Category Archives: global warming

Scientists Warn of Permanent drought for 25% of the Earth by 2050, If Paris Goals Are Not Reached


There are lots of research on climate change and these studies have stated the detrimental effects of man-made gases that are released into the atmosphere daily. However, a recent study on the ever-growing effects of global climate inaction has stated that almost every part of the earth could end up in a long-lasting state of drought if its temperature rises or warms up to 2ºC by 2050.

However, it is important to note that a top researcher in this study named Manoj Joshi has this to say, “The research envisages that desertification would increase about 20% or more on the land surface if the global temperature reaches 2ºC”. Nevertheless, this new study has been published in the journal, Nature.

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Today, climate change has been as a result of man-made activities, and researchers have linked and stated that the spread of extreme droughts has been as a result of human activities for many years. It has also been known that the only way to limit these effects is by avoiding the conditions that could result in climate change to a temperature of about 1.5ºC.

Furthermore, Dr. SU-Jong Jeong, a scientist in China’s University of Science and Technology has also concluded that “the temperature of the earth has warmed up by 1ºC but to keep global warming by 1.5ºC, is to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which may lead to the circumvention of aridification in many parts of the earth” this includes America, Africa, Australia, and Asia (which has almost 20% of the world’s population)

“It is important to know that aridification poses a serious risk to the earth because of its threat to vital areas such as biodiversity, farming, water quality, and so on”. Lead researcher and author at the Southern University and Technology in Shenzen, China, Chang-Eui Park, stated this in a recent news release. He has also indicated that aridification can also result in an increase in more droughts and wildfires in many parts of the world – related to those seen intense in California and its environs.

The recent research also concluded and showed that decreasing global warming to a 1.5ºC rise would prevent the spread of drought, and it is important to note that the rates of drought across the world today has already increased beyond human expectations. This is due to the fact that the temperature of the Earth has sporadically risen to 1ºC in global average temperature.

Scientists have taken a critical look at the probable occurrence of aridification for different levels of global warming, containing a 1.5ºC and 2ºC rise in the average temperature of the earth. Although, the Paris climate accord has been with lots of critics from environmentalists and scientists as not being adequate to the tasks of combating the problems associated with climate change which is already imposing lots of havoc across the world today. Nevertheless, the main objective of the Paris agreement is to decrease global warming to 2ºC by the end of the century. However, if we are to achieve this feat, “prompt measures” have to be taken to restrain the emergence of aridification.

The issue associated with the Paris agreement is that the U.S (which is the second largest emitter of carbon in the world) recently withdrew its support for the Paris accord under the governance of President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, President Trump has instead, moved to other directions stated by other scientists. Together with this, Trump has also increased his actions to gut adequate measures that have been put to place for environmental protection by the former administration during his first year in office, and it is vital to know that Trump is showing no signs of limiting his actions.

Furthermore, Trump has also stated last week of his enthusiasm of a warmer planet, when he tweeted that the United States “could use a little bit of that good old global warning” to fight the cold weather that is taking over other states in the east. In addition to this, he has shown that he is unaware of the discrepancy between weather and climate. Trump’s move to withdraw the U.S from the Paris climate accord has been criticized by lots of ecologists as “stupid and reckless”

The reckless decision has categorized Trump’s tactic to the environment, not only to the United States alone but also to the world – throughout his first year as the President of the United States. However, Trump’s tweet last week sparked lots of comments from environmentalists and analysts, but this is not the first tweet made by the American President on cold weather to suggest that the world should embrace climate crisis.

Moreover, David Sirota of the International Business Times has said that the president tweet should be preserved forever so that generations to come can know the reason why the American government didn’t take adequate measures to combat climate change.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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Sun, Wind and Water: Africa’s Renewable Energy Set to Soar by 2022


There has been a loud cry for clean, more efficient, less carbon sources of energy all over the world. About 22 percent of electricity on the world is produced by renewable energy, while the remaining 78 percent is by the use of fossil fuels — gas, coal, etc. This accounts for the massive global warming worldwide; and also the desertification, gully erosion and flooding experienced in some parts of Africa.

Africa too is having a shift towards the use of renewable energy. Countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and few other countries are making headway in the use of renewables. Energy officials have said that the strong demand for power in Africa would give rise to the use of renewables in the next 5 years.

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So many communities in African nations (especially Sub-saharan Africa) just have access to electricity by the advent of the use of renewable energy in those places. Much more people now have access to power.

In Nigeria, the Energy commission have forecast that by 2030, Nigeria would need about 200,000MW of power to be able to effectively distribute electricity to it’s citizens. This can’t be achieved by the use of gas alone; but more of the renewables — sun, wind, and water; and even biomass; because of the current rate of production (which is about 5,500MW).

