Thursday, March 20, 2014

Brian Smith Exploration 6

    Vaclav Havel sets up a mood with his essay Our Moral Footprint that everyone should hold about climate change. I wish that everyone around the world held the same opinions about climate change that Havel does. Havel is conveying his wish for reducing our ecological footprint through a few striking parts in his essay. When he dives into our mindset as humans, this was perhaps the most striking section of the essay. Looking into it, he doesn't only discuss how we should feel about climate change, but about our lives on this planet. Then he explicitly states that we must bring about this change without having to eliminate our personal freedoms. I completely agree with the messages that Havel is trying to convey and hope that more people will begin caring about reducing our ecological footprint as much as Havel does.

    There are many ecological issues in our society as of present, one of the biggest currently being Renewable energy. One of the most important renewable energy sources is solar power. Eventually, most energy will come from solar power, and it is already one of the most popular sources of renewable energy. There is more energy coming from the sun than anything else on Earth, so the potential is massive. Solar power is not without its problems, though. Solar panels require quite a bit of energy to use and contain some harmful materials, albeit not as harmful as a coal or oil fired plant. The panels we have today are also extremely inefficient at harnessing all of the solar energy hitting the Earth, with panels only absorbing about 10% of the total energy. Solar power aside, there are a few other sources of renewable energy. This can come quite in handy, as should one renewable source not be available, there are other options to choose from. Two of the other renewable energy sources are wind and hydroelectric.

    The use of renewable energy is an issue that affects everyone the world over. Most of the energy used on Earth is produced by fossil fuel burning plants. This is the biggest concern in human caused climate change. Should humans start adopting renewable energy in a much more widespread manner, our ecological footprint will drop dramatically. There are still many problems with our methods of harnessing renewable energy, and these are being pushed back as there isn't a great enough sense of urgency towards using renewable energy. One of the solutions that I can think of would be to dedicate some of our Country's resources towards the advancement of renewable energy, namely solar power. Some of the strengths of this would be that, with government backing, advancements in solar technology could come a lot sooner. A negative to this would be that money would be taken from other endeavors. Though, most likely, the money would just be taken from the obscenely large military budget. This makes the most sense to me because solar power has the best energy potential and humans are doing nothing with all of the energy coming from the sun, it's free and it will never change for millions of years to come.

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