Renewable Energy: preserving our environment

by Crystal Duc

There are many wonderful benefits to living in Pensacola, Florida, one of which is the impressive number of sunny days our city enjoys annually. Pensacola State College has the opportunity to capitalize on its ideal Sunshine State location and set a powerful example to other colleges by joining the world’s fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to preserving our environment with the addition of a renewable solar-powered energy program.

Colleges are meant to be institutions of higher learning that are bastions of knowledge and progress that welcome change and produce the leaders of tomorrow. PSC’s incorporation of a renewable energy program would highlight its overall commitment to upholding the academic principles that reflect educational advancements while also providing a positive image to current and potential students.

Solar energy is sustainable, renewable, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and many other seriously dangerous pollutants. Because of its generous benefits to the environment, numerous federal and state government tax incentives and renewable energy grants are available to aid academic institutions like PSC with the cost of solar power installation and maintenance.

The University of Tennessee, Colorado State University, and the University of Arizona are just a few of the many colleges across the nation that have already taken steps to develop more environmentally friendly campuses that rely heavily on the renewable energy produced from their on-campus solar power.

Climate change is not a hoax. 

Numerous studies completed by expert scientists and climatologists from NASA and the EPA have resulted in irrefutable evidence of climate change, proving that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen more than 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since 1990. That number may not seem like much; however, it is an alarming increase that continues to rise at an unprecedented rate.

Climate change has been ushered in by our over-reliance on fossil fuels to produce energy for the constant growth in human population and activities, which continuously release a devastating amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

The serious pollutants that stem from our use of environmentally damaging energy sources have created a greenhouse effect that has led to the melting of polar ice caps, a rise in sea levels, and the rapid deterioration of the irreplaceable protection of the Earth’s ozone layer; the vital barrier that defends us and our world from harmful and destructive UV radiation. 

While naysayers continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence of climate change, an executive order signed by President Joe Biden has made good on his campaign promise to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. President Biden further solidified his order during the recent Earth Day climate change summit, attended virtually by over 40 world leaders; President Biden declared that the United States is committed to reducing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

PSC can follow President Biden’s environmentally friendly agenda and distinguish itself as a leader among Florida colleges by taking serious actions to help lower carbon emissions with the addition of a campus-wide solar-powered energy program. 

This year on Earth Day, President Biden made a global call to action and set a nationwide goal for Americans to stand united with the world to fight against climate change and help preserve our environment. 

The time has come for PSC to evolve and take up arms in the collective worldwide battle against global warming. Implementing a renewable solar-powered energy program would place PSC among the other progressive and ecologically friendly educational institutions that actively contribute to America’s nationwide effort to take part in the world’s fight against climate change.