We are behind in technology in the United States that, we are constantly playing catch-up. Using snow to cool buildings will reduce emissions into the atmosphere, and it will also pay for itself over time. Just think of all of the snow that was thrown into the east river in 1996 during the blizzard that brought New York City and most of the north east to a standstill. It was so much that the only way to get rid of it safely was to throw it in the water. If we had the technology in place to repurpose it instead of discarding it, the city would have been a few degrees cooler that summer and emissions would have been lowered.
Another town in Japan is also repurposing snow. For the last 20 years they have been putting this technology to use. “Since 1987 in Japan, officials of a farming community in northern Yamagata started looking for creative ways to use their abundant snowfall as a source of clean energy. They began experimenting with snow-cooled storehouses for preserving farm produce. Planning is now underway to create a large rice storage facility using this method. In Yamagata where rice is the mainstay of agriculture, snow cooling could save farmers substantial amounts of electricity and money.
” (United Nations Environmental Programme,) Today’s global economic crisis has forced governments and communities to be creative and use what they have to generate a needed resource. By repurposing something as abundant as snow, we will be reducing energy consumption and harmful emissions in the atmosphere while creating jobs. This is one renewable energy source that has been overlooked long enough and should be thoroughly investigated for future applications. Every 30 or so years a financial crisis occurs. Now we know that our oil reserves are not limitless.
The 1973 oil embargo caused a shift towards smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. We are in a cycle that links our economy our use of energy. Big government and ordinary individuals are beginning to take notice of the trend. Recycling is popular again. The things that are being recycled and/or converted to energy are: sun, wind, Trash, cooking oil, and even snow. “Developing the next generation of biofuels is key to our effort to end our dependence on foreign oil and address the climate crisis – while creating millions of new jobs that can’t be outsourced,” (Energy).
Since September 2007, the renewable energy job sector has increased by 47%. (Hired. com) Last year Gasoline prices sky-rocketed to five dollars a gallon. The ultimate consequence of this was that good prices rose because transportation costs increased. To keep up with the rising costs Workers carpooled or used public transportation. Even with all of these cost saving efforts, Jobs were lost, businesses closed their doors. So far we have seen what is possible. Putting the technology in place takes money.
The global financial crisis has left open many opportunities; but, where is the financing for renewable energy products. “Venture capital is the mother’s milk of innovation but these days it flows less freely as the global financial crisis sours the appetite for risk. ” (Abate) “Ethan Zindler, head of North American research for London-based New Energy Finance Ltd. , said a core group of about a dozen players in the tax-equity finance world has been cut in half thanks to the financial crisis. ” (Siemers) “The IRS is now on the bandwagon.
The new tax law gives an additional $2,000 for installing renewable energy systems. ” (Scelfo) This is the new criteria: Solar-electric systems, solar water heaters Geothermal heat pumps placed in service in 2008 get a tax credit of $2,000 Wind turbines placed in service in 2008 get a credit of $4,000. It is to be noted that if any of these systems were put in place prior to 2008, there is no maximum limit imposed on the tax credit. This in its self is an interesting breakdown. Systems put in place before the crisis had no maximum on the tax credit. Systems placed in service after 2008 have a cap.
Individual taxpayers are embracing the use of renewables so the government put a cap on the tax credit. “It gets pretty expensive to pay out all those tax credits,” Zindler said. (Portland Business Journal) Without the funding or financial incentives to complete these projects we are destined to repeat this cycle in another 30 years or less. The final question, do we have the leadership? The current president appears to be embracing renewable energy as a viable resource. For instance in February, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the twenty-first century. ” (Energy) This act also funds the Department of Energy’s advanced research projects agency. Their mandate is to: “1) Enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in: a. reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources;
Reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and c. improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (2) Ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies. ” (Energy) A recession affects every sector, by varying degrees and demographics. Green initiatives will be the driving force for innovation. As a response to consumer demand, websites with information about going green are becoming increasingly popular. We are creating green jobs, green products, and green energy.
The potential for this movement to lead us out of the financial crisis is great. The government can only bail us out to a certain extent. We need to innovate our way out of this crisis. It won’t happen overnight but it is an exciting start. It’s is a bold undertaking that if successfully implemented, would make the United States energy independent and assist in stabilizing its economy. The production and use of renewable energy has grown globally due to higher prices for petroleum products. With the creation of the renewable energy sector, we are investing in our future and the economy.
The green activities that consumers are applying to their everyday lives will eventually cut costs and become accepted as the norm. As the environment becomes increasingly important for consumers around the globe, businesses are developing new products and address new markets. The use of renewable fuels is expected to continue to grow over the next 30 years. If this trend continues our economy will now be considered a green economy. Conclusion From the above analysis it is evident that the global financial crisis can be assessed from different perspectives.
The effects of the economic crisis have been felt in most of the sectors of the global economy, with the energy sector being one of the sectors which have been hardly hit. In the current debates regarding the environment and global economic crisis, opinions have been divided on the issues as to whether the current economic crisis could in one way or another influence the positive efforts, which are being made to restructure the world economy. Some of the research findings have demonstrated that, regional differences as well as the regional technologies would imply that the nations are focused towards achieving gradual structural improvements.
Whereas the other researchers claim that the current infrastructures to some extent may not offer adequate support, in making valuable changes in the global economy especially in the United States of America. Even though the current economy crisis may demonstrate the need for the united states of America to restructure its economy, for example its energy sector and therefore embrace the green technology, such kind of changes are considered to be unforeseeable in the meantime to meet the needs and expectations of the people.
The green technologies have created numerous employment opportunities and a safe and clean environment. This sector of the economy is expected to flourish as the investment levels are increased. The probability that the green technology would lead to a dot com bubble are minimal if the carbon trade market takes into consideration the well being of the global community, and this has been the agenda which is being pursued by most of the international organizations which are involved in the climate and environment change issues.
Most of the world scholars now suggest the Japanese model which relates to good price as well as the tax polices. In relation to that aspect, the research conclusions in this paper summarize that sustainable development is more desirable at this moment, and in the future and it has to be undertaken. On the other hand, there is need for the establishment of a global development strategy and the international community should be pessimistic about the global environment changes.