All of the Lights
As the end of January rapidly approaches, signs of the holiday season are crumbling down with each passing day. At any given moment we go from
December to January. Fab to drab. Hot to not. Climate scientists and environmentalists might be saddened by the decreased frequency of the definitely measurable positive effects of twinkle lights, but they also know that the beauty that is mother nature will benefit from the reduction of electricity usage.
Why does it matter though? Is using electricity really THAT big of a deal?
While you might bop from room to room turning lights off occasionally, every time you flip the switch, leave your phone charger plugged in after leaving the house, or cranking that heat in the winter time, you are using electricity. While some electricity comes from sustainable sources (wind, water, solar), most comes from burning fossil fuels. In the US, the burning fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution. More than the contribution of cars and planes.
Let’s take a step back for a second. What is a fossil fuel after all? Hundreds of millions of years ago, animals were roaming the Earth just livin’ it up, eating some plants, hunting some prey, and swimming in prehistoric oceans. When dead animals and, most importantly, dead plant matter would fall to ground or bottom of the oceans, dirt and more dead stuff would bury them. As more and more dirt, animals, and other dead stuff piled on top, the dead plants would slowly turn from the original Jurassic flower crown to gas, liquid, and solid carbon after millions of years.
Today we pull these fossil fuels from deep within the Earth and burn them either in the home or at a power plant that converts the energy into electricity. In Scimplifide’s home state of Massachusetts, over 70 percent of the electricity produced comes from burning fossil fuels. These fossil fuels trap in heat in the atmosphere, warming up the planet making lakes evaporate, glaciers melt, and storms intensify.
As 2016 was the hottest year on record (no surprise there) and the affects of climate change don’t seem to be slowing anytime soon, we need to do everything in our power (pun intended) to reduce our contribution to climate change. So the next time you are too lazy to unplug your charger or turn off the lights because you'll be "right back", ask if you are doing Littlefoot’s memory proud. Don’t think about Cera though.