Future Fuels—Replacing fossil fuels may prove the great challenge of the 21st century. Many contenders exist, ranging from ethanol derived from crops to hydrogen electrolyzed out of water, but all of them have some drawbacks, too, and none are immediately available at the scale needed.
Biofuels can have a host of negative impacts, from driving up food prices to sucking up more energy than they produce. Hydrogen must be created, requiring either reforming natural gas or electricity to crack water molecules. Biodiesel hybrid electric vehicles (that can plug into the grid overnight) may offer the best transportation solution in the short term, given the energy density of diesel and the carbon neutral ramifications of fuel from plants as well as the emissions of electric engines. A recent study found that the present amount of electricity generation in the U.S. could provide enough energy for the country's entire fleet of automobiles to switch to plug-in hybrids, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
But plug-in hybrids would still rely on electricity, now predominantly generated by burning dirty coal. Massive investment in low-emission energy generation, whether solar-thermal power or nuclear fission, would be required to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And even more speculative energy sources—hyperefficient photovoltaic cells, solar energy stations in orbit or even fusion—may ultimately be required.
The solutions above offer the outline of a plan to personally avoid contributing to global warming. But should such individual and national efforts fail, there is another, potentially desperate solution:... #climate #Uninhabitable #globalwarming #sustainability #climateaction #climatejustice #sustainable #ecofriendly #climatechangeisreal #savetheplanet #renewableenergy #waterpollution #climatejustice #renewables #climatestrike #renewable #airpollution #climatechange #youthstrike4climate #saveourplanet #onlyoneearth #climatestrikes #seapollution #cutoutplastic #plasticpollution #greenhouse #greenhousegasemissions