Everything needs energy
to work - machines, plants and animals. Most of the energy on our planet comes
from the sun. Plants convert energy from the sun and store it. When animals eat
plants, their bodies use the stored energy to breathe, move and grow. Today humans
have many machines that help us to do work, move around and provide heat. These
all need energy.
machines run on heat or electricity, and much of it is produced by burning coal,
oil and natural gas. These are called fossil fuels, because they come from ancient
plants and animals. They are non-renewable energy sources because but they took
millions of years to form and there is only a limited supply. Humans will use
up most of these stored materials in less than 200 years!
is an almost unlimited supply of renewable energy. It is harnessed from sunlight
or from the natural flow of wind or water, or by growing easily replaceable plants
that can be turned into biofuel. Conserving energy -- not using energy-consuming
machines when you don't have to, and using more efficient machines - is an even
wiser energy choice!
to cleaner, renewable energy is becoming more urgent. Burning fossil fuels causes
air pollution. Coal mining and oil drilling destroy natural habitats. There is
still no safe way to dispose of wastes from nuclear power plants. Scientists are
concerned about the terrible events that may happen because of global climate
change caused by burning fossil fuels. As the public becomes more aware of the
reasons to switch to renewable energy, governments are paying attention. In 1997,
many nations joined to address the problem of global climate change by agreeing
to the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for a reduction in carbon emissions from fossil
fuels. The US is the only major nation that refuses to participate.
Day on March 1 is an opportunity to raise awareness in your community about renewable
energy sources and ways to conserve energy. We can create a more sustainable,
cleaner and safer world by making wiser energy choices.