What Is Global Warming?
Global warming is defined as the rise in earth’s surface temperature caused by greenhouse effect. It happens because the greenhouse gases absorb more heat from the sun than they can radiate back. Due to this, the intensity of heat in atmosphere increases. As there are increased levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, there is the thickening of earth atmosphere. This process is called greenhouse effect.
Global warming is increase in earth’s average temperature near the surface and oceans. This started around mid twentieth century and continues to be a challenge globally. Global warming results due to an increase in green house gases concentration as a result of human activities which includes deforestation, fossil fuels use, global dimming from high concentrations of aerosols which block rays of sunlight from reaching earth surface. During the twenty first century, global warming is on the rise as indicated by projections of climate models. Increase in global temperature causes rise in sea levels resulting to precipitation pattern changes and subtropical deserts e expansion. In arctic regions it results to permafrost, sea ice and glacier retreat. Global warming also associated with species extinction, extreme weather changing agricultural yields. It varies with the region and is uncertain. Increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes oceans to be more acidic. It is associated with health hazards such as skin cancer, respiratory diseases such as asthma and greater damage to the poor (Keppler 2006 p. 13)
What are the causes of global warming?
The main reasons for global warming are deforestation and industrial emissions that result in an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of our Earth. Firstly, atmospheric heat is trapped, and then it is absorbed by the greenhouse gases. Ultimately, it causes an increase in the temperature of earth’s surface, which is also known as global warming.
What is the impact of global warming?
Sadly enough, if global warming continues, our world is in great danger. Considering the fact that global warming causes climate change, the world will be getting warmer and warmer with each year. Another consequence of global warming is the rise in sea level, especially taking into consideration four major changes, such as thermal expansion and melting of the mountain glacier, Greenland ice sheet, and Polar ice sheet. Consequently, the coastal cities might be submerged under seawater and swept away. Many islands would be directly affected as well since the majority of them might vanish not only from the earth surface but also from the world map. More concerning issue than changes in sea level is water balance. The problem of water availability is even more serious, isn’t it? Besides, it requires more financial resources in order to be solved. In future, some parts of our world will face water crisis. At the same time, other parts will become wetter than they are now. In addition, it becomes harder to forecast future precipitation or predict the patterns of agricultural changes. As a result, the effects of ecosystems are fairly uncertain and unpredictable. Most importantly, the human health is put at risk due to global warming. In recent years, because of changing climate, there have been reports of major tropical diseases spreading around the world. As it becomes warmer in the majority of places around the globe, more people are likely to be affected and suffer from various tropical diseases.
Global warming reduction through decreased greenhouse gas and carbon emissions will certainly save money, improve standards of living and reduce pollution. As carbon dioxide is emitted during combustion and fermentation of corn, it is cancelled out during greater crop uptake in the growth process to produce the biomass. Ethanol from corn is therefore a less pollutant as compared to the other fossil fuels. Reducing future climatic changes is called mitigation and one way to accomplish that is through the use of corn ethanol.
In developing countries, ethanol could replace the use of kerosene for cooking and lighting. Ethanol stoves could replace charcoal, wood and kerosene as a source of bio-fuel. This can be locally made in rural areas. The organic origin of ethanol is an advantage. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline. Cars which use E85 ethanol in a blend of 85/15 ethanol to gasoline have less toxic emissions. Ethanol has fewer amounts of toxic substances like benzene. Green house and ozone gases from car exhaust is lower in ethanol as compared to gasoline. Corn ethanol is a sustainable and renewable source of energy.
Corn in Relation to Global Warming
Corn is used increasingly to produce heat by use of wood pellets and maize kernels in corn stoves. Maize cobs are source of biomass fuel. Maize is also used as ethanol fuel in feedstock production. Ethanol is added to gasoline so as to reduce pollutants when used in motor vehicles. With increasing fuel prices, ethanol is highly demanded. Corn ethanol has higher density than fuels like methanol thus less volume is required to cover equal distance. Aromatics, hydrocarbons and olefins associated with gasoline combustion are toxic and are eliminated with use of ethanol.
Corn ethanol has higher oxygen percentage than other fossil fuels and its complete combustion means that it has no effect to global warming unlike fuels that are petroleum based. Use of just ten percent ethanol in gas tank decreases emission of greenhouse gas by nineteen percent. Ethanol from corn cause no pollution to ground water as ethanol separates in contact with water. It is environmentally safe as ethanol it is biodegradable. Other fuels pollute ground water (Michael, “Wise Geek”)
Corn Ethanolis produced as a biomass from corn by a process of industrial fermentation, chemical reactions and distillation. In Unites States ethanol production is derived from corn and used in gasoline oxygenation resulting to a less pollutant form of fuel.
The corn ethanol results to less greenhouse gas emission and is biodegradable. This ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emission by twenty percent as compared to gasoline. It is more efficient form of renewable energy. Future prospects show that the fuel could result to about eighty two percent reduction of greenhouse gas emission compared to gasoline. Fuels blended with ethanol meet the required standards. Ethanol biodegrades readily causing no harm to environment and is a safe replacement as a high performance fuel additive as compared to others such as MTBE.
