Fighting Climate Change for Kids’ Sake

We’ve Left it up to the Kids

Children and teenagers have gone on strike this past Friday to protest inaction on climate change. Around the world, young protestors like Greta Thunberg feel that we’ve reached a tipping point and they must take action into their own hands, even though they are not yet out of grade-school.

What they’ve had to say is powerful. Greta’s speech included moving lines like this:

  • “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes…Because the adult generations have used up all our carbon budget.

What’s the Impact of Inaction?

The IPCC’s climate report gives us ten years to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and it’s had a big impact on these Generation Z activists, who are mostly aged in their mid teens. In ten years’ time, they’ll be in their mid twenties and dealing with the repercussions of older generations’ inaction.

These bleak prospects have a real impact, even beyond the climate. The United States has an aging population, and young people have cited climate change as a concern for having children. Business Insider conducted a poll which found

  • Nearly 38% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed that climate change should be a factor in a couple’s decision about whether to have children. And 34% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 44 agreed.

What Can We Do?

By powering most of the world on electricity that comes from wind and solar and other renewable, carbon-free sources and offsetting things like plane travel that have to use fossil fuel with higher prices and carbon capture, we can put a stop to the worst of climate change.  “It’s 2050 And This Is How We Stopped Climate Change” outlined a clear vision of the future:

  • “This is the foundation of a zero-carbon world: Electricity that comes from clean sources, mainly the sun and the wind, cheap and increasingly abundant. Today, it powers this house; tomorrow, it could drive the world.”

The good news is that we still have a few years to turn things around, and we have the solutions we need to do it – all that’s missing is action.

  • “In order to have impact, timely impact, I figured that I need to leave research and focus on impactful things that I want to do. And fast,” she says.

As consumers and citizens, we can also have a big impact. Voting, both at the polls and with our dollars, combined with individual choices on things like transportation, are powerful ways to combat climate change. One easy switch to make is to support the transition to clean energy through community solar, which is becoming increasingly available in many states.

You can help Fight Climate Change by joining a Community Solar Farm.

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solar field

Climate Change isn’t the whole problem

So much of the discussion around clean energy currently focuses on climate change and pricing, but we shouldn’t forget another important reason to “go green” – pollution. Fossil fuels and nuclear produce dangerous pollutants which have a direct impact on our health and the sustainability of our planet.

Coal

  • Coal use is declining, but we still get almost 30% of the country’s power from it.
  • Coal extraction uses harmful techniques such as mountaintop removal and strip mining, which pollutes water sources and damages ecosystems.
    • Underground coal mines pose threats to safety from collapse and methane leaks.
  • Burning coal releases heavy metals such as mercury, as well as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates
    • These pollutants are linked to respiratory illness, neurological damage, smog and acid rain.

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas burns cleaner and more efficiently than coal, but it still emits pollutants and accounts for about 32% of our energy.
  • The extraction of natural gas can be problematic.
    • Laying pipelines to transport natural gas requires clearing land, and when the pipelines leak they release methane, a strong greenhouse gas.
    • Hydrogren sulfide is burned off, or “flared,” when extracting natural gas, which releases varying pollutants
    • Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, uses a fluid that contains unknown chemicals – only 28 states require the disclosure of some of the chemicals in fracking fluid. This fluid can leak and pollute water supplies.
  • Fracking has also resulted in earthquakes at wastewater injection sites.

Nuclear

  • Some says nuclear energy could help with climate change, but we should not take the potential health risks lightly.
  • Used nuclear fuel emits dangerous levels of radiation long after it’s used and there is currently no long-term solution on where and how to store this waste.
  • Nuclear meltdowns may be relatively infrequent or unlikely, but when they happen they’re disastrous.
    • Incidents like Fukushima and Chernobyl have a high human cost, and render cities uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

Solar is a Solution

  • The guaranteed lifespan of solar panels is twenty to twenty-five years, which is much better than many consumer electronics such as cell phones or laptops, and in many cases they can be recycled.
  • Using the sun for energy doesn’t emit water, air, or carbon pollution.

You can help Fight Climate Change by joining a Community Solar Farm.

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Ready to go Community Solar?
See if Community Solar is available in your area and schedule an appointment.

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Everett, MA

Everett Mayor Announces Community Solar Partnership

Everett is Going Green

This past Wednesday, Mayor DeMaria announced that Everett has decided to purchase solar energy credits from solar farms built by Syncarpha here in Massachusetts. He cited the effects a changing climate has on a coastal community like Everett, including increased flooding and storms. Taking the city solar will also have cost-savings that can be put to use elsewhere in the budget.

Residents Can Participate Too

These farms are also open to any MA residents served by National Grid electricity, and Mayor DeMaria encouraged Everett to join him in choosing clean energy: “I hope our residents will take advantage of the residential portion of the Community Shared Solar opportunity to purchase clean, renewable, solar energy credits. Those who opt into the new residential program will also save money.”

How Does it Work?

Residential community solar is a relatively new offering in Massachusetts. Many homeowners have investigated rooftop solar but found that their roof wasn’t well suited for it, or that the arrays were too expensive. Community solar offers a much simpler way to “go solar.” Residents receive discounted credits on their electric bill, based on what their “share” of the solar farm produces – giving them guaranteed savings. There are no upfront costs and there is no installation required. Joining a community solar farm not only supports clean energy, it has economic benefits right here in Massachusetts.

You can help Fight Climate Change by joining a Community Solar Farm.

LEARN MORE

Ready to go Community Solar?
See if Community Solar is available in your area and schedule an appointment.

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE PHONE CONSULTATION

Customer Success Stories

“We have a challenging roof that prohibits rooftop solar. So I love that Relay Power offers an alternative. On top of helping the environment, we save money, which is a great bonus.” – Greg N. from Beverly

 

 

“This was a great opportunity to take meaningful action to reduce our carbon footprint, with the added benefit of actually paying less for the energy I use at home. It’s a no-brainer for those looking to live more sustainably. For a long time, we have been looking into solar panels for our house but for one reason or another haven’t been able to pull the trigger. This is a great alternative.” – Michelle L., Manchester, MA

 

 

“The process was quick and easy really. My wife and I both work full time and we have two kids under five, so I’m usually not into things that are time intensive. I would recommend this to my family and friends.” – Matt P. from Beverly