Created in 1992 ENERGY STAR is the most successful voluntary environmental conservation movement in history.
The Environmental Protection Agency wanted to encourage manufacturers to produce energy-efficient products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions so the agency introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products.
The home green house gas emissions can be almost twice of that of the average car but by utilizing ENERGY STAR products you can save about 30-50% of energy utilized and reduce greenhouse gas.
If every American home replaced their five most frequently used appliances with ENERGY STAR products, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from their combined energy savings would be the same as taking 5 MILLION cars off the road.
Saving energy means significant savings from your home electric bill each month.
The program is a driving force behind the use of technological innovations as efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems and low standby energy use.
The ENERGY STAR label is on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, new homes, buildings and factories.
Sometimes small actions make a big impact.
Life depends on energy from the sun.
Green plants and other organisms absorb sunlight and convert it into energy.
Animals and humans receive energy to meet their metabolic needs by eating plants.
Without the life sustaining energy of the sun, life as we know it would cease to exist on earth.
The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.
This warming is attributed human activities like the burning of fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not pollution and is essential to life on earth, we breathe it out and plants breathe it in.
C02 traps the sun’s heat and helps warm the earth. Without it life on earth would never have been sustained in the first place.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects have been the dominant cause of the warming since the mid-20th century.”
The earth is losing it’s ability to absorb C02 due to industrial pollution, deforestation and over farming.
Of the 21 hottest years on record, 20 have occurred since 1980.
According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the average global temperature on Earth has increased by
about 1.4° Fahrenheit since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975.
But why care about one degree of warming?
A one-degree global change is significant because it takes a tremendous amount of heat to warm all the oceans, atmosphere, and land by that much.
The Ice Age was only a 5 degrees drop and that was enough to bury most of the the world under a massive ice shelf 20,000 years ago.
Warming is greater over land than over the oceans because water is slower to absorb and release heat.
Warming of the ocean surface has been largest over the Arctic Ocean.
The oceans are Earth’s filter and are growing less and less efficient at absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide.
Glaciers that took thousands of years to form are disintegrating in just years.
To many climatologist the rapidly melting ice is the canary in the coal mine and evidence that global warming is happening faster than once thought.
Will Polar Bears Become Extinct?
In the last 20 years the Arctic has lost an area twice the size of Texas.
The average temperatures have risen almost twice as fast in the Arctic as in the rest of the world and climate changes there are felt intensely.
The result is the early break up of sea ice.
Polar Bears rely on sea ice to survive. They hunt for seals on the edges of the melting ice when they come up for air.
But the ice is melting earlier and faster and the bears don’t have enough time to hunt the food they need to survive the winter months.
The Polar Bears are literally starving and within the next 6 years female bears may not have enough body fat to reproduce.
Climatologist warn that in 50 years there will be no sea ice at all during the summer months.
The ocean water will rise and the results will be devastating and not just for bears.
If the trend continues then the ocean waters will rise about 3 feet by the end of the century.
The polar ice caps contain 75% of the world’s fresh water. The Greenland ice cap contains about 23 feet of sea level rise. The Arctic ice sheet contains about 20 feet of sea level rise. If a significant amount of either of the ice sheets is lost then we will lose coastal civilization as we know it.
New York City could be abandoned in the next century.
Other coastal cities that would be affected are: Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and the entire state of Florida.
The water could reach all the way to central London.
Low lying countries like Bangladesh could be completely wiped off the map.
Abnormally high tides are occurring in some smaller South Pacific islands and high tides swell through the ground of porous coral and many will vanish into the sea.
The book documented the negative effect humans have on the natural world and was a catalyst for environmental protection.
She detailed cases of pesticide poisoning, cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides and most notably DDT.
Silent Spring was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time and launch the environmental protection movement.
People were seeing evidence of nature’s devastation and were very concerned over air and water pollution.
Overpopulation and industrialization had left mankind a poisoned environment and a movement for change had begun.
Environmentalism and the Birth of the EPA
In an era of bitter political and cultural disputes, public opinion was unanimous on the need for the national environmental policy.
In 1970 President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which revolutionized environmental regulation and put the environment at the forefront.
From the start the agency was a target for incessant controversy, political disagreement and public scrutiny due to costs imposed by regulation.
In it’s first 10 years the EPA passed major regulations for pollution control.
The Clean Air Act of 1970 was designed to regulate emissions from cars and factories to reach new EPA air standards.
There was a stand off with the auto industry to develop new technologies to reduce air emissions.
The Clean Water Act of 1972 was a direct response to the Santa Barbara oil spill and outlined a policy to regulate pollution into U.S. water ways.
The EPA is now working on global pollution control efforts and influencing the United Nations Environmental Program.
The EPA is taking the lead to address global climate change and limit greenhouse gas emissions.
About 80% of the world’s growing energy demand is met by burning fossil fuels and altering the trend globally will be a slow process indeed.
“Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
“In nature nothing exists alone.”
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
NewAir reduces energy use one product at a time.