Reliance on fossil fuels is changing California’s environment, polluting the air, contributing to dangerous heat waves and droughts, and threatening the lives of humans and animals.
By installing solar panels on your home or business, you reduce your personal contribution to these environmental problems, helping to lead California toward a greener future.
Some ways installing solar panels helps the environment include:
- Improved air quality
- Solar panels don’t pollute the sky
- Lessen impact of climate change
- Solar panels reduce carbon emissions
Improved air quality
On the hottest days, dark clouds hover over many of California’s cities, making it harder to breathe and increasing the chances of respiratory illness.
Ozone pollution, or smog, serves as a reminder that the coal, oil, and natural gas we burn for electricity and fuel doesn’t just go away. Rather, emissions given off by burning fossil fuels gather above hot, highly populated areas and worsen air quality.
In fact, according to the American Lung Association, seven of the 10 counties in the U.S. with the worst air pollution are located in California.
That air pollution not only damages the skyline above many cities, but also the health of those living within. More than 1.2 million adults in California suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is more frequently diagnosed in places with poor air quality.
Unlike fossil fuels, solar panels don’t give off the harmful emissions that produce smog and pollute the air. While sources of smog also include car emissions, going solar would reduce the need for coal-burning power plants that also significantly contribute to pollution.
Unfortunately, the longer we wait to address air quality concerns, the harder they will be to fix. The emissions that produce smog also contribute to climate change -- and hotter temperatures only mean greater concentrations of smog.
Lessen impact of climate change
If we continue using fossil fuels at our current rate, climate change will become a very real problem in California.
Already, changing weather patterns are forcing Californians to make adjustments. Researchers predict California will see more intense droughts, longer and more deadly heat waves, and an influx of extreme storms and hurricanes.
Since 1895, annual average air temperatures in California have increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency. In most regions of California, warming has accelerated only in the last three decades.
While that increase might seem relatively minor, consider how fragile our weather system is. Even a minor change affects how storms develop, or how long droughts last.
According to Environment California, two out of three Californians live in counties that have been affected by severe weather-related disasters like droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and coastal storms. Los Angeles County alone has been hit with seven federally declared weather-related disasters since 2007.
Reducing carbon emissions could stabilize weather patterns and minimize the number of severe events Californians face. Currently, California is hoping to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
More Californians must go solar for that to occur. By turning away from fossil fuels and installing solar panels, you can help lead that shift and reduce your personal contribution to climate change.
Contact local installers to learn more about the environmental benefits solar panels offer.