In some places in Nigeria, power has become affordable and easy to access. For example, in Ofetebe community in Edo State, Nigeria, a solar mini-grid produces 4kW of electricity to power a community borehole, a clinic, 30 households, a barber shop and relaxation spots like a video parlour. The cost of installation was about N4.8m, the mini grid will last for 30 years: an investment of N500 per month for each household. The community would therefore enjoy electricity every day, 365 days per year.

Ghana is currently building what is to be Africa’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant with $400m, which will consequently produce 155MW (the Nzema Solar Project). Kenya is also planning for sufficient solar power to provide more than half of the country’s electricity by 2016. Construction of the plants that would help achieve such is expected to cost $1.2bn. (For the same amount, Nigeria could build about 1,000km of gas pipelines – but this would constitute only 10% of what she needs).

The use of renewable energy in Africa is really growing. Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable division at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) had this to say, “A big chunk of this (growth) is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar sources in South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia and wind in South Africa and Ethiopia as well.”

He forecast that the installed capacity of renewable energy in the Sub-Sahara region would almost double the current 35 gigawatts to above 60 gigawatts under the right conditions. Ethiopia has a set of hydro-power projects that are being constructed, this includes the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River that will produce about 6,000 megawatts when it is completed.

This is sufficient for an averagely populated city for a year. “Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules,” Frankl told Reuters on the sidelines of a wind energy conference. The advocacy for a low-carbon energy source to reduce harmful greenhouse gases is a form of threat to industries who use fossil fuels, as well as beneficiaries of such.

In Africa, South Africa’s state-owned electricity company, Eskom, best illustrates the effect of the shift from fossil energy to renewable energy. The company has shown reluctance to sign new deals with independent power producers, according to analysts.

In May 2017, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) said that the energy regulator agreed to probe into Eskom’s refusal to sign the agreements that delayed almost 3,000 megawatts

in new solar and wind projects. Mark Pickering, chairman of SAWEA, said on Wednesday, “Our government does not appear to appreciate the forces of nature.”

Eskom’s reluctance to sign the new power purchase agreements for two years has delayed investment of $4.03 billion, and affected investors’ confidence with the record of at least one wind turbine being closed down. “The continent has a lot of potential, but the problem is financial and political issues, so all of our projects are being delayed for quite a long time, like with Eskom,” said Mason Qin, business development manager for southern and eastern Africa.

Hence, the strong demand for less carbon energy, and the prospective plans of African nations regarding electricity, and the demands to achieve such plans, has projected that, only by the use of renewable energy can these be achieved. 5 years would be sufficient to make this shift in Africa much clearer.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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The Journey to Limelight of Electrically Powered Vehicles in the US


The use of electricity to power vehicles in the world can be dated back to as far as the 19th century. A lot of people made tremendous contributions to the development of this kind of vehicle. Around this time, there were other means of powering vehicles which include the use of steam and fuel (coal, gasoline, etc.) which have gained prominence in the world today. The electric cars at this time were very slow and they could only work for a limited time due to the capacity of the batteries used at that time. Some could only travel a few miles and a few hours.

Before its acceptance in the US, it was already widespread in the UK and in France with so much improvement because better durable batteries were made and its speed had improved. It was until about 15 years after that the US accepted it. The first in the US was by William Morrison. It was 6-carriaged, with a speed of about 14 mph in 1890. By 1897, through the “Electric Vehicle Company,” the electric car had started to gain prominence in the US as it was used as cabs in New York, with about 62 electric cabs during that period.

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Because of some limitations in the batteries used at that time, i.e., early 20th century, the top speed of these early electric vehicles was limited to about 20 mph; but, it still earned the consumers’ preference because of some advantages it had over the other vehicles. It didn’t have vibrations, bad smell and an awful noise as can be attributed to gasoline cars.

They were also very easy to operate and they didn’t require much to start up, unlike their competitors – steam vehicles which usually took about 45 minutes to start up on cold mornings; and gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine. Because of the ease of operation of Electric cars, it was accepted widely by women in the US and was even tagged the women’s car.

When power supply became better 1912, there came a surge in the popularity of electric cars so much that it grew to a 38% use among all other types of vehicles. A total of about 34,000 electric cars were registered in the US. In the early 1920’s, the electric cars in the US began to suffer a rapid decline in its use, owing to some factors highlighted below:

  • Good road infrastructures which now required vehicles that could travel faster and for longer periods. Electric cars couldn’t stand this test as they were slow with their maximum speed of about 20 mph, and they couldn’t travel more than 60 miles or thereabout.
  • The discovery of large oil reserves in the world made fuel readily available and cheap. It now became a cheaper means to power vehicle using fuels which could even travel faster and longer.
  • Gasoline cars became even easier to operate. The hand crank which was a difficult way of starting fuelled-vehicles was replaced with an electric starter by Charles Kettering; and the noise from ICE cars became more tolerable as mufflers were used, which Percy Maxim had invented in 1897.
  • The mass production of fuelled-vehicles by Henry Ford during that period made the price of gasoline cars affordable, up to half the price of electric cars.

