How you use energy affects much more than just your utilities bill! Energy production and consumption also impact your health and quality of life. Check out these websites to discover the true cost of energy.
What is climate change?
The phrase “climate change” refers to the difference in the Earth’s global climate over time. A large variety of scientists agree that our use of energy is the main cause of climate change. Climate change will affect our lives no matter where we live. In Maryland, for example, we have already experienced summer heat waves and increased thunderstorms.
What is the impact of my energy consumption?
The production of electricity contributes to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases, which is one of the reasons it is so important to reduce our consumption. The greater the demands for electricity, the more fossil fuels are burned, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and accelerating the climate change process. This further highlights our need for alternative forms of energy as seen in this video from Cambridge University.
How does energy consumption impact air quality?
In addition to speeding up climate change, the gases released when burning fossil fuels also contribute to air pollution—the addition of harmful substances to the atmosphere. Air pollution is a serious public health concern, and can cause a host of health complaints such as: dizziness and headaches, burning eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, lung cancer and lung diseases such as asthma, sore throat, chest pains, respiratory infections, and allergies. Severe air pollution can lead to school cancellations and business closings, and in some cases can cause death. Decreasing our electricity consumption is one small but important way each person can do his or her part to reduce pollution and keep the air clean so we can all breathe easy.
Discover the wide array of negative health outcomes associated with reduced air quality at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality and Public Health page: http://www.epa.gov/international/air/pollution.htm
Read more about asthma, one of the most common public health outcomes associated with air pollution, at the National Resources Defense Council here: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/fasthma.asp