Greenhouse EffectsThe basic explanation of the greenhouse effect is the way that heat is trapped close to the surface of the earth by greenhouse gases. The gases essential wrap the earth in a blanket and keep it warmer. We already know that greenhouse gases are:
Greenhouse gases occur naturally and help regulate the planets’ temperature. By regulating the temperature it makes the planet perfect for life. However, the past few decades, humans have added carbon dioxide to the air making the planet warmer than normal. In fact, greenhouse gases have risen 70% since the 1970s.
Where the Greenhouse Gases Come From
Where do the greenhouse gases come from? There are several places and they include:
- Electricity and heat production – coal burning plants to make electric
- Agriculture and other land use – clearing the land for growing of crops and raising livestock
- Industry – manufacturing goods, food processing, and raw materials
- Transportation of people and good in vehicles that use gas or diesel.
- Buildings – building are more airtight than ever before to be more efficient at heat and cooling. Because of that, they capture CO2 inside the building
- Other sources include extraction, refining, processing, and transportation of oil, gas, and coal
Transportation poses two issues. One is highway and off highway vehicles that burn gasoline and diesel. Between shipping goods and people traveling the highways are filled with vehicles. As more and more people travel not only for work but for vacation the roads are a large contributor to greenhouse gases. The second problem is the amount of planes in the sky. Again between business, shipping of goods, and international tourism the skies are filled with jets that are spewing emissions.
Manufacturing and construction industries both are heavy hitters with greenhouse gas emissions. Construction materials account for part of the emissions. So do the transportation of those materials to the site. And, you also have to add in the manufacturing or production of those materials. A company’s supply chain can add as much as four times as their overall operations emissions.
Who are the Largest Contributors to the Greenhouse Effect?
Greenhouse gases are emitted by all countries. But in the past decade, the evolving countries of China and India have had a large increase in their greenhouse gases. Yes, North America and Europe also had large increases during their evolution. All countries contribute to the greenhouse gases.
We all need to work to cut back our emissions starting today. Also, certain countries should not be penalized while other countries seem to be allowed to keep creating high volumes of greenhouse gases that add to the greenhouse effect.
Solutions to the Greenhouse Effect
When it comes to travel solutions, it is time to move to electric vehicles. Yes, that means infrastructure will need to be done to meet the needs. One part of that infrastructure includes EV Chargers. Innovations in planes will need to be made for them to use biofuels instead of jet fuel.
Electrical production will need to move away from coal-fired plants to wind, solar, and water powered production. The more we can decrease away from fossil fuels to make electricity the better for the environment.
Manufacturing and construction should be sourcing materials as close to their site as possible. This provides for lower shipping on trucks or planes. Using sustainable materials also helps reduce greenhouse gases.
Planting trees and plants to help with deforestation is another solution. When it comes to Agricultural and land use, switching to electric vehicles, improved crops and livestock practices will help reduce emissions.
One benefit to companies reducing their carbon footprint is that it is good for business. It is a selling point that they are environmentally friendly. People who care about the environment will choose to do business with them because they are environmentally friendly. It builds good will with your customer base. That good will then will translate to higher sales.
If we all do our part we can reduce the greenhouse effect.