Consequently, these led to a drop in the demand for electric cars, leading to many of such companies being closed or converted. Only a few electric vehicles such as the milk floats in the US were still functioning.

Looking through these facts, it would seem as though electric cars would never gain prominence again in the US and even in the world at large. But, nature has its way of recycling, bringing old methods to limelight. Such is the case of the electric cars in the US today. The recent problem of global warming, a result of greenhouse gases from fuel combustion, has called the attention of the world to save our crashing Earth. One way this would be achieved is by curbing the use of fuelled-vehicles.

The US has from the 1990’s, made remarkable advancements in the design and improvement of electric cars. During this period, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), began an advocacy for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles.

From December 2016’s analysis, about 2 million electric vehicles are used all around the world, an amount of 0.2% in comparison with non-electric vehicles. America recorded an amount of 570,000 electric cars. It is said that US citizens want zero or low-emission vehicles, and it is only a matter of time for electric cars to gain prominence again, may be permanently this time.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Construction, Working and Environmental Effects of Landfill


Most of us have heard about landfills but few ever think of them as anything more that holes in the ground that get filled with trash bags. Nonetheless, landfills are a little more complex than how most of us perceive of it. A landfill is a waste disposal system where waste is buried, but the waste first goes through some processing before it is buried. Landfills are some of the most common means of waste disposal and have become increasingly popular due to the hazardous effects of burning waste, which used to be the primary technique of dealing with waste disposal for many developed and developing countries.

The uniqueness of landfills is how it allows for the burying of waste, in that, it does not cause an eyesore such as is the case with dumpsites and is completely isolated from getting into contact with groundwater or the air. Landfills also provide the added advantage of providing potential sources for energy which means that they make use of the waste in ways that no other trash storage method does.

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Construction of the landfill

Landfills work by going through a thorough process of evaluation first in order to determine where to put them and its lifetime operation. The criteria are as follows;

1. Area of land

The section of land for setting up the landfill needs to be large as not only is the actual landfill supposed to be sizable to pack enough waste, but also requires a lot of space for supporting structures that will be discussed further on. Environmental impact study also has to be done on the land before construction begins.

2. Composition of the bottom of the pit

The bottom of the pit needs to be as watertight as possible. This means that the bottom of the pit should be compacted tightly or the bedrock should not have cracks in it to prevent water from the pit leaking into ground water.

3. Surface flow of water

The flow of water from rain should also be studied in a bid to develop strategies to prevent runoff water from the landfill from making its way to rivers as well as the ground table. This means, landfills cannot be constructed near rivers and lakes and they require drainage systems to manage their surface water run-off.

4. Environmental impact assessment

This is to evaluate the damage that the project will have on the surrounding region as well as drawing up plans for contingencies that will help solve problems that the landfill might cause. The systems set up here are supposed to ensure the environment does not suffer too greatly while cushioning against any forms of accidents.

5. Historical and archaeological value of the site

Historical and archaeological valuation of the site has to be done to ensure the landfill site does not disturb land that is significant in any way either historically for the local people or on the basis of archaeological importance that would be lost. 

How Landfill Works?

Once these requirements are established, the landfill creation process can begins and this shows exactly how the landfill works. Landfills may differ in operations, structure and how they are designed, but the following are the typical structures involved.

1. Bottom Liner system

The Bottom Liner System is the section ensuring that the trash and leachate does not drain into the ground water or sip out of the landfill and make its way to other water sources or pollute the soil. The liner is usually a durable and puncture resistant material such as polyvinylchloride about a tenth of an inch (approximately 3 millimetres) thick.

2. The Cells

This is where the actual trash gets placed. As space is a precious commodity for landfills, there is a need to be very careful with how it is packed. Cells are created to allow for the allocation of specific space resources while guaranteeing optimal usage of the given land for the landfill. The packing process is especially rigorous, requiring that each cell be filled then compacted using heavy machinery to ensure maximum use of space. The resulting trash is usually packed till it becomes airtight.

Examples of cell dimensions have them placed at 15 by 15 by 4 meters. At the top of each cell, they are packed with about 6 inches of compacted soil to ensure the cell remains airtight, preventing insect and other pest penetration into the landfill.

3. Storm Water Drainage System

This is the system maintaining the dryness of the landfill by preventing water from seeping into the system. It directs surface runoff away from the landfill as well as ensuring water does not find way into rivers untreated.

4. Leachate Collection System

This system collects leachate that eventually seeps from the landfill. While trash put into the landfill is usually checked for liquids and rejected if it’s too wet, the system still generates enough liquid referred to as leachate. This liquid contains large concentrations of hazardous materials that have dissolved in it from the landfill trash over time.

