Letter to the Editor
MAKING MAINE CLEAN
There are thousands of facts and statistics proving the urgency and greatness of the problem we are facing now and will be facing for a long time. Climate change. Millions of people, including me, have protested and marched for change. We have listened.
On September 20th, 2019, me and other students from King Middle school marched to the city hall of Portland, Maine and listened to speakers who had come to tell the world that we need to act now before the climate gets any worse. Maine’s part of acting now means utilizing solar, wind, and nuclear power to reach the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.
Solar is a carbon-neutral energy source which means it gives off no carbon dioxide. When there is an appropriate amount of carbon in the atmosphere, the earth has a healthy climate. However, if there is too much carbon in the air, the earth starts to get overly hot. Every 45 minutes, the earth receives enough energy from the sun to power everything on our planet for a full year. If we could optimize solar panels to capture more energy and invest in more solar farms, we would be able to power all of Maine without putting more carbon into the atmosphere.
Wind turbines do not release or produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gasses. Maine is a perfect place for wind power based on the geographic features where there are high wind speeds. We have mountain ranges and coastal areas where it would be possible to generate high amounts of energy using wind power.
Nuclear power provides 55% of Americans clean energy. The reason for this is because Nuclear energy is claimed to be the most reliable energy source. The average nuclear power plant lasts for 57 years and just one megawatt of energy can power up to one thousand homes.
In the end, the only solution is to act now. We have approximately 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. About 2.57 million pounds of C02 is released into the air every second. This needs to change and the way to do that is to start switching to renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and nuclear as soon as we can.
-Phoebe Knoll, an 8th-grader at King middle school
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