The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
We Can Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Starting Today
Across the nation, American businesses, families and communities are embracing clean, renewable energy that is homegrown, healthy, and can never run out. By finding alternatives to fossil fuels that pollute our air and disrupt our climate, they are showcasing the single most practical way to tackle climate change, starting now.
Schools from Virginia to Nebraska to Alaska are generating their own clean renewable energy, saving money while helping young people in their communities breathe more easily.
Ninety-one communities in Illinois have made the switch to 100 percent renewable electricity. Iowa and South Dakota are producing more than a quarter of their electricity from wind power. And while Houston, Texas might be the oil capital of the country, it's powering half of its municipal operations with renewable energy.
Keep these real-world success stories in mind next week, as heads of state from around the world gather at the United Nations for the Climate Summit. Embracing clean, efficient energy is a practical, flexible, adaptable solution for 100 percent of America, from rural families to multinational corporations and all of us in between.
At the Solutions Project, we see tremendous economic opportunity in a clean-energy future. We rely on the work of dozens of researchers at Stanford University, U.C. Davis and Cornell, who have found that embracing energy efficiency and moving to 100 percent renewable energy could double the number of energy-related jobs in the U.S., while saving every American thousands of dollars a year in health and utility costs.
The researchers found converting our country to 100 percent renewables would eliminate about 60,000 premature air-pollution-related deaths in the U.S. every year, saving people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases and respiratory illnesses. It would also save enormous amounts of money—about 3.3 percent of U.S. GDP—due to lower insurance rates, lower taxes, lower workman's compensation rates, fewer lost work and school days and fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
Going renewable would also stabilize energy prices in the long run, researchers found, because the fuel cost of wind, water, and solar electricity is fixed at zero. Forever. It's not volatile like the price of oil, coal, or natural gas. Real-world experience supports this analysis: the cost of electric power in the 11 states with the highest fraction of their electricity generated from wind power decreased 0.4 percent from 2008-2013, while the cost in the remaining states increased by 8 percent.
That's why Apple, WalMart, Illinois, Iowa and all those other states, companies, communities and families are eagerly moving to a clean energy future. And it's why heads of state talk about climate change at the U.N. Climate Summit yesterday and 400,000 people from all walks of life marched in New York City, calling for action.
A stronger economy. Healthier families. A more secure future. These are 100 percent American goals, and clean energy will help us get there.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Erica Cirino
Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.
By Jason Bittel
High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.
By Bob Curley
- The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
- Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
- The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.
McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.
By Andrea Germanos
Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.
By Tim Radford
The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began — leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.