It is therefore very dangerous to have it pool anywhere unmanaged or drain off into water sources. As such, the system collects the leachate and drains it out of the landfill into a collection region where it is processed just like sewage and released safely back into the natural water ways.

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5. Methane Collection System

Due to the airtight nature of the packing process, only anaerobic bacteria can survive in the landfill. These are the bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive. The bacteria break down the materials found within the landfill and produce mostly two by-products, methane and carbon dioxide.

Methane is highly flammable; therefore, letting it collect within the landfill is a dangerous option given that it might be densely packed and eventually becomes explosive. For this reason, the methane collection systems either collects the gas and use and/or sell it as a fuel source or burn it on site to reduce its concentration inside the landfill.

6. Covering or Cap

The covering cap is the last bit of material placed daily on the landfill to cover the cells. It is usually a polythene material covered in a thick layer of soil that later has trees and shrubs grown on it once the landfill is completely filled to prevent erosion. The covering is done to prevent exposure of the waste to the air, pests, and to aid on the management of bad smell.

Landfills can have very adverse effects on the environment, especially when improperly constructed. The major concerns include:

1. Leaching

Leachate is the water contained in the trash that usually seeps out over time. While management during construction ensures the trash ending up in landfills is relatively dry, some liquid is inherent within the trash and thus drains out over time. This leachate has in it dissolved organic and non-organic material and minerals. It is also usually acidic. This can cause horrendous changes in the pH levels of the soil around the landfill as well as change its chemical composition.

2. Methane as a greenhouse gas

Methane gas, as previously discussed, is extremely volatile and could easily cause problems. However, its biggest contribution to the environmental problem is that, it is a greenhouse gas. In this view, methane gas could contribute to the global warming. The situation is even made worse by the possible human errors that could contribute to problems such as accidental release of the gas due to negligence.

3. Other gases similarly cause air pollution and health problems to humans

Some other gases also tend to be produced in the landfills especially when ammonia and bleach mix. These gases can cause health problems and reduce the quality of life because of the bad smell. Besides, it can be particularly dangerous because of the tendency of converting landfills into recreational parks at the end of their lifecycle.

4. Potential fire hazard

Another huge concern is the potential fire hazard that landfills pose. Poor construction of landfills could leave enough room in the structure for air to make its way in. The produced methane gas could then easily mix with the air and ignite to start a fire. The trash within the landfill could then burn, heating to very high temperature as it burns due to its construction, the same way an oven burns, with all the compacted material above and below it. Such an occurrence could make the fires very hard to put out. Furthermore, the fire could cause the leachate to spread when attempts are made to put out the fire.

5. Soil erosion and dust

During the construction of landfills, a lot of soil is disturbed that leads to increased dust in the air. Also, the dust could rise after the completion of the project if shrubs and plants are not planted appropriately on top of the cap. Moreover, soil erosion could occur during the whole process of moving dirt as well as over time as the cap on the landfill slowly gets attacked by surface water run-off and wind.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Recent Climate Study: Severe Forecasts on Global Warming Could Be Accurate


Reports on global warming are not new all over the world today and events that contribute to climate change include the burning of fossil fuels to foster the growth of our economy. It has also been discovered that by 2100, the earth will be 15% warmer than it should. Also, the growth of indecision of disconsolate projections has been narrowed also. However, it is important to note that lots of climate models have been made so far and these models project that the amount of climate change in this century is the ones that support current observations.

Furthermore, the use of climate models is to project how much warming is taking place and what we should expect when there is an increase in the concentration of gases like CO2 ( Carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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Recent research has affirmed that the uncertainty of global warming is narrow, which means that the future looks dire for us.

Climate researchers who have worked on global warming had already proposed that there is a 62% chance of the earth becoming warmer on average by more than 4 degrees Celsius if there are no policies or measures to control the emissions of greenhouse gases. With a recent climate study, the uncertainty of global warming has been narrowed and it is now estimated that by 2100, there will be a 93% chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius.

Moreover, many nations of the world had a meeting in Paris in 2015 and they made a joint decision to curb the rise of global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius; even at this temperature, the state of global warming can still pose a great danger to the earth. However, one degree higher to this temperature is cataclysmic. And an increase above 5 degrees Celsius could pose a total change to the world or may even end it.

It is also important to note that two United State researchers made a report in the journal Nature. They made use of several climate models for the projections which were proposed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and they also aligned the reasons against some opinions that were made.

In the report also, a detailed look was done on the differences in seasonal and monthly climate, the utilization of energy, the emissions of greenhouse gases, and how they affect temperatures. Furthermore, there have also been some contentions about how accurate these climate models work and how they can be used to forecast the world’s climate in the next centuries to come. With this, it has been affirmed that the future looks dire for us if nothing is done on global warming.

