While communities do their best to live greener by recycling, limiting the usage of gasoline fueled vehicles, and reusing scraps as compost, it is like a drop of water in a river of ongoing issues concerning climate change. However, nations have developed new technologies in hopes that it can reduce the global carbon dioxide emissions that currently contributes to the greenhouse gas effect. What is the greenhouse gas effect? Simply speaking, when the Sun’s shortwave radiation hits Earth, most of that energy gets bounced off clouds, bodies of water, and ice. However, some of that shortwave energy is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and heats it. The Earth then releases the energy back as long wave radiation into space. This is where the CO² (carbon dioxide) and the greenhouse effect come into play. The CO² emissions in the atmosphere absorb that newly released long wave energy from the Earth and scatters it in all directions, thereby retaining heat on the Earth’s surface.
We have learned much about how we as people have left our mark on Earth. Time and time again, we have made advancements in our industries and our technological fields. Unfortunately, a lot of these early advancements came at a cost. Our world is in dire shape, and the cause was triggered by humans. For every achievement we’ve had, our world’s resources, ecosystems, and overall climate has had its scales tipped. Climate change is now a pressing matter that everyone, the world over, must collaborate to give back and protect the Earth that we all share. That said, many nations have been using was of circumventing the rise of climate change by using alternative fuels and energy. Iceland is one of these nations, leading the way to combating climate change.
Iceland is in a unique place as it is a country gets most of its power from glacial rivers via hydroelectric dams and the rest in the form of steam energy from its huge number of volcanoes produce geothermal energy. All of these are forms of renewable and sustainable energy. In addition, Iceland has begun to push for even further advancements by introducing Vulcanol. Based on Carbon Recycling International website, Vulcanol is “…renewable methanol, produced from carbon dioxide and hydrogen from renewable sources of electricity (hydro, geothermal, wind and solar)… …Chemically, Vulcanol (TM) is fuel grade methanol, a clean burning, high octane fuel that can be blended with gasoline for automobiles and used in the production of biodiesel or fuel ethers (DME, MTBE, OME etc.). Renewable methanol is also a low-carbon feedstock for production of synthetic materials.” Simply put, Iceland has cornered the ability to use geothermal energy into steam energy to power communities or use it to help produce a low carbon emitting fuel with hopes that it mitigates the impact on climate change.
What this boils down to is how we can adapt and change our world for the better. That is not to say what we do at home is not without notice. Every little bit helps and spreads awareness to the situation we currently face today. As we can see from Iceland’s example, there are ways to mitigate the amount of carbon emission in the atmosphere and it is up to our leaders to adopt these innovations. We must bring to their attention that there are ways of finding use in and extrapolating renewable resources. It is all a matter of coming to a consensus and solving the pressing matter of climate change. We all live on this Earth, we are responsible for the damage done upon it. It falls on us to be better and do better for every living thing we coexist with, ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.