Archive by Author | carolelizabethk0017

Solar Power: What is The Economic Incentive?

For our last research project we are focusing on alternative energy. Today while I was researching we were looking at why solar panels are so expensive? Everybody says that there isn’t an economic incentive for solar energy so why would everyone switch to solar energy? I know saving the environment isn’t on the top of everyone’s list, but we should all be able to do the little things that count.

Here is a link to a diagram explaining how solar panels work

What I found when we were researching was the following:

Costs increase because solar panels aren’t 100% efficient – in fact, they’re significantly less! (at the time of writing, the highest efficiency achieved is 42.8%) This means you need more solar panels to power your home than you would if the efficiency were greater… plus, the more power you need, the more panels you need.

If your panels are going to be located in an area where efficiency is further compromised by shade, wind, and other factors, then even more panels may be required to provide the energy you need. The cost can easily continue to add up.

On the contrary, we also found that:

While it is still rather expensive, it is important to know that prices have dropped over the past few years. In addition, you have to take into consideration the amount of money you will be saving on your electrical bill.


While most people believe that there isn’t an economic incentive I learned that if your solar power panels produced more energy than your house or building need, then the power meter will spin backwards and pay you back for the surplus. People need to think of the long term instead of the short term because the solar power panels pay for themselves.

In the long run the solar panels pay for themselves because it makes such a difference on your electricity bill. You have to look at the long term instead of short term.


So Many Issues… Where to Turn to First?

Everybody always says that the human race has completely messed up the environment. All we have done is hurt the earth and put toxic waste on it. Is this a true assumption? Everyone can keep on debating between this subject but we will never know for sure.  

Despite what many environmentalists would have you believe, nobody is really sure about the causes of global warming. Certainly, the earth has warmed over the past century, but perhaps that is only because it had cooled so much since Roman times. I imagine that had today’s environmentalists been alive a thousand years ago, they’d be chastising people for burning wood and coal to keep warm and cook food. After all, anyone could see all the smoke rising up to the sky, blocking the warmth of the sun.

Today, of course, no right-thinking person believes that burning wood and coal will lead to another ice age. This is the new millennium, after all, and we left such silly beliefs back in the 1970s and ’80s. No, today, the same folks who made fun of their parents for crying about a coming ice age are themselves, now, crying about melting ice caps, whole cities under water, scorched crops, and the need for SPF5000 sun block in a few years.

Personally, I think the whole argument is silly. After all, scientists say the planet Mars, too, has been heating up lately, complete with melting polar ice caps, and try as I might, I just cannot see any way to blame mankind. Unless those rovers NASA sent there are actually pollution-spewing planet-warmers disguised as exploration vehicles. No, I think it’s far more likely the sun is the culprit, since the sun is the one thing both planets have in common. Unless…perhaps…Frank Herbert and others weren’t writing science fiction at all, but were part of a vast, interplanetary, hot-wing conspiracy.

 This is from Free Republic and it has all of the sides of the question: Who is to blame?

One another note, there is the controversial statement that the human kind doesn’t care about the mess that we have made. I for one do not think this is true. The human race does care; it is just hard to figure out what to prioritize. We have so many things going on in our lives without thinking about what we do to help the environment. For instance, the economy is a huge problem we have in our country. It is also more short term compared to global warming. We are more caught up in everything that will affect us tomorrow then something that could affect us in ten years. If it became more universal about global warming, then it will take its turn in our lives and get our attention.

Not WHOM to blame, but HOW to stop!!

Watching the Great Global Warming Swindle it was hard to figure out whom to believe. Everything they were saying was contradicting each other and they were just saying that the other person was wrong. Climate Scientists were saying that global warming was not happening and if it was, there is nothing we could do about it because humans were not the cause. Journalists and political figures are saying that global warming was happening and they had to do something to stop it as soon as they could. I think that we should believe the climate scientists because they know a lot more than most journalists because they study it everyday and they have a lot of background knowledge. Journalists just want to make a good story and make money. They take the extreme and tell it to the people so that their story gets a big hit. It would be more of a wow factor story if it involves things that need to be done.

Everybody has his or her own opinion about global warming. Some people think that humans are the cause of it and others think that global warming isn’t happening. No matter how we debate over this it will not change the fact that we are one of the leading countries of CO2 users compared to other countries. It may or may not be affecting our environment, but either way it isn’t right to be using this much CO2.

We need to stop focusing on whom to blame. We need to take responsibility for our actions and put a stop to it while we still can. We are wasting so much time and energy debating who to accuse but more on the subject of how to change. Compared to other leading countries we are definitely the leaders for most C02 usage. As you can see in this graph it shows that the U.S is the second top ranked annual CO2 emission. Considering the fact that we are much smaller than most of the high ranked CO2 emmisioned states, it is unhealthy for the U.S to be number two.

We need to start with the little stuff: For instance, Turning off the Heater/ AC when we can open a window, cutting back the use of our cars, and having everyone pitch in on being GREEN. The website and organization, Go Green Initiative, has ways to help you get started on making your life GREEN.

So stop pointing fingers and making assumptions, and put a stop to this unhealthy way of living.

Reaction on An Inconvenient Truth

The movie, An Inconvenient Truth, opened my eyes to how much global warming is affecting our lives. I never really payed much attention to it before but it is amazing to see what has changed so much in the past twenty years. I think that global warning is caused by humans, because scientists that deal with global warming everyday believe that. I am interested to see what we could do to help stop global warming and I know that every one person can help stop it in the littlest ways. The estimation of global warming is mind blowing to realize in just ten years global warming will be that enormous.