A researcher from the Stanford University of California has said that with the results gotten by them, it does not make sense to discard the forecasts made on global warming probably due to the fact that the models used are imperfect in their imitation to the way the climate looks now.

More truths

Researchers from the Stanford University of California have proposed that they are trying to show that the faults of the climate model can be used to discard predictions that are not severe. They have also stated that their results which were gotten by them suggest that if the world is to achieve a total stabilization of global temperature, then there is a need for a drastic decrease in the emissions of greenhouse gases that were previously envisaged.

With these statements and affirmations, it has been known that the use of climate models are essential as the use of climate data itself and that the basis of uncertainty could be the effect of warming. This means that there will be more evaporation to a warmer earth; which implies that the warmth of the earth is captured in the atmosphere which could cause an increase in the radiation of the sun.

For many years now, lots of research have been done in order measure with accuracy, the links between the emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of coal, natural gas, and oil, and the change in the temperature of the earth.

Modest indication

A researcher in Carnegie by name Ken Caldeira has estimated the way in which Carbon dioxide causes global warming in the earth and the way in which greenhouse gases can warm the earth for a long period of time.

However, recent conclusions solely rely on modest indications which is the precision with which climate models can be used to envisage the future of the earth when it comes to climate change.

Ken Caldeira has praised the use of these models that simulate today’s comments and he has also said that these models may be the most reliable forecast for the future of the earth.

Finally, based on a recent research, it has been confirmed that if there are no adequate policies put in place concerning the emissions of greenhouse gases, there is a high chance that global warming will surpass 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, which indicates grave danger on the future of the earth.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Electric Cars Are Now Cheaper to Own Than Petrol Cars


It wasn’t too long ago that electric cars were considered a dream of the future, unattainable by most working class citizens. But according to new research, this may no longer be the case.

In countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, electric cars have become much more cost-effective to use and own, especially in the long-term, as found by this study. In the United States, research was conducted in Texas and California, while the study encompassed all of the other two aforementioned countries.

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This information comes at the same time as a rapid rise in the sales of electric cars in occurring, and the researchers find it fair to theorize that this is a direct result of the lower costs. Currently, the low prices is assisted by government support, though electric cars are still expected to naturally become the most inexpensive option in the near future.

The study in question was conducted by Kate Palmer, James E. Tate, Zia Wadud, and John Nellthor at the University of Leeds, UK, and it involved recording and analyzing the entirety of the cost of owning a car over the course of four years. This included all details involved with purchasing, using, and maintaining a car, including original price, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and taxation and insurance fees.

Cars that ran entirely on electricity had the lowest fuel costs of all car options, as charging the car is much more low cost than filling up with gas, diesel, or petrol. The simpler and easier to maintain engines incurred lower maintenance costs thanks to their extra functions, which includes eliminating the need for brake pad replacements as the engine assists in braking the car on its own. In fact, in the UK, running and owning an electric car was 10% less expensive than doing the same for a petrol car as of 2015.

Meanwhile, hybrid cars did not follow in this fashion. Due to an inability to plug in and charge, they were often actually more expensive than their petrol counterparts. Hybrids that can be plugged in actually were even more expensive to own, especially when it came to the initial purchase, as buyers would basically need to pay for two engines, doubling the price. (It is worth noting that this is not the case in Japan as plug-in hybrids in that country have more subsidies.)

The researches, in a statement led by James Tate, expressed feelings of encouragement as his team predicts that purely electric cars will become even more inexpensive in the future, with car battery costs for this kind of vehicle lowering in the coming years. This is in spirit of sales subsidies, which are about $6,750 in the UK and $8,780 in Japan at this moment, but are predicted to slowly fall. The researchers estimated that by the year 2025, an electric car may be just as inexpensive to buy, own, and use as a petrol car – though some companies, like Renault, estimate that this will happen before that in the 2020’s.

Sales of electric cars have had a significant increase in recent years. For example, in the UK, the rise is as much as 37%, while diesel automobile vehicles have dropped by 30%. This is in lieu with increased concerns regarding air pollution, especially from vehicles and cars that use diesel gas. In fact, at the rate they’re going, electric cars – which do not produce nearly as much carbon emissions that contribute to global warming – could outsell diesel vehicles by May 2019. This is according to Matt Finch, an analyst at the United Kingdom Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

The push to roll out electric cars, which produce less climate-warming carbon emissions, has been supercharged by concerns over air pollution, particularly from diesel cars. In the UK, where toxic air is at illegal levels in most urban areas, sales of diesel vehicles have plummeted by 30% in the last year while sales of electric cars, which produce 50% less greenhouse gases than petrol cars, have soared by 37%.

Currently, however, demand for electric cars is far greater than the supply manufactured. The main issue behind this has been suggested to be due to the fact that there are good electric cars prices at the low and high ends, but none in the medium price range, where most families who which to purchase family cars will be turning their attention.