Corn ethanol in United States is derived from yellow corn. Other alternatives in the production of bio-fuel are corn Stover which could replace food corn. Cellulosic biomass for ethanol production is a rising trend in bio-fuel production. Food/fuel debaters consider second generation bio-fuels as a solution. (Goettemoeller et al 2007 p.42)
Production of Corn Ethanol
Corn ethanol is produced in two ways. These are wet milling and dry milling. In wet milling, corn grains are added to a solution of water and dilute sulphuric acid for a period of twenty four to forty eight hours so as to separate the corn grain into various components. The slurry mixture is taken to series of grinders so as to separate corn germ. Corn oil is extracted as a by-product. The remaining fiber, starch and gluten are segregated by use of hydroclonic, centrifugal and screen separators. Gluten is extracted, dried and is filtered for corn gluten meals especially used for poultry meals.
Corn starch and water is fermented to ethanol. Corn ethanol production uses water for irrigation and processing. Ethanol processing could either be wet or dry with difference being on the initial treatment of the grain. In wet milling, the grain has to be steeped in water and separated for processing. Eighty percent of corn ethanol production in United States is through dry grid process. This is where the milled grain is slurred using water so as to create a mash where enzymes are added and cooked for hydrolysis of starch to glucose. The sugars are fermented by yeast to produce carbon dioxide and ethanol. Ethanol is then purified through molecular sieve dehydration and distillation to get fuel ethanol.
Dry milling is where the grain is ground into floor called a meal. The meal is slurred with water and enzymes are added for conversion of starch into dextrose. Addition of Ammonia follows so as to control pH as well as a nutrient for yeast. High temperature processing of the mixture is done so as to decrease the level of bacteria. The mixture is cooled in fermenters where it is transferred. Addition of yeast is done which converts sugar to carbon dioxide and ethanol as the final product. The whole process takes about forty to fifty hours and mash is agitated and kept cool so as to facilitate the activity of yeast. Completion of the process is followed by distillation. Ethanol is dehydrated using molecular sieve and denaturant like gasoline is added to make it undrinkable. The product is used as livestock feed and carbon dioxide for carbonating beverages and making dry ice.
With increasing volatility in the oil market, alternative fuel such as corn ethanol is very crucial. Ethyl alcohol blended with gasoline is known as gasohol. In its pure form, ethyl alcohol is an alternative to gasoline. To calculate the amount of corn needed to produce corn ethanol several factors are considered. Corn ethanol yields thirty four percent higher energy than it takes for its production. This involves growth, harvesting, transport and distillation process. Estimating energy input to determine net energy value of corn ethanol, all non renewable energy requirements such as those required in growth and processing ethanol are added up. Improvement in conversion technology has enhanced ethanol production (Hosein et al 2002 p.12)
A positive net energy value of corn ethanol shows that it is highly efficient. When ethanol is produced from domestic corn, united States reduce overreliance on imported fuel. As production of corn increase, energy value of corn is expected to increase. Cellulose ethanol has helped the United States to be 1.5% independent and by twenty seventeen, it is estimated to rise to 3.7%. These figures ignore the foreign input of fossil energy for ethanol production which is shown in the diagram below (“Zfacts.com” 2008)
Corn Ethanol is a source of bio-fuel that is a less pollutant and cause less emission of greenhouse gases which causes global warming. Countries should consider using this form of alternative fuel so as to preserve the environment and reduce over reliance to fossil fuels which are hazardous to the environment. This not only safeguards people’s health but also improves their economic status through use of domestic corn to produce fuel. Corn production should increase so as to attain the required biomass for energy production to run various activities.
How to prevent global warming?
In order to control the problem of global warming, it is highly recommended to limit and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the environment. Thus, it is essential to take drastic measures.
-Firstly, the Laws regarding pollution and greenhouse gases must be obeyed without questions being asked.
-Secondly, thermal power generating stations should be reduced, since it is one of the major causes of greenhouse gases.
-Thirdly, it is necessary to keep documents in electronic format in order to save paper.
-And finally, we must plant more trees that are helpful in terms of reducing the problem of global warming. The key issue in dealing with global warming is to follow these simple tips.
The Green Revolution
To effectively address the major challenges faced by America, various scholars, leaders and organizations have emphasized the need for America to embrace green economy. The step is widely perceived as the most appropriate measure to addressing the problem of the country’s economic growth. A green economy is also the right step towards providing a solution to global warming. According to the Premier, the future prosperity of the United States will depend upon the urgency with which the issue of clean energy will be addressed. Such steps will be a major achievement in addressing unemployment as it will create new green jobs. Measures like new energy infrastructure, cleaner sources of power and more efficient use of electricity are therefore inevitable to ensure the countries economic revitalization. The countries must also apart from giving financial support to its manufacturing and wind industries, put necessary policies in place.
