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Clean energy can save millions of lives

If we didn’t need oil, there would be a lot less war in this world. There would never be an oil spill, and the animals that populate the beautiful oceans would not have to suffer. If we didn’t need coal, no one would ever die in collapsed mines. If we didn’t have air pollution, 7 million people would not die each year. Clean energy is the answer to all of this.

Those are some pretty colossal if-then statements. The sad thing is that we don’t need oil, coal, or air pollution. Humans choose to depend upon non-renewable energy sources and destroy the only planet that we have. And we all know why: For the money, of course! Luckily, a large portion of us humans are opening our eyes to the fact that our planet is so much more valuable that all of the money in the world.

It is going to take a lot more clean energy, such as solar and wind power, and huge improvements in technology, to put these dirty energy industries out of business. Even with renewable energy becoming more prevalent around the world, the global oil & gas market is predicted to have a value of $3,699.4 billion this year, which is a 40% increase since 2010.

But this won’t scare away clean energy. In the first three months of 2015 alone, solar made up 51% of new, electric generating capacity in the United States. That’s the most solar growth that the nation has ever seen in a 3-month span! Solar is completely crushing natural gas in the race to become the new energy source, and it has the power to crush the big, scary non-renewable energy industries, too.

Many people think of natural gas as a clean energy because it is marketed as a fuel that is cleaner than coal and oil. But this is simply not the truth. The process of extracting (fracking), transporting, and burning natural gas is far from clean. In order to extract the gas from deep beneath the planet’s crust, millions of gallons of water and hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals are blasted into the ground, creating cracks that allow the gas to rise to the surface and be collected.

There are so many things wrong with this process. First of all, the western United States is in a major drought, and yet we are pumping millions of gallons into the ground to break it apart. Really smart, right?

And then we have all of the chemicals. I don’t care what the big corporate CEOs say—you can’t clean that up. Those chemicals, and the natural gas it self, can end up in our water supply, making our drinking water toxic and even flammable. Don’t believe me? Check out this video. Exposure to these chemicals has left innocent Americans with deadly health conditions and no compensation or sympathy from any industry or government. If you’d like to learn more about fracking, check out my review of the film Gasland, an epic documentary that exposes the corrupt industry. There is also a sequel, Gasland II, and the producer, Josh Fox, is still standing up against fracking and being arrested in the process on pretty regularly. He is a hero in my eyes.

I could go on about the long list of reasons why we shouldn’t be depending on non-renewables, but the real point here is that we already have a solution. In Germany, 50% of the energy is produced by solar while in Ireland, 50% is produced by wind. These statistics are amazing—and we are just getting started with renewable energy.

Exact Solar installs a variety of solar power systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Learn more about how you can start using the power of the sun and cutting your energy bills now!

Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected].

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