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Greenhouse Gases (shirt 32)

April 26, 2010

No Harmful Greenhouse Gases
No Harmful Greenhouse Gases… a message paired with an illustration of a green house gassing with a red NO circle/slash symbol over it.

I did a little digging and learned that natural greenhouse gases are important:

If it were not for naturally occurring greenhouse gases, the Earth would be too cold to support life as we know it. Without the greenhouse effect, the average temperature of the Earth would be about -2°F rather than the 57°F we currently experience. (Quote from U.S. Energy Information Administration [EIA].)

With that, I added “harmful greenhouse gases” to this t-shirt design, since…

Scientists know with virtual certainty that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet. [Interior reference to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change State of Knowledge] In computer-based models, rising concentrations of greenhouse gases produce an increase in the average surface temperature of the Earth over time. Rising temperatures may, in turn, produce changes in precipitation patterns, storm severity, and sea level commonly referred to as “climate change.” (Same EIA source, but a different page.)

I’m no scientist, so I’m quoting directly from people with much more knowledge about this than me.

What human activity causes the most greenhouse gas emissions? EIA states that “greenhouse gas emissions come primarily from the burning of fossil fuels in energy use.” (Source)

I like the idea of renewable energy sources — wind turbines, solar panels, hydropower, biodiesel, and so on. The idea sounds promising that when an instrument is set up (say, wind turbine or solar panel) that it continues to generate energy without needing fossil fuels and without emitting greenhouse gases.

But the usage of renewable energy sources is small. EIA states: “In 2008, consumption of renewable sources in the United States totaled … about 7% of all energy used nationally.” I’m hopeful that, with advancing technology and lower prices for “green” instruments, that our usage of renewable energy sources will increase.

Click here to see this greenhouse gases t-shirt in my Zazzle store.

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