If you do a little research about pollution in America and around the world, it will quickly become clear that the problem is so big that we will all have to contribute to rectifying it. Beyond cleaning up the environmental disasters that have already occurred and are occurring now, we must also put preventative measures in place to protect nature from further harm, so that the generations that come after us can enjoy all that this beautiful planet has to offer.
Environmental scientists of all specializations agree that there have been big changes to the environment and its processes in the last century - and they are not good changes. While the global climate is affected by natural events including volcanic eruptions, changing solar cycles and organic greenhouse gas emissions the facts show that one of the biggest contributors to climate change is human activity.
Government's Role in Protecting the Environment
In recent years, the federal government has become more involved in advocating for legislation and other measures to lay a strong foundation for protecting the environment. “The President has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue for climate change, and protect our environment.”[i] The Obama administration has been proactive in encouraging people to change their consumption habits in order to slow down the harm being done to our planet by greenhouse gases. These initiatives are not without controversy: some see this type of 'nudging' by government as a positive and necessary action, while others see it as an invasion into their private lives. After all, who wants the government telling us what to do? As a compromise, maybe people on both sides of the issue can instead take a cue from the science that underpins the government's reasoning and consciously make changes to our daily routines with the goal of protecting the environment.
The Fight Against Pollution and Industrial Waste
One major area where the federal government is getting more involved with environmental protection is industrial waste – a major contributor to habitat pollution and climate change. Some energy-producing companies see increasing regulation as an interference with their business practices, but the reality is that power plants are the largest contributor to carbon pollution in the U.S. Our total gas carbon pollution is made up of 82% carbon dioxide; 3% Fluorinated gases; 6% nitrous oxide and 9% methane. To reduce the amount of carbon pollution we emit as a nation, the government has set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxic pollutants that power plants are allowed to emit into the air. “The United States is leading global efforts to address the threat of climate change. Since 2005, the United States has reduced its total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. Wind power has tripled, and energy from the sun has increased tenfold.”[ii] The government’s plan is to set standards that will reduce carbon pollution by 30% by the year 2030.
Renewable Energy – A Solution to Climate Change
Few people know that, since 2008, “The U.S. has increased solar generation by more than twenty-fold and tripled electricity production from wind power.”[iii] This increase in renewable energy investment has also prompted more general interest in projects related to green power: since the President took office and started this initiative, “The Department of Interior has permitted over 50 wind, solar, and geothermal utility-scale projects on public or tribal lands.”iii These projects could ultamitely generate enough electricity to power more than 4 million homes and create an estimated 20,000 jobs. Through these initiatives, we can see that the federal government is making a concerted effort to both protect the environment and invest in the future of the people and communities who must live with the legacy of the environmental policies we choose today.
Although major changes to energy policy take time to achieve, as federal, state and local governments do more to protect the environment you will notice more and more government bids being posted for the sourcing of “Green” products, renewable energy products and services, environmental cleanup contracts, and other related opportunities. This focus on environmental sustainability will provide many great opportunities for those operating in industries related to renewable energy grow their businesses, increase sales, enter new territories, and be part of healing the planet in the time when it needs it the most.
Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com
[i]n.p. “Energy, Climate Change, and our Environment,” Energy and Environment. Whitehouse.gov. n.d. web. 15 Sept. 2015
[ii]n.p. “Climate Change,” Energy and Environment. Whitehouse.gov. n.d. web. 15 Sept. 2015
[iii]n.p. “Climate Change and President Obama’s Action Plan,” Whitehouse.gov. n.d. web. 15 Sept. 2015