May 3, 2010
WYCD #9 - Switch Your Energy, Now!
What You Can Do #9 - Switch Your Energy to Cleaner Energy, Now!
Following two recent catastrophic events, the West Virginia coal mine explosion and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, we all need to reevaluate what we are doing to our planet and to the lives of others.
Coal is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. In addition to carbon dioxide, methane is released. Both of which are greenhouse gases causing climate change and global warming. Coal mining causes water pollution and a choking of water habitats when debris from mountain-top removals are dumped into the waterways. And coal mining destroys local habitats, causing some species to struggle harder to survive, therefore landing on the endangered list.
On April 5th, 29 coal miners were killed in a devastating explosion in West Virginia. Because of the high demand for coal to turn on the lights for most households, 29 lives were lost, and 29 families now struggle harder to make ends meet.
Oil drilling pollutes the local waterways and directly poisons wildlife. When oil is recovered from the ground other substances like mercury, lead, and arsenic come up too. This is even more dangerous with offshore drilling, where water increases the spread of these toxins. And, seismic waves used to locate oil under water disorients whales causing them to beach themselves.
On April 20th, an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded resulting in a huge fire, the sinking of the rig, the death of 11 people, and a massive oil spill. More than 400 species are at risk in the gulf in addition to habitats such as Louisiana's barrier islands and marshlands. And hundreds of families along the coast make their living on the shrimp and fish that are prevalent in these waters. Because of the high demand for oil to turn on the lights for most households, 11 lives were lost and countless others will have a very difficult time supporting their families.
Now is the time to switch your energy to a cleaner, renewable energy source. If you live in an area that is deregulated (meaning, you don't have to stick with the "one and only" energy provider), then you can choose your energy source. There is someone offering clean energy to your area right now. You just have to look. If your area isn't deregulated, it will be soon. And as when as that happens, change your energy.
In addition to obviously helping the environment, wildlife, and decreasing the demand for dangerous resources, you will save money. Because the running of clean energy is less expensive, companies offering clean energy can charge less. Significantly less. These companies also don't have to worry about high insurance costs for their employees because capturing solar and wind energy is nowhere near as dangerous as the removal of coal and oil.
Are you going to switch your energy provider to a cleaner, renewable source? If not, you're saying...
"In today's economy I don't want to significantly reduce what I am paying each month on my energy bill. I'd rather throw my money away, thank you."
"I don't mind the arsenic in my water, and I rather enjoy the smell of sulfur from the local coal mines in the early mornings."
"I don't care about the preservation of wildlife or about how other families are getting on."
However -- if you have a brain and a heart -- you'll make the switch.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.