Carbon Sequestration | Teen Ink

Carbon Sequestration

May 13, 2008
By Anonymous

Since the beginning of time, man has roamed the earth feeling invincible. Even as cavemen, humans have felt superior to all of nature. This superiority complex led rudimentary man to begin an escalating destruction of the world. Throughout time, our earth has begun a process of gradual heating that eventually will scorch the planet. If the sweltering heat is not curbed soon, the earth will develop into nothing but charred remains of a once utopian planet.
Global warming is a fact; to what extent it affects the earth, what is causing it and how to reverse it are subjects to debate. Many assume that the warming of the climate will have little effect on their community; however, scientists believe the climate change will have direct effects on global temperatures and weather patterns. With glaciers melting, flooding could cause entire towns to disappear and force many to evacuate their homes. Warmer ocean temperatures will alter or kill the world’s source for seafood. Warmer temperatures will allow a substantial increase in the number of insects causing a sharp increase in diseases. Eventually we will all feel the effects by dwindling clean water and food supplies, our health, and the economic and social conditions of communities.
One of several known causes of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting release of carbon dioxide into the air. Since 1990, America’s carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have increased by twenty percent. This is a disturbing statistic considering that the United States of America is the number one global warming polluter in the world. Worldwide, carbon dioxide emissions have increased to more than thirty-three billion tons. This number continues to grow as more and more nations use fossil fuel to provide electricity and fuel transportation.
So what exactly is the United States’ government doing to protect the environment in which billions of people live? At the beginning of his presidential term, President George W. Bush set a goal of developing methods to severely decrease the greenhouse gas emissions. In response, the U.S. Department of Energy has established a Carbon Sequestration Program to capture, purify, and store underground the industry generated carbon dioxide being released into the air to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without reducing energy use or deterring America’s economic growth. While the Department of Energy expects to maintain using high volume fossil fuels, the goal of the carbon sequestration program is to reduce the amount of carbon in the environment.

The even bigger question is what can we do as individuals to address global warming and protect the environment? As the federal government continues to develop more earth-friendly energy saving techniques, citizens must accept some of the responsibility and take action to protect the environment. Simple tasks such as turning off the lights and computers when they are not being used, carpooling or using public transportation, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances, or buying local foods are just a few of the ways that we as individuals can conserve energy. No one person can reverse the effects of global warming, but if everyone contributes a small portion, together we can make a difference.

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