Renewable Energy: Where Do We Go From Here?

Renewable Energy: Where Do We Go From Here?

Brandt Trotter, Features Writer

The argument over whether or not we, as a society, should make the switch to renewable energy and move past fossil fuels is a very hot topic and has been for most of the 21st century, and with the increasingly widespread idea by scientists around the world that irreversible climate change is impending, the introduction of ideas to address the issue have also become increasingly widespread. 

A recent study, taken on January 7th, 2021, conducted by World Economic Forum Researcher and Analyst Shirley Cardenas, infers that the earth will cross what is considered the “threshold for dangerous global warming,” or +1.5 degrees Celsius, anywhere between 2027 and 2042. 

This broad timeframe has also been pushed by many politicians and government officials, many of them stating that we may see irreversible damage by around 2030 unless we take immediate action. 

This fear is not only shared among many government officials, but among many citizens as well.

Mason High School Sophomore Neveah Branson believes that addressing climate change and switching to renewable energy sources is absolutely necessary, stating “it’s one of the only ways we can save the planet.” 

Many people who share similar feelings as Branson towards climate change are concerned that there are not really any other options that we can take in order to prevent this catastrophe from happening, and that as time goes on, our time to address it runs out. 

Lauren Montalvo, a Junior at Mason High School, believes that time to address the issue is running out day-by-day and that switching to renewable energy as soon as possible is a step we have to take. “It is a necessity and needs to be used more because we’re about to run out of other resources,” Montalvo says.

However, not everyone shares the same concern over the issue, or at least, does not  share the same ideas on how to go about potentially addressing it. 

According to the U.N. Gap Report, a report published each year before the U.N. climate talks, the cost of fixing climate change in the U.S. could range from 1.8 to $3.8 trillion each year, a range that many politicians and citizens fear we would not be able to afford. 

Cost is one of the most common arguments among those who either deny climate change’s effects and those who view making a switch to renewable energy sources is too ambitious. Many of them fear that the money in their pockets will deplete at an unprecedented rate as a result of taxation necessary to pay for climate change measures and regulations.

According to the Ecosystem Marketplace, 78% of all carbon emissions are from a set of twenty industrialized and developed nations, yet only five of them have made a commitment to cut down on fossil fuel use in order to eventually reach net-zero carbon emissions. Among climate scientists, it is widely predicted that if the world, especially these industrialized nations, do not reach net-zero carbon emissions by around 2030, the world will see blatant, irreversible damage to our environments and ecosystems.