The most interesting part of this course for me was actually towards the end when we were learning about renewable energy sources and climate change. The earth currently has a CO2 level of approximately 400 parts per minute and unfortunately it is increasing every year due to the greenhouse effect. As a result, this makes the earth hotter and hotter and is causing detrimental results to our environment. Some of the indicators are: high humidity, increase in temperature over the oceans, increase in sea level, increase and ocean heat content and decreases in ice structures such as glaciers and sea ice. In class we were shown a very unfortunate photo of a glacier in Montana completely disappeared within a span of only 82 years. Imagine how long it will be before much of our worlds beautiful ice structures and masses are completely gone? Since the Industrial Revolution began in the late 18th century, CO2 levels have increased incredibly and it is really harming our earth. Gases such as methane, ethane, and propane all are natural gases that burn cleaner than CO2 and can be a bit better for the environment. Currently Fossil Fuels (Oil, Gas, and Coal) are the main sources of energy in the world today however by the year 2088 Fossil Fuels are expected to run out. However, by then, will we even be around? It is so important to get started now with keeping the earth clean and healthy for ourselves, our earthling counterparts such as the plants and animals, and our future generations. Biodiesel fuel, made from lipids, is a cleaner fuel as well. There are so many alternative methods of energy available to us, many of which we have learned in class. Solar Energy for instance provides the earth with as much energy every hour as human civilization uses every YEAR. There are definitely imperfections to renewable energy sources but they are workable if we really work to implement them. In San Francisco, they have passed a new law that requires all new buildings to install solar panels. Maybe if we start small within our country and track successes and failures we can really move forward with renewable sources. I am sure this is what has been done for many years as companies like Tesla and Honda tweak and create new and improved environmentally “friendlier” cars. Just as we rapidly adjusted over the years to this industrialized world we live in now, I believe that we can adjust just as easily to a natural and “green” world. To expand on Dr. Topich’s lectures on climate change and energy, I would include agriculture and fracking as other highly important industries to assess in our world. I appreciated this part of the course the most because it is something very relevant to us today and also, as “the youth” I believe that it is our duty to keep up a healthy planet in the many years to come.
Here is a kind’ve long but VERY IMPORTANT infographic from NASA on some of the topics I have discussed.