What Are Countries Doing To Reduce Greenhouse Gases?

There has been an ongoing campaign for quite some years now directed towards creating a global awareness on the effects of global warming. Before a problem can be solved very well, there is always the need to look at the root causes of the problem so as to tackle them from the base. It is therefore very appropriate to first take a look at what really brings about this global phenomenon known as global warming.

The main orchestrator behind the global warming phenomenon is referred to as the greenhouse gas with water vapor as the major greenhouse gas. There are four other gases which forms part of the greenhouse gases. These are namely;

  1. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  2. Methane (CH4)
  3. Nitrous oxide (N2O) and
  4. Fluorinated gases

These gases form a group of compounds having the ability to trap heat energy so as to keep the surface of the Earth warmer than it would have normally been had all that heat been lost. These gases are therefore always referred to as the primary causes of the greenhouse effect which in turn leads to global warming.

As the greenhouse gases increase in quantity in the atmosphere it leads to an eventual increase in the temperature of the atmosphere which consequently brings about climatic change. They allow the free passage of sunlight into the Earth’s atmosphere, trapping some of the heat in the process. Those that are allowed to pass through the greenhouse gases touch the surface of the Earth and then bounce back into the atmosphere again. The greenhouse gases then traps the heat that is being emitted from the surface of the Earth back into the atmosphere. This cyclical nature involving the absorption and trapping of the escaping heat causes the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to increase drastically which consequently causes global warming in the long run.

Studies conducted by very renowned scientists have projected the year 2047 as being the exact period when the effects of these gases reaches its maximum limit leading to unbearable weather conditions for the inhabitants of the Earth.

After taking such a critical look at the greenhouse gases and its effect on the world, it is really in the right direction to ask what countries are really doing to reduce greenhouse gases. It is through the activities of man and other natural ways that CO2, CH4 and N2O are released into the atmosphere. Some of these activities are; the use of fossil fuels and industrial-based productions. The fluoridated gases are mainly released only through the activities of man.

Since the inception of the Industrial Revolution Era in the 18th century, the activities of man have impacted heavily on the greenhouse gases and their effects on the Earth’s atmosphere. These dangerous and very harmful gases are being released into the atmosphere in huge quantities on a daily basis.

Though it has been said that the greenhouse gases are the main orchestrators of the greenhouse effect which leads to global warming, humans have been found out to be the real architects behind the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Policies and measures being put in place to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases

In Europe

  1. Promoting the use of electricity from renewable sources
  2. Ensuring that energy is appropriately or efficiently used
  3. Encouraging the use of bio fuels in vehicles
  4. Reducing the quantity of CO2 released by vehicles
  5. Promoting the use of electric vehicles
  6. The Green Deal

In China

  • The promotion of energy-saving  and vehicles that are ensure the safety of the environment
  • Encouraging the use of technologies, that help in saving energy, in the various smelting industries
  • The campaign on stopping plastic bags that were being given to customers free of charge
  • Promoting the usage of energy that is clean and can at the same time be renewed
  • Encouraging the use of biogas
  • The campaign on forestation and other prominent policies

In Canada

  1. Banning the manufacturing of energy generating units that make use of coal
  2. Enhancing technologies to ensure that there will be a 23% reduction in the greenhouse gases emissions from heavy-duty vehicles from the year 2018
  3. Move  to cut down HFCs in the atmosphere
  4. Joining in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition- which is a move across borders with its main objective being enhancing technologies to minimize the use of pollutants that have a very short life span so as to protect the environment and the entire populace
  5. Investing over $10 billion in areas such as green infrastructure and energy efficiency technologies
  6. Financing the Muskrat Falls Hydroelectricity project in Newfoundland and Labrador which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 mega tonnes

In The Developing Countries

Though the idea of reducing greenhouse gases in a developing country is sometimes seen as being suicidal, Nicaragua has taken a bold step to prove to the other developing nations that there really are affordable ways that can be used to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. This they did through the introduction of a clean energy initiative in the rural areas of Nicaragua.

Various countries have also joined in the campaign to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This can be seen as a very noble decision by these various nations in the bid to make the atmospheric temperature as comfortable as it can be for humans.

Does Home Insulation Save Money And Energy?

In a period when the need for ensuring that one’s house is well secured in terms of being able to sufficiently provide for the heating and cooling needs of the occupants, it comes as no surprise when the issue of home insulation rears its head more often than not.

As humans, we do go to different lengths just to ensure that we have enough heat in our various homes when the weather gets cold and enough cooling when the weather gets very hot. This makes it possible for us to feel comfortable in our homes at any particular moment throughout the year. Being able to experience this kind of comfort in our various homes has led some of us into all sorts of problems with the major one being that of money and energy spent.

