Fossil Fuels

Episode 5, January 19, 2015

This is Episode 5 of the Go Green Report for January 19, 2015. The Go Green Report is here to help you take small steps towards living green. This episode is brought to you by Control-n-Roll, a household product that helps you save toilet paper and paper towels with every pull. To find out more, visit controlnroll.com

A statement was recently issued by Catholic bishops from around the world asking the world’s governments to take steps to end dependence on fossil fuels. They stated that the effects of global climate change are dangerous for the earth’s poor and underprivileged and hope to protect those communities whose livelihood and wellbeing are endangered due to worldwide climate change. This statement came on the heels of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in which delegates discussed avenues toward a new goal of the complete divestment of fossil fuels by 2050.

Fossil fuels are the decomposed remains of prehistoric organisms that have become pressurized and combustible and include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They are nonrenewable, but are cheaper than alternative fuel sources, and therefore more commonly used. They have been combated, however, due to their dangerous implications for our environment. According to softschools.com, when fossil fuels are burned, they release unhealthy toxins into the air we breathe.

The global impact of our dependence on fossil fuels is grave. The toxins that they emit are credited in part with the worldwide climate change of recent history. The subsequent rise of temperatures and sea levels threaten the livelihood of many of the earth’s citizens.
One major culprit of fossil fuel consumption is our transportation habits. Transportation accounts for roughly 28% of our overall oil consumption. Conventional, internal combustion engine cars—which only use gasoline—are responsible for a large portion of this.

However, alternative fueled vehicles such as electric and hybrid cars offer an much needed solution. Cheerfully, their appeal has led to an increase in manufacturing and marketing, as electric car sales rose 228.8% in 2013, according to evobsession.com
While purchasing an electric car may not be what’s right for your family right now, there are many ways to have a positive impact on the process of fossil fuel divestment. Public transportation is a great avenue to help cut down on carbon emissions in your area. Google maps has a feature that can help you find the necessary routes to take in your daily commute.

There are also incentive programs throughout the U.S. that provide monetary compensation for consistent use of public transportation. One example is Georgia’s $3 a Day program, with which individuals from certain counties can earn up to $100 by modifying their commute to include public transportation. Check to see if similar benefits exist in your state.

Also, fiscal incentives offered by employers for carpooling and using public transportation are not taxable in the United States, according to the IRS. These benefits may be available at your workplace.

Additionally, gofossilfree.org is a resource to connect individuals that are committed to the divestment of fossil fuels. Visit their site to learn about the efforts that are being made in your area, as well as to sign the regional petitions that have been started.

We all carry the responsibility of protecting the environment and leaving our children a planet that is livable. Let’s join together to make it happen.

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