Kill-A-Watt: A Campaign to Increase Energy Efficiency on the Columbia University Campus

Friday, May 05, 2006

Consequences of Our Behavior

Each and every one individually affects the state of the planet. The choices that we make in every day life shape the future of the planet and determine the future of the upcoming generations.
When we use electricity, gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere. The concentration of gases in the atmosphere steadily increases, and it will eventually cause environmental changes that will be irreversible. Over the past century, the concentration of the aforementioned gases in the atmosphere increased by 25%.

Acid Rain
When sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere, they combine with the water particles. A chemical reaction takes place, and sulfuric acid and carbonic acids appear. These acids fall on the Earth as rain. Acids contaminate various ecosystems, such as ponds, lakes, and soil, and diminish biodiversity or can make the entire ecosystem cease to exist. Acid rain damages trees and causes erosion, decreasing the duration of plant life, and causing erosion of human-constructed structures.

Air Pollution
Combustion of fossil fuels that is used to generate energy both in the power plants and motor vehicles causes carbon formation of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. Cars are the primary polluters in the state of New York. According to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there are 10476513 motor vehicles currently registered in the state. Air pollution has direct and irreversible effect on flora and fauna. It can diminish the growth rate of a plant, cause to stop growing or die altogether. If the previously mentioned events are taking place simultaneously and affecting a great number of plants, biodiversity suffers, since every successive food level has no resources to sustain their lives.

Global Warming
The “Greenhouse Effect” causes the temperature on our planet to rise, causing irreversible changes in flora, fauna, and ecosystems.

This blog posting was based on the information by:

Environmental Protection Agency

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