. Each Republican Congress has slashed EPA’s budget in recent years, so the agency’s current budget of roughly $8 billion is less than half of what it was in the 1970s, adjusted for inflation, and the lowest it has been since the mid-1980s. Thus, the agency is already functioning at a bare bones level, especially with respect to compliance and enforcement. So the White House proposal to cut EPA’s budget by another one-third is about undermining the agency’s mission, not about deficits or debt” (Driscoll, 2017). This shows a consistent rhetoric on the republican side to maintain any avenues that provide dollars and cents for their campaign contributors even if it means it is hurting the general public.
Trumps administration aside, the biggest step that we need to make collectively is getting rid of our dependence on fossil fuels. Easier said then done. The full circle of donations to politicians, and politicians continuing our dependence on them through lack of policies and laws is something that needs to be broken. The benefits of alternative energy are better not just for the environment but better for the human race as well.
Alternative Energy the types
“Renewable energy—wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass—provides substantial benefits for our climate, our health, and our economy” (UCSUSA, 2013). Each of these energy sources provide new innovative ways to provide energy for our day to day lives. As some may not be practical in some areas of the country others may be. Mixing and matching to provide power through different avenues is the way to get away from our necessity of using fossil fuels.
The chart above indicates how each type of energy resource contributes to the overall effects of global warming through greenhouse gas emission. It shows how non-renewable energy sources can damage the environment that they are being used in. It is not an unrealistic goal to get off of the dependence of fossil fuels in the near future. “In addition, a ground-breaking study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory explored the feasibility and environmental impacts associated with generating 80 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050 and found that global warming emissions from electricity production could be reduced by approximately 81 percent” (UCSUSA, 2013).
Why Else is Renewable Energy Important?
On top of helping preserve the climate, renewable energy serves many other benefits as well. It improves the well being of communities, as clean air is proven to cut down the risk of health ailments “Climate change has significant implications for our health. Rising temperatures will likely lead to increased air pollution, a longer and more intense allergy season, the spread of insect-borne diseases, more frequent and dangerous heat waves, and heavier rainstorms and flooding. All of these changes pose serious, and costly, risks to public health” (UCSUSA, 2013). It creates more jobs, as adding infrastructure for the renewable energy has to be run and maintained by certain individuals.
Why Should You Care?
There has been a perpetuated pattern that is starting to get on my nerves and I hope you the reader feel the same way. The consistent culture of politics effecting the health and well-being of the public is at the bare minimum where the line needs to be drawn. By not caring about the environment you are not only harming the planet for our future children, the results could be seen much sooner than expected and the damages could be seen by you personally. Natural disasters will increase with the temperature increases, health in busy metropolises will grow worse with each gas filled car driving down the highway. By voting in politicians that are more concerned about their reelection than the planet that we live on, this mistreatment of the planet is going to continue. The clock is ticking and we are getting closer and closer to it hitting midnight.