The potential of green economy
Phil Angelides defines green jobs as those jobs which pay decent wages and benefits that can support a family. To him, green jobs have to be a real career path with upward mobility. He says the major aim of the job must be to promote environmental conservation. According to a study by Pew Charitable trust carried out in 2009, the rate of growth of clean energy jobs has been twice that of overall job growth over the past decade. Several people are now trained in green jobs all over the country to enable them secure employment in these new opportunities. Such people may be employed to provide energy related services to Americans in their residential and commercial buildings.
Other people are also employed in the manufacturing companies as is the case with the companies in the Midwest. Having transitioned to clean economy enabled the company to end the problem of job loss. This argument is supported by a report by the wind of change which indicated that there is a potential creating more jobs in manufacturing wing turbine and their components. However, there is need for new policies that will work to create a stable market for domestic wind energy supply chain. Some businesses were also expanded to produce new commodities such as harvesters that are used in the making of fuels. Other companies have also been expanded to produce bolts for wind turbines. The expansion of the initial companies and the establishment of new ones have created numerous jobs.
Even if some jobs may be lost during transitions to a clean economy as noted by some of its opponents, the effect will be offset by the resulting higher number of renewable energy jobs. The people who lose their jobs can easily be supported from the resulting massive income obtained from the green energy related companies and jobs. A study published in the journal of Energy Policy revealed that non-fossil fuel technologies had had a potential of creating more jobs per unit of energy than coal and natural gas.
Indications from the various efforts by the government and states
Several states in the US are already taking the necessary steps to realize positive economic transformation to clean energy. An example is the passage of the federal clean energy and climate bill which has resulted in to a massive economic innovation. The green economy has much potential of saving the environment while at the same time reviving the economy. Michigan on the other hand has adopted a standard requiring at least 10% of its power to come from renewable sources by 2015.
2). California has also for several decades put in place climate policies which have enabled it to realize much growth in its green jobs. The state’s rate of green jobs creation has now outpaced its overall job creation. Studies have shown that even during crisis, green jobs in California grew by 5 percent while total jobs dropped by 1 percent. In the year 2009 the wind industry alone contributed 2% of the America’s electricity and 18500 jobs.
It is therefore clear that green jobs can revive the US economy and help the country in finding a lasting solution to the global environmental problems. However, there is need for the congress to put necessary measures in place to avoid losing the created jobs to other nations.
These will require the government to give protection to its manufacturing industry
Sherrod brown warned that the country risk depending on Chinese made wind turbines if it doesn’t support its own industries. He noted that with the right policies in place, clean energy will help to revitalize the American manufacturing 1). The government must also work to ensure that the components and systems of the clean energy infrastructure such as solar panels are made by American workers 2). With these benefits the US government has no option but to join the rest of the world in campaigning for the use of renewable energy. These should begin from giving necessary support to the establishment and expansion of the American manufacturing jobs 2). The government must address the current challenge of small domestic market faced by its fast growing wind industry. Long term strategic policies must therefore be put in place to help such industries to thrive 2).
Center for American Progress
This is an organization that aims at mobilizing the United States and the international community towards realization of a bright and more prosperous future. The organization proposes a change in the way of producing and using the energy. They see the need for the reduction of the dependence on oil by the country. According to the organization, help in the fight of global warming while at the same time address unemployment issues 3).
In its strategy, the organization is running a program called Green Recovery in which it has invested over 100 billion dollars. They built large windmills and several solar panels in Atlantic City. Their wing firm could generate enough power for about 2,500 homes. The program also aimed at creating 2 million new jobs by building low carbon economy. The program provides an effective approach to greening the economy to create more and better jobs while reducing the effect of pollution of the environment).
The center aimed at directing the funding towards building new energy firms and supporting various renewable energy strategies. In its bid to create job opportunities, it aimed at improving energy efficiency by retrofitting buildings, constructing smart electrical grid transmission system, promoting wind power and solar power 2).
The program would reduce the unemployment rate from 5.5% to 4.4 %. I personally believe that this Green Recovery program can be a solution for the looming fall in the countries construction employment. The program also provides many with opportunities to rebuild their career ladders through organizing of various training and workforce development. These are good strategies that must be supported if the country is going to achieve its long term goal of poverty alleviation.
To boost its work, the government must consider reconstructing both the local communities and public infrastructure across the country. The overall result of the program would be a transition to low-carbon economy that increases the country’s energy independence and reduces the effects of global warming. The program will also help in reducing the total house hold expenditure by 13% since much of the investment is done within the communities. This has helped in keeping the resources within the domestic economy.
The jobs created by the green economy does not only provide economic stability to the country but it also contributes to the county’s energy independence and help in fighting global climate change. As noted by several scholars, the country should support green jobs as a fighting outsourcing and keep manufacturing alive in America. The country must not hesitate putting the proposed measures in place to promote green jobs