An Optimistic View on Climate Change Efforts

Artist's rendering of solar methanol islands    from Arts Technica

Artist's rendering of solar methanol islands from Arts Technica

I know the title of this post sounds like an anomaly. I can assume I’m not alone in that almost all of what I hear about climate change and its current situation is doom and gloom. All we tend to read of climate change in the news is “Greenland is melting, polar bears and starving, extreme weather is escalating,” and more.

But, as an optimist at heart, I’m here to give us all some hope. There are a lot of people behind this cause, and what it takes is some very innovative ideas and a lot of support to make a difference. I’m here to highlight some positivity in the climate change battle. 

First, I came across a very interesting article that gave me a lot of hope regarding the levels of CO2 in our oceans. According to this article in Arts Techina, researchers and scientists are working on creating solar methanol islands, using CO2 from the ocean. Basically, they propose to put these floating islands in parts of the ocean that can support them (where the waves tend to be calmer). These islands would be solar powered, creating energy that is then sent to a “hard-hulled ship that acts as an oceanic factory.” The factory then extracts Hydrogen Gas and CO2 from the oceans and uses those to create methanol, “a liquid fuel that can be added into, or substituted for, transportation fuels.” This methanol acts as an intermediate, “greener” step, to fuel our daily lives, while we work towards complete electrification. So this technology can help two-fold, remove carbon dioxide from the oceans, and provide a greener option for liquid fuel. Some very good news indeed. The entire article offers more information. Read it here.

Similarily, companies such as Carbon Engineering, have developed technology that removes CO2 from the air with its Direct Air Capture. They also have an Air to Fuels component that creates liquid fuel from CO2 from the air. Read more about that here.

These technologies are great, of course, and it’s good to know scientists, researchers, and companies are working on solutions to undo the damage we’ve done. But another way to remain positive is to take action yourself! Here are a few, easy ways I personally take action that I’d like to recommend. By participating in all, some, or more of these, you personally can help make a positive impact regarding climate change, and all with little effort.

  1. Your personal power consumption. A lot of us want to use renewable energy sources, but maybe we don’t really know how besides going out and buying a hybrid or electric car or putting up our own solar panels, which comes with a large price tag. A super easy way to help is through companies like Arcadia Power. Basically, as an electric consumer, you link your current electricity provider’s account with your Arcadia account. Arcadia covers payment on your behalf. Then then connect you to local community solar projects and wind projects, and demand this energy consumption. This creates an overall, higher demand for cleaner energy sources. And the best part is all of this can be done for free. The free option will ensure that 50% of your electricity comes from solar or wind. Then there’s an upgraded package, where consumers will pay a little more to ensure that 100% of your energy is renewable.

  2. Local efforts. There are many organizations, like the Sierra Club for example, that connect you with local chapters where you can physically contribute to mother earth through such ways as river clean ups or other volunteer opportunities. Another great organization for that is the Sunrise Movement, who often have meetings with local chapters and aggressively support climate change issues in the 2020 elections.

  3. Sign Your Support. It may seen like a feeble attempt, but trust me it helps! Something as simple as signing a petition to support your green cause can go a long way. And there are organizations that make it incredibly easy to do so. The Sierra Club again is a great example. You can sign up for your local chapter emails and they make signing a petition as easy as clinking a link, honestly. It takes two minutes and it really helps support causes, such as discouraging senators from signing bills harmful to the environment, or telling your representatives to vote for funding for clean water, air, wildlife, and public lands. The Sierra Club will often even provide a script if you wanted to call your elected officials.

  4. Earth’s Natural Alternative! Last but not least, using 100 percent compostable products, such as those made by ENA, is an easy way for you to do your part in contributing to less garbage in landfills and putting products we use back into earth. It’s very easy, pick up ENA products at any of our providers, listed at the bottom of our website, and encourage your friends and family to use ENA as well. The more that do, the more impact we make on helping Mother Earth. A very positive step indeed!

All in all, we have a long way to go, but small steps add up to big ones and our outlook for the future is green!