Huge sums of one’s hard earned money are spent on cooling and heating systems just to be assured that these houses can provide one with the need comfort throughout the year in any weather condition.

With such amounts going down the drain, the need to find better and affordable ways of guaranteeing one’s comfort with regards to the weather becomes imperative. This leads to the idea of home insulation.

In the first place, one will have to be very conversant with the term home insulation.

  • What is home insulation?

This is an affordable way of ensuring that one’s house is in a shape to provide warmth during the winter and some form of coolness during the hot summer periods.

Many a times occupants of houses spend money in acquiring air conditioning devices to provide one with cool and refreshing air and other heat generating devices like the artificial chimneys that are being sold these days. After spending such huge amounts on these equipments, it does not end there. One is also presented with the financial problem of having to foot the constant bills that come with the usage of those equipments. This leads to compounding the already compounded financial problem of the user.

  • Benefits of home insulation

The benefits that come with insulating one’s home are numerous and taking a look at some of these benefits helps any potential user to understand what he or she is really going in for. Below are some of the benefits:

  1. Money that would have been spent on paying of bills for the usage of energy is saved
  2. It helps in reducing the total amount of energy used in a house and the emissions of certain greenhouse gases
  3. It also helps to ensure that there isn’t too much over-reliance by people on systems associated with the provision of cooling and warming of houses
  4. Moreover, it also helps in raising the quality of comfort available in a particular home

These are just some of the benefits derived from insulating one’s home.

One major thing associated with home insulation is that the R-Values of home insulation should always be met, that is; it should be able to ensure that heat does not escape in or out of the house during the warmer and cooler weather conditions respectively. However, there are times when the quality of insulation may be very low and this may be due to any of the following:

  • When they are not properly installed
  • Not taking into consideration the size of the house to be insulated

When these factors are taken into consideration and the right thing done, then one is guaranteed the optimum best when it comes to getting provided with the right insulation for any given weather condition.

Things that you can insulate in your home (where to insulate)

Below are the things that can be insulated in one’s home:

  1. Water pipes: This is insulating pipes that connect the heater and water tanks to the house which are exposed in order to check the loss or gain of heat
  2. Floors: This is the insulation done within the floor of a house to ensure the checking of loosing and gaining of heat in the house even though insulating floors is something that is rarely done
  3. Walls: This means fixing walls with the right materials to prevent the loss of heat during the winter and coolness during the summer time
  4. Roofs and ceilings: This has to do with adding insulation to all the various roof and ceiling types to ensure that a house uses energy efficiently and ensuring that there are no places for heat to either sneak in or out of the house with regards to the ceiling and roofing

 

  • When is it most appropriate to insulate one’s house?

The most appropriate time to insulate a house is during the building of the house itself from its beginning or when there are some general renovations to be done on the house.

The various climatic changes tend to have some kind of effect on the amount of heat lost or gained in a particular period. This raises the need for one to insulate his or her home so as to ensure that the atmosphere within the house remains as normal and comfortable as it can be.

Insulation therefore is a way to check the flow of heat in a particular house at a particular point in time.

After carefully considering the various benefits and comfort associated with insulating one’s home, it can be seen that it really do help us to save some of our hard earned money and the energy that would have been spent on trying to find appropriate heating and cooling systems.

Next Steps

As I linked to in a previous post, the guys over at http://besthalogenheaters.co.uk have up-to-date reviews of heating appliances and regularly publish posts about how to conserve energy, one way is to improve the insulation in your home.

UK Home Insulation is another place that is worth checking out for some tips and info.

How Long Will Fossil Fuels Last And What Will Replace Them?

In a period when the energy consumption of the entire world keeps growing astronomically, fossil fuels have emerged as a light at the end of a very dark tunnel by almost single-handedly providing the energy consumption needs of the world.

In a bid to look at how long fossil fuels last and what other energy source will replace them, it is very necessary to first acquaint ourselves with what these fossil fuels are and how they get formed.

What are fossil fuels?

Fossil fuel is a source of energy derived from decayed organic substances naturally through processes like the anaerobic decomposition of these organisms that have died long ago. The continuous decomposition of these dead organisms which has been in existence for over six hundred years, have given rise to the formation of an energy source popularly referred to as fossil fuel. This idea of fossilized remains being the major architect of fossil fuel formation was first brought up by Georg Agricola in the year 1956 and Mikhail Lomonosov later came out with the same idea during the 18th century.

The period during which these fossil fuels were formed has been referred to as the ‘’Carboniferous Period’’ which was an aspect of the Paleozoic era. Looking at the term Carboniferous, the first thing that comes to mind is carbon hence Carboniferous came about due to the higher concentration of carbon in fossil fuel.

