It seems climate change is a hot topic everywhere these days. Though the causes of climate change have been questioned by some, most people agree that the rising temperatures worldwide are causing big problems for the United States and the rest of the world.
In many ways, Texas is one of the most pertinent examples of just how devastating the impacts of global warming can be. With the state’s extensive coastline and heavy reliance on agriculture in mind, many Texans are looking for ways to mitigate the harmful impact of rising global temperatures. Many organizations are having trouble addressing their clients’ climate change concerns, but a few companies in Texas’s deregulated energy economy are already providing their customers with answers.
One such company is Stream, a supplier of energy and other connected life service products in Texas and other states nationwide. Since its inception as Stream Energy in 2005, Stream has engaged in numerous green energy programs aimed at mitigating global warming while giving customers a variety of options to meet their energy needs. Read on to learn more about the potential impact of climate change on Texas, and Stream’s energy plans that may help alleviate its negative effects (RenewableEnergyWorld).
What Are the Effects of Rising Global Temperatures on Texas?
While it may seem that the impact of the recorded rise in global temperatures would be confined to merely how hot it is outside, the effects are actually much broader than that. Here are some of the ways in which climate change affects the state of Texas.
Drought. Heat evaporates water and dries out land and plant life. With these changes comes reduced water tables and increased risk of wildfires. The state’s most recent period of extended drought, lasting from 2010 to 2015, caused about $8.7 billion in agricultural losses. As climate change continues, more lengthy droughts are expected.
Heat Waves. Average summer temperatures have increased drastically over the past few decades, and many of the fastest warming areas in the country are located in Texas. Houston currently experiences about five days a year over 100ºF, but some estimates show the city reaching around 70 days of over 100ºF temperatures annually by the year 2100.
Floods and torrential rains. Climate change increases the chances of extreme downpours and unpredictable rains, two weather events that are on the rise. Scientists at MIT believe that rising global temperatures also increase the likelihood that Texas will continue to be affected by devastating storms such as Hurricane Harvey.
Rising Sea-Levels. Texas is especially susceptible to any change in the levels of our oceans. With 367 miles of highly-populated coastline, some estimates show that $30 billion of Texas’s coastal properties will be flooded at high-tide by 2050.
This simple question has been the topic of many debates nationwide in recent years. While there are a few different theories out there, the vast majority of scientists believe that global warming is a human-caused phenomenon. In short, there are many different gases that are released as a byproduct of various human activities. As some of these gases collect in our atmosphere they have the effect of causing energy from the sun to be trapped on earth in the form of heat. You may have heard of this process referred to as the greenhouse effect, and these atmospheric gases as greenhouse gases. As more and more heat is trapped, worldwide temperatures rise, causing global warming.