Why are alternative energy sources, to our current reliance of "fossil fuels", so important? If we as a society are to solve the problem of putting extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere then we need to find another way to power our cars, heat and produce electricity for our homes and business, and produce much of our food. Our society relies so heavily on the combustion of fossil fuels that there probably isn't one magic bullet - but probably a combination of approaches that will need to be employed.

One of the most promising sources of clean energy is solar energy from the sun. Sunlight has been used by humans since ancient times for various uses. Some of the uses for solar energy today include space heating and cooling, water heating and cooling, cooking, and producing electricity, using solar panels. Another source of energy with potential in some locations of the world is wind power. The conversion of wind energy is accomplished using wind turbines for electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for pumping water, and one of the more ancient uses, sails for boats.

Hydropower is yet another source of clean energy. This water power is due to the force of moving water, which can be used to provide energy for human consumption. In the past (especially before the development of electricity) hydropower was used to power sawmills, cranes, lifts, and various machines and irrigation.

Tidal power is energy derived from the push and pull of the ocean's tides. There are two high and two low tides in a 24-hour period and this can be harnessed in various ways.

Geothermal energy is provided by exploiting the natural warmth of the earth below the surface. This can provide electricity that can be utilized to provide power to energy producing grids and to warm residential buildings.

Alternative energy is abundant and clean. As research continues and methods of harnessing this energy becomes more cost-effect, it gives hope to someday leaving fossil fuels behind, which is a big step toward addressing the extra greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere.

The examples of alternative energy are only limited by your imagination and the state of the science! We need to embrace sources of renewable energy if we are to survive climate change.

If you are interested in learning more, please check out my website on climate change. If you are interested in ways to save on your energy bills, please check out my climate solutions page.

Author's Bio: 

I'm a meteorologist with a Masters in Meteorology. Besides weather, I also have a passion for climate change and environmental issues. I hope to share my enthusiasm in my writing on these subjects and offer suggestions on how to live in a more "earth friendly" way. If you have any questions or comments, I can be reached at jon@surviveclimatechange.com :)