|Solutions: Minimizing the Risk|
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arbon dioxide is thought to be responsible for 70% of global warming.
Many scientists believe that the odds of catastrophic global climate change
increase as carbon dioxide comes nearer to doubling the pre-industrial
levels. Therefore, for the first time, nations of the world are attempting
to exercise deliberate, collective foresight on a risk whose full impact
is unclear and will not be felt for decades. In short, they want to act
before potential consequences become inevitable.
Clean Energy is One Answer
Globally, the use of electricity is growing. In this country, about 40%
of all fuel is converted to electricity before the energy is consumed.
A modern utility plant that converts natural gas instead of coal to electricity,
emits much less carbon and wastes only about half of the fuel. Cleanest
of all is producing electric power from no-fuel, renewable technologies
like solar and wind. If wind power production were to grow about 33% annually
for the next few decades until the old coal-fired power plants that produce
almost 1/3rd of American carbon dioxide emissions are ready to be retired,
then wind could replace coal for carbon-free electricity.
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