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Go Green to save the Earth — Part I

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Today, more and more people are thinking about the environmental issues and ecological conditions of the Earth. Why has this problem become so relevant? What should we do to save our future? In my opinion, people have understood that their irresponsibility causes harm to the natural environment. Our planet suffers from numerous problems, which have been caused by the results of the excessive anthropogenic activity. The entire planet suffers from pollution, global warming, deforestation, extinction of biological species, etc. These problems are extremely relevant and require rapid and intensive solutions. It is possible to defeat these problems if the entire humanity changes its approach towards nature, natural resources and the value of nature for its well-being. In simple words, people should go green to save the Earth from being polluted.

The phrase “going green” has become a part of everyday discussion and debate. People are being told to turn off the lights, buy energy-saving appliances, and drive less. What people are not being told is why specifically. Global warming is the increase in the Earth’s average temperature. Greenhouse gases are the cause of this problem — carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane. Normally the earth’s atmosphere lets these gases in but does not release all of it. The excess gases keep the plants warm enough to sustain life. However over time, the atmosphere has sustained damage from chemicals, like the ones released in fossil fuels, and now the planet is heating up too much and too fast. Even just a few degrees can have catastrophic effects on the earth — melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels, decreased food supply, and extinction of species. Indeed the ice caps are currently melting, but scientists predict we won’t feel the full effects of global warming until the next century. But that means steps need to be taken now. The newest and increasingly popular trend for going green is hybrid technology. Hybrid cars, also known as hybrid electrical vehicles (HEV), use two or more power sources to run it. Most hybrids run use internal combustion engines and electric motors. Internal combustion engines require fuel to create a combustion reaction which powers the engine. An electric motor uses electrical energy to produce mechanical energy which can then run the motor. An onboard rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) stores enough energy, which is also rechargeable, to run the electric motor. To lower fuel consumption, the RESS regenerates power, or energy, through regenerative breaking or sometimes through the combustion engine. Regenerative breaking uses some of the energy produced by the car when accelerating and stores it. This is why hybrid cars cannot compete in the market for speed. In more modern models, a mechanism allows for energy to be taken from the combustion engine to charge the car batteries or electric motor.  In the sense of “going green”, hybrids reduce idle emissions by shutting off the ICE during idle times, like stop lights and traffic, and then restarting it when the car needs to move. A smaller and more efficient engine also cuts back on power compared to large engines where all the parts may not be used, but need to be powered, thus reducing emissions. Other benefits from HEVs are noise-level reduction and air pollution. The goal of hybrid manufactures is to run vehicles without the use of fuel.

 

(This is the first part of the Diary and the latter part will continue tomorrow.)


(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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