How Alternative Fuels Can Reduce the Effects of Global Warming
written by: Envirowords•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 3/24/2010
Alternative fuels emit less carbon than other fuel types and help combat global warming.
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How Carbon Emissions Effect Global Warming
How do alternative fuels fit into the global warming scenario? Global warming is best explained by a short summary of the carbon cycle.
Carbon is an element necessary for all life; it is necessary for plant, animal and human growth; this growth removes carbon from the atmosphere.
Over millions and billions of years and through geologic processes, like fossilization, coal, oil and natural gas were created and deposited underneath the earth’s surface. Over the past 150 years resulting from industrial and technological advancements, energy demand has increased. To meet demand, humans have harvested, refined and combusted these deposits putting too much carbon into the atmosphere. The earth’s ability to remove increased amounts of atmospheric carbon, like growing a forest, cannot keep up with the amount of carbon remaining.
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The EPA Studies on Global Warming
It’s like getting fat, the more you eat, the harder your body has to work to lose weight. There is too much atmospheric carbon and the earth is trying to work extra hard to lose it but can’t. There is simply too much production of carbon for the earth to handle.
A recent study by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) proposed that all the carbon dioxide emissions, in combination with other greenhouse gases, from all the cars and trucks, historically and currently on the road in the United States, is a primary influence on global warming. Another major source is power generating facilities. The EPA also proposed that global warming endangered human health and welfare.
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Alternative Fuels to Reduce Global Warming
Many studies by the EPA and other agencies show that alternative fuels emit less carbon dioxide. Some alternative energy products, like hydrogen fuel and associated fuel cell batteries, don’t emit any carbon dioxide. Decreasing and removing the carbon from automobile sources won't stop global warming completely, but will help decrease atmospheric carbon over time. An added benefit is that alternative fuel and energy, produced in the United States, will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and alleviate oil price fluctuations. It's also important to remember that alternative fuels don't just alleviate global warming effects - they save money at the gas pump, which is a benefit to anyone who owns a car.