Meanwhile, concerns regarding the worsening state of the environment and air pollution continue to rise around the world, particularly in China, which has the largest market of electronic cars worldwide that continues to grow day by day. The rest of the world has yet to catch up, as petrol companies and traditional fuel car manufacturers continue to push to make their own products and sales.

This may come with some unfavorable downsides, as governments may begin to tax electric cars when petrol and fuel sales start to drop, according to Steve Gooding, the director of the Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring Ltd. The transition to more electric cars would also require more public chargers, which good charging speeds and powers that can match up to the needs of users.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Why Gardening is Good For Your Health [Infographic]


The point of Conserve Future Energy is to help others realize what kind of state our planet is in right now. With climate change, global warming and our constant usage of non-renewable energy resources, we need to do all we can to do our bit for the environment and one way you can do your part, have some tasty food, stay in shape and also have fun is by gardening. The people at WhatShed got in touch and we have this infographic that shows just how good for you gardening can be.

By growing your own food, you are making sure that you are eating more organic and natural food. Of course, this is going to save you money in the long run, but it is also a way that you can do your small part for the environment. Growing your own food is a wonderful experience and that first time you make a dish with vegetables you have grown from scratch, you will never look back.

Gardening takes care of your physical and mental health so you get full body workout. Speaking of which, you no longer need to go to the gym as gardening for a few hours is just as good for burning calories as spending an hour in the gym. People who are keen gardeners tend to be happier people and more adept at fighting off things like strokes and various heart issues. As you can see, gardening does wonders for your body and the better in health you are, mentally and physically, the more you can do for the environment.

So as you can see by spending time in your garden, growing plants and carefully growing your own food, you can save money, be healthier and also make sure that your pantry is full of great tasting food. Have a good look at the infographic and see all of the wonderful benefits gardening offers you.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

20+ Shocking Food Waste Facts of America


Food waste is one of the issues currently facing the planet as a whole. America in particular tends to have a serious food waste problem because its consumerism is largely at the retail level compounded by the fact that the majority of Americans are more conversant with finished goods rather than the actual produce.

America therefore has a very high rate of food waste because people have developed a habit of buying excess food than what is actually needed or eaten per meal time. This article seeks to list 20+ shocking food waste facts about America.

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1. The total food waste realized in America is as high the food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa relies on irrigation and minimal rainfall to ensure crops grow to maturity before harvest. After a series of short and long rainfall, there is produce realized which is fairly equal to the food waste of the whole of America.

2. More than a third of food produced in America becomes food waste. This is caused by the unconscious or conscious state of throwing food away as waste. Snacks half eaten as well as excess food purchased but not finished leads to the alarming percentage of food waste.

3. Food waste in America is realized at the consumer level. Most Americans eat at home, buy snacks or eat at a restaurant which is perfectly okay. However, food left on plates or the leftover burger or fries contribute to heightened food wastes.

4. In 2010, the largest component of municipal solid waste from garbage bins was food waste. The dumping of food is becoming rampant which is sad since there are people who still reside in the same country who lack adequate food.

5. America is home to the largest share of the 1.4 billion overweight adults in the world. This is quite ironic. America has the largest food waste in terms of metric tons and still, has the highest number of individuals who suffer from obesity and being overweight. It simply translates to a stalemate because in one household, there is overconsumption of food while in another; food is wasted and goes down the garbage bin.

6. Food waste in America is approximately at 50 million tons annually. The garbage collected in America is full of food waste from the American households which contributes to pollution, effective landfill management problems, and is hazardous to the environment. Most of these food wastes are in plastic bags and containers thus contributing to plastic pollution.

7. High levels of perishable food wastes in American farm leads to lower consumption. In a case where the farm produce goes bad in the farm or in the store, there is a high likelihood that there is reduced willingness to purchase the produce. This leads to a decrease in the consumption of vegetables and fruits which constitute the majority of vitamins and metals which are essential in human diets.

8. Most Americans realize there is a food waste problem but do not acknowledge that they are part of the problem. A large percentage of the American population is aware that the rate of increase of food waste is at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, they do not realize that the little acts they do goes a long way towards food waste, that is, buying food in excess and then throwing away what remains.

9. One in seven people is faced with food insecurity in America. The common stereotype is that food insecurity is only in third world countries and that in developed countries, there is sufficient food and wealth. This may not be the case in America. One in about seven people relies on the government through feeding programs translating to roughly 50 million people. Beside, the affected people are unable to provide for their families as a whole and so have to seek food stamps to survive.

10. A lot of the food waste realized comes from over-purchasing. Individuals buy items in bulk which is okay but fail to see the expiry date which then warrants the disposal of the already bad food, leading to wastes. In order to avoid this, in the case of bulk buying, then there should be effective means of storage like freezers and keen review of expiry dates.