Components of fossil fuels

The major component of fossil fuels is carbon as studies have shown that fossil fuels have a very high amount of carbon with the inclusion of natural gas, coal and petroleum.

How long will fossil fuels last?

Looking at the almost geometric rate at which energy is being consumed by the world year after year, it raises the question of how long fossil fuels will be able to sustain us. According to research done by the Energy Information Administration, it was estimated that in the year 2007, petroleum coal and natural gases provided over 84% of the energy consumed by the world with the rest being provided by the other sources of energy like hydroelectric, geothermal, nuclear, solar, wind, wood and waste. Fossil fuels will surely run out at a particular point in time.

Although fossil fuels have been in existence for over millions of years now, their wide-scale extraction during the Industrial Revolution era which began not so long ago has led to many being concerned about how long these fossil fuels can last. And the truth is, not very long. The amount of fossil fuel consumed within this very short period of time is so alarming that the fossil fuel reserves are all but finished.  It is only a matter of when they do run out as opposed to if they will run out as we already know that fossil fuels will eventually run out with the passage of time.

Currently, the oil reserves are fast drying up due to the excessive extraction and usage by almost the entire world population. Researchers have been able to estimate the time at which crude oil deposits will be all gone by taking into consideration the total amount of crude oil left and the amount of crude oil consumed by people yearly. Reducing the pressure on crude oil and bridging the energy gap by increasing the production of gas will ensure the sustainability of fossil fuels to the year 2088. Putting in place such measures will ensure that fossil fuels do carry us through to the year 2088 and they will no longer be in existence. Though some new oil reserves will be found somewhere along the line, it does not guarantee that fossil fuels will be around forever.

Aside the fact that these fossil fuels are on a time bomb, their continuous worldwide use has lead to the incidence of global warming which is mainly caused by the CO2 that is discharged during their usage.

This begs the question, ‘’what energy source will replace fossil fuels when they are no longer in existence?” Well, all hope is not lost when it comes to the area of sources of energy to help provide for the world’s energy consumption needs. These forms of energy are referred to as renewable energy sources.

Alternative energy sources to fossil fuels

  I.            Solar Energy: This is the source of energy derived from the heat that emanates from the sun which is harvested through the use of solar panels. This energy can then be used in performing most energy-related tasks. The advantages of using solar energy are uncountable and some of them are;

  1. It adds some form of worth to your property at no extra cost.
  2. It also ensures that the global warming caused by pollution of the environment by the emissions of carbon dioxide that is always associated with the use of fossil fuels.
  3. Many states in the US have already started installing the campaign for solar energy by installing solar panels free of charge.

II.            Hydroelectric Energy: This is the form of energy that is derived from water bodies. The energy created by flowing water bodies is harnessed through the use of turbines. Some countries now boast of their entire energy consumption are now being provided by hydroelectric energy. This form of energy is now emerging as a possible replacement for fossil fuels. This is largely due to the fact that the direction towards a more cleaner and sustainable energy source has turned towards hydroelectric energy. Hydroelectric energy use provides us with the following advantages;

  1. It provides a form of energy that does not negatively affect the environment.
  2. This form of energy can also be renewed and so there isn’t any fear of it running out like fossil fuels. This is to the fact that water bodies cover almost 70% of the total earth meaning this form of energy will always be around so far as water bodies continue to be in existence.
  3. Hydroelectric energy is now the major source of energy in most countries today.

III.            Wind Energy: This is the form of energy gotten from the wind. From the olden days to date, wind has always served as a form of energy by providing the much needed energy used to pump water and also grind grains in farmhouses. These were done by using windmills to harvest the energy from the wind. Nowadays, the windmills have given way to more sophisticated equipment known as wind turbines. The wind turbines are erected about 30m above the ground in order to capture the energy within the wind. These wind turbines trap the wind and use its energy in the generation of electricity. The energy generated by these wind turbines are also very clean and do not cause any pollution to the environment and above all are also renewable due to the fact that wind will always be in existence.

IV.            Ocean Energy: This is the energy derived from the oceans. There are two main energy types namely; thermal energy and mechanical energy. The thermal energy is derived from sun’s heat warming the surface of the sea whilst the temperature of the deep sea water remains low. This change in temperature of the surface and the deep sea water leads to the generation of thermal energy. Mechanical energy on the hand is derived from the waves and tides from the sea. This form of energy is also renewable and also clean to generate and use.

The various forms of energy discussed above are also termed as Green Power. This is the energy derived from the ocean, fresh water bodies, wind, solar and others which do not pollute the environment with their generation and usage.

With these energy sources available, all hope will not be lost when the fossil fuels run out for we will have Green Power which is a more cleaner and renewable energy source as compared to the fossil fuels.