For the third straight week, an extreme hurricane is dominating the news and causing irreparable damage to families and infrastructure. Newscasters and meteorologists have been calling these hurricanes, “100 year storms.” Four extreme storms, namely hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, in such quick succession have people scrambling for answers. Some think it is just a coincidence, and others think it’s some sort of karma, but we can look at America’s past time for one very possible answer.
To introduce the comparison between two seemingly different topics, let’s investigate the relationship between baseball and steroids. Steroids have plagued the game of baseball for years now. Steroids are used by players to improve their strength, stamina and size, essentially allowing them to hit more home runs. When a baseball player steps up to the plate, he is far more likely to hit a homerun if he has taken steroids or performance enhancing drugs.
Now let’s focus on climate change. First, think of greenhouse gases as the climate systems’ steroids. As we introduce greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the world warms through the “greenhouse effect.” By warming the oceans and the air, extreme weather events (hurricanes especially), have a higher chance of occurring, and occurring more frequently.
Just like the baseball player who uses steroids to hit more home runs, the climate system uses the greenhouse gases we introduce to it to produce more extreme weather events. It’s a vicious cycle. As humans continue to pollute and contribute to global climate change, the negative ramifications come back and hit humans, hard. So, why do we continue this trend then? Politicians say that environmental regulations and controlling emissions harm our economies. However, one category 5 hurricane causes billions of dollars in damage to both federal and local economies. So, what can we do?
A Call to Action
There are many options that can be applied to help fight climate change by emitting less greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are one of the largest contributors to global warming and to the more frequent extreme weather events. One potential way to solve this issue? Go solar. Scientists say that if fossil fuel-burning power plants switched to solar energy, air pollution could be cut by up to 90%. Solar energy offers immense benefits for the environment, but it also offers huge benefits for people, especially with regard to public health and economies.
In Massachusetts, the push for more solar energy is very clear with the current incentives the State has for switching to solar energy. Furthermore, Massachusetts is a leader within the U.S. solar industry. The opportunity to save thousands of dollars on electricity bills and through tax credits makes solar a worthwhile investment