In between stories of consistently record-setting high temperatures and constant barrages of natural disasters like hurricanes laying waste to swathes of humanity, it can be easy to feel worried about the future of Mother Earth. Despite the torrential deluge of terrible environmental news, there are shining beacons of hope that come from our combined efforts to turn back the advancement that environmentally destructive byproducts have had.
We see this in the recent announcement that carbon emissions and other greenhouse gasses have reached their lowest values in a quarter of a century through the efforts of energy industry leaders, scientists, activists and the public all working together.
The Importance of a Local Minimum
In the first half of 2016, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions were just 2,530 million metric tons, the lowest since 1990. At the current pace, the yearly total is trending towards another long-term low of 5,179 million metric tons. The 25-year low does not mean we have won the battle against climate change, but it does represent a significant victory.
Although the population and energy demands are continuing to rise, supplanting dirtier fuels with renewable energies and cleaner carbon such as natural gas have caused the emission levels to dip. Coal use was down nearly 20 percent, and renewable energy sources saw close to a 10 percent increase. Industrial power demands were down slightly, but residential use had a more substantial drop of 9 percent from 2015.
With industrial plants working more efficiently and homes drawing less energy, less fuel was burned and less gas was released. The trough represents that we can cut back on our polluting without sacrificing the modern technologies that empower creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit throughout America.
Keeping the Momentum Going
Celebrating the lowest amount of greenhouse emissions for the first half of the year in the entirety of many people's lives is understandable, but there is a sobering future that looms ahead. If we want to avoid it, we need to continue taking steps to improve the efficiency in every facet of our resource consumption. Everyday activities like recycling paper products can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and a continued outcry of public support for businesses and policies that are pushing forward in green technology may provide a way out from a dry, barren future.
To fulfill your duty to a sustainable equilibrium between the environment and the economy, take part in energy conservation and recycling efforts within your home, at the office and with the community. Central Kentucky Fiber Resource can help take your recyclable goods to process them safely. Contact us today to schedule a business consultation and get a recycling program started at your company.