Will Technology Be the Solution on Global Warming?
Global warming is a life-threatening menace that poses a serious challenge to the existence of the current generations and their posterity. In his article, ‘Counting the Cost of Fixing the Future,’ Eduardo Porter reports that it would cost the world a gross domestic product of $85 trillion if temperatures increase by 2.5 degrees Celsius (Porter, Eduardo). But then, human beings and their actions are the main causative factor of global warming though some natural activities also result in this environmental problem through emission of carbon gas and other greenhouse gasses. Humans are behind the huge consumption of oil and fossil fuels that are a chief source of enormous amounts of carbon emitted to the atmosphere. This has led to the world turning on to the use of various technologies to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to solve the puzzle of global warming. The question now is, will technology be the solution? This paper looks into various technological solutions that have been put in place to curb global warming.
The US’ Department of Energy in conjunction with other energy industry players are planning to come up with a technological project that will capture CO2 at coal fields. The project is poised to be the game changer amid global concern on the current and future generations as they stand to be affected by climate changes due to increasing global temperatures (Johnson, Jeff). Johnson believes that technology will give a boost to coal collection because it will be retrofitting plant fired by coal in order to allow them to produce more while within the newly set CO2 limits. In Southwestern Colorado, there has been a huge effort to tap the CO2 gas to be used in oil drilling (Biello, David). The gas is pipelined to oil fields in various regions such as Texas whereby it is used in the wells to make them produce more oil but remain trapped so as not to reach the atmosphere. Realizing the importance of the gas in oil drilling, more of it is being tapped to enhance oil and coal mining instead of letting it out to cause harm to the environment (Biello, David).
Socolow and Pacala (50-58) are wary of global changes including retreating glaciers, strengthening hurricanes, heating summers and the thinning of bears in the Polar Regions but they believe that technologies are they to alleviate these problems and humans are running out of time. However, there is a possible sustainable future if the world learns to get all its energy requirements from the wind, water, and solar resources by 2030 (Jacobson, Mark Z., and Mark A. Delucchi). The three sources of energy labeled as clean technologies have near-zero carbon emission and other polluting materials; hence could be effective in slashing the huge amounts that get their way into the atmosphere. Jacobson and Delucchi call for a worldwide installation of over 3.8 million huge turbines to produce wind energy, 90,000 solar equipment for solar energy, and numerous geothermal plants to tap energy from heating underground water by 2030.
Human beings can come together to combat this menace by regulating and changing their mode of activities and embracing the use of technology. There could be efforts to make carbon gas useful in oil fields yet still the oil mined is a major pollutant of the atmosphere when put to use in various sectors of the economy. However, with the embracement of cleaner sources of energy using the wind, solar, and water energy generating technologies, the greenhouse gasses could reduce significantly in the near future. Therefore, I believe that technology is not the sole solution to global warming and climatic change effects but could be a significant part of the solution.
Biello, David. “Can Carbon Capture Technology Be Part Of The Climate Solution? By David Biello: Yale Environment 360”. E360.Yale.Edu, 2014, http://e360.yale.edu/feature/can_carbon_capture_technology_be_part_of_the_climate_solution/2800/.
Firth, P., & Fisher, S. G. (Eds.). (2012). Global climate change and freshwater ecosystems. Springer Science & Business Media.
Jacobson, Mark Z. and Mark A. Delucchi. “A Path To Sustainable Energy By 2030”. Scientific American, vol 301, no. 5, 2009, pp. 58-65. Springer Nature, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1109-58.
Johnson, Jeff. “Carbon Capture Ramps Up | September 1, 2014 Issue – Vol. 92 Issue 35 | Chemical & Engineering News”. Cen.Acs.Org, 2016, http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i35/Carbon-Capture-Ramps.html?type=paidArticleContent.
Porter, Eduardo. “Counting The Cost Of Fixing The Future”. Nytimes.Com, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/business/counting-the-cost-of-fixing-the-future.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
Socolow, Robert H. and Stephen W. Pacala. “A Plan To Keep Carbon In Check”. Scientific American, vol 295, no. 3, 2006, pp. 50-57. Springer Nature, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0906-50.