What is Climate Change?
Climate change is the term used to describe the negative climatic impact of Global Warming on planet earth. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, largely attributed by many scientists to the burning of fossil fuels, has been linked to increased temperatures, which are dramatically altering earth's weather patterns.
The earth's climate has changed rapidly, especially over the last 10 years. Globally, the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since the beginning of the 1990s. Whether global warming is purely a natural phenomenon, or whether mankind's activities are a significant cause is really immaterial. The fact is that we are able to take simple actions that will--at the least--lead to a cleaner local environment, or--at the most--improve earth's environment for future generations.
We need to take action now.
Cause and Effects
Many causes for global warming have been suggested, but it's now generally accepted that a build-up of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere in the main cause. CO2 acts as a barrier preventing heat from leaving earth-acting in a similar way to the glass in a greenhouse. The heat is prevented from escaping by greenhouse gases, and it begins to build up, which in turn increases earth's temperature. This is commonly known as the "Greenhouse Effect".
While greenhouse gases are a natural part of our atmosphere (they keep the earth from freezing), the increasing use of fossil fuels to provide energy for our homes, transportation and manufacturing is believed to upset the natural balance of these gases. This contributes to global warming and climate change.
Power stations and domestic appliances that burn fossil fuels create the largest amount of CO2. The energy we use to heat and light our homes is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
Insulation and its Impact
While we cannot avoid climate change, we can immediately contribute to the solution for global warming. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to slow down global warming is the primary goal. We can start today. By far the most effective and sustainable solution is to reduce the amount of fossil fuel we use by becoming more energy efficient consumers.
In residential and commercial buildings, energy efficiency through insulation is the simplest and most cost effective way to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.1
1 “A Cost Curve for Green House Gas Reduction,” The McKinsey Quarterly 2007, Number 1.
By reducing energy consumption, it is estimated that insulation cuts pollution from the utility infrastructure, slashing carbon dioxide emission by 780 million tons globally every year. This is the equivalent to the annual electricity use of over 90 million homes.
FACT: Compared to every pound of CO2 released during the fiberglass manufacturing process, energy consumption reduced by insulation saves an estimated 330 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.
FACT: According to the Lisbon declaration on Climate Change, one of the most efficient and quickly achievable means of cutting CO2 emissions is to reduce energy use. In the residential and commercial building sector, immediate energy savings can be accomplished through the use of readily available energy efficiency technology and fiberglass thermal insulation.