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11. There is loss of 650 pounds of food between the farm and the dining table. Normally, an individual should consume about 2000 pounds of food annually to stay healthy. Yet, there is a loss of pounds therein. This happens when there is poor storage of produce in the farm, stores and at home. Farm produce may overstay in the farm or the store and due to the high level of perishability, it goes bad.

12. About 20% of the farm produce is rejected in the retail stores due to poor quality standards. Farm produce that does not meet the set quality checks such as shape, color and packaging is normally removed from the stores. The result is loss of food that is suitable for human consumption. In light of this predicament, there are stores that are ready to accept the farm produce that has been rejected to salvage the produce and minimize food wastes.

13. In America only, about 25% of water is wasted because of food waste. Water is a scarce resource which should be utilized. In the course of farm produce, there is water that is constantly used for irrigation which would be termed as wasted if the farm produce is itself in the end, termed as wasted. In addition, there is a lot of water left running in taps during food preparation which leads to massive wastage of water in the long run.

14. There is a loss of about 640 billion dollars realized from food waste every year in America. The figure is alarmingly large which begs the need to save food and consume what one can consume.

15. About a half of Americans take home the left overs they left in the restaurants. This should be encouraged since this translates to less loss of food. In consequence of this, more individuals should seek to take back what they have left on dinner tables in restaurants in order to take it again, or to recycle the leftover. In the end, there is no food waste.

16. 40% of food in America is never consumed. This is brought about by the fact that there are certain crops which are majorly produced by America and are mainly exported to other countries. In the end, there is minimal consumption of the particular crop in the country. For instance, despite America being the largest producers of maize, most of it used for export and people still go hungry in the same country.

17. In 30 years’ time, the average calorie consumption will be at 3070 up from the current 2000. This is warranted by the fact that the current population consumes a lot of food which has brought about a heightened level of overconsumption. The increase is also attributed to the growth of the number of obese and overweight individuals in America since the 21st With the current trend, year 2050 will be graced by a lot of obesity which may lead to overconsumption.

18. Food wastes have led to an increase in the per capita income. The wastes in food translate to money loss when it comes to the American economy. In about 40-50 years, the per capita income has been on the rise owed to the fact that the rate of food waste is increasing annually.

Moreover, the population is still steadily growing and as such, the number of individuals who are obese and overweight is also on the increase. As a result, the government has to invest a large chunk of the financial budget on food and the amount keeps increasing annually.

19. America has realized that food wastes can be an avenue for creating value on other sectors of the economy. American has realized that wasted food can provide compost which can be converted to give energy. Wasted food can also be processed into animal feeds in the agricultural sector. With such initiatives, compost can be used for energy production and animal feeds can support the agricultural sector.

20. Food waste in America produces billions of tons of carbon dioxide, augmenting global climate change. Emissions related to food waste considering production, transportation and processing of food in America simply translate to worsening of climate change and increased global warming.

21. There are millions of individuals who reside in America who face malnutrition. Those that are not privileged enough to have a constant supply of food end up facing this nutritional disorder. It is for this reason that feeding programs exist.

References: TheDailyMeal
Image credit: pixabay, flickr

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

11 Greenest Countries on Earth in 2017


The world is making advancements towards becoming green especially for environmentally conscious nations as they work hard to develop their economies. Industries have been set up, people have ventured into real estate, and governments are constantly making great milestones in the health, education, energy and transportation sectors. These developments have allowed countries to provide a better economy and life to its citizens.

However, this does not come without consequences to the environment. Global warming and environmental degradation is one of the impacts faced. The environment is thus at a risk, particularly with the increase in the number of production industries, expansion of modern transport and residential developments. Despite these environmental risks that come with development, there are countries that have worked hard to reduce them and keep their environment green. Here are 11 countries that have been termed as the greenest in 2017:

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1. Iceland

Iceland is one of the countries that takes its environment very seriously and invests in its sustainability. It has been graded as one of the greenest countries in world. Besides, it has been in the fore front in the implementation of programs that are eco-friendly. It boasts of an Environmental Performance index of 93.5.

It has placed focus on production of electricity and heat by utilizing geothermal landscapes. Iceland has also played a major role in the fight against ocean pollution. It has made sure that the waters are kept clean and fishing is done while prioritizing on protecting the environment.

2. Switzerland

Switzerland is the second most greenest country in the world in 2017 with an Environmental Protection index of 89.1. It has put into place various measures to ensure that the environment is kept clean and at the same time sustainable. The setting up of Alpine park is one of the steps it took. Additionally, the country has focused on production of resources by using renewable energy, a move that promotes a green economy.

Switzerland has over the years made laws that have allowed farmlands to develop and prevent them from being used for infrastructural expansion. These contributions by the country has allowed it to be green as the natural environment has been kept safe. Clean air, beautiful lakes and mountains have been notable features that make it prominent.

3. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is popularly known for its amazing scenery and equally intriguing landscape. The green in its environment is clearly evident at first glance. It boasts an Environmental Protection Index of 86.4. The country has put stern measures to avoid both air and water pollution and hoping to achieve a carbon neutral environment by the year 2021.

The citizens of the country use renewable energy in order to avoid the production of greenhouse gases. Costa Rica hopes to be the first carbon neutral country in the world and is constantly seeking for funding to make this possible. Other than being one of the greenest countries in the world, Costa Rica is also considered to be one with the happiest people in it.

4. Sweden

Sweden is listed among the greenest countries in the world with an Environmental Protection Index of 86.0. The country plans on eradicating the use of fossil fuel by the year 2020. The move is meant to prevent environmental pollution. What’s more, they have embraced the use of renewable energy that is eco-friendly to keep the environment natural and safe from pollution.

The use of renewable energy greatly contributes to the reduction of carbon in the air thus a cleaner and safer environment. The most notable action is the partnership between Sweden and its neighboring countries, especially by taking responsibility to protect the Baltic Sea and protect the ecosystem. The environmental governance body in Sweden is amongst the most sound and this has contributed to the fact that Sweden has been kept green.

5. Norway

Norway is one of the counties in Europe that has a significantly green environment. It has an Environmental Protection Index of 81.1. The country has made sure that its residential and commercial facilities do not release any greenhouse gases to the environment. Like other countries, Norway has made sure that the whole country uses eco-friendly and renewable sources of energy so as to reduce the rate of pollution and carbon production.

Norway has put in place sustainable development strategies and environmental laws that are supposed to aid in realization of a carbon neutral country by the year 2030. Most interestingly, Norway cultivates a relationship with nature. Children from a tender age are taught on how to live together with nature and protect the environment. In addition, Norway uses ecological knowledge to keep its environment clean and safe.

6. Mauritius

Mauritius, a small island country in Africa, has played a major role in keeping its environment green. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 80.6. Mauritius being an island, has worked tirelessly to protect its ports. It has set up laws and protection acts that reduce the rate of pollution whilst promoting environmental protection.

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7. France

The contribution of Nicholas Sarkozy played a major role in making France one of the greenest countries in the world. He implemented legislations that made it mandatory for all of France to partake in making the country eco-friendly and to conserve energy. France has an Environmental Protection Index of 78.2. France has been endowed with very fertile grounds and is one of the top exporters of food. It is also makes wine thanks to the grape fields it has.

The country has less industries as compared to other countries and this has helped in the reduction of air pollution. Over the years, France has been working on deindustrialization – a move that has seen the environmental state of the country improve as water pollution has been reduced significantly. Additionally, France has vowed to change its resource usage and methods of production to conserve the environment.

8. Austria

Austria has an Environmental performance Index of 78.1. It achieves this Index by relentlessly striving to maintain the natural conditions of its environment. Among the major actions taken by Austria is putting environmental protection in its social and economic policy agenda.

Austria has also worked hard in sectors such as waste management and chemical as well as air pollution to prevent such pollutants from destroying the environment. Further, Austria has incorporated ecological knowledge in their agriculture to prevent pollution. This has been highlighted by the restriction on the use of pesticides. It has also put measures into place to protect its forest and reduce deforestation. All these have contributed to making it one of the greenest countries in the world.

9. Cuba

Cuba is not left behind among the countries ranked as the greenest in the world. This is evidenced considering its Environmental Protection Index of 78.1. Cuba has worked hard in keeping its environment green and safe by reducing the use of Pesticides on farmland since they are chemicals that negatively impact the environment.

The sea level has also been lowered to protect the soil from excessive salt that might destroy it. Environmental awareness is also taught in schools so that children can embrace it and practice it to sustain the environment.

10. Colombia

Colombia is a beautiful country that has been blessed with amazing sceneries and vegetation. Particularly, Colombia is endowed with the amazon forest, tropical rainforests and deserts. It also has thousands of species living in its ecosystem. Policies and regulations have equally been set up to protect the environment and preserve its biodiversity.

Despite the fact that they were initially accused of degrading their natural environment, they have worked tirelessly to regain the lost glory by making laws that favor the sustainability of the environment. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 76.8 and is ranked among the greenest countries in the world.

11. Finland

Finland finishes the top 11 list among the greenest countries in the world for the year 2017. In the 80’s, Finland was known for high scores of nitrogen emission and other activities that destroyed the environment. However, over the years, improvements have been noted as the country strives to restore its environment to its original state.

The body in charge of the environment in Finland has worked hard to make sure greenhouse gases are not produced and that the citizens in the country use renewable sources of energy for production. Wind power has greatly been made use of. According to Yale University’s annual Environmental Performance Index, Finland has planned to have more than half of its electricity coming from renewable sources of energy.

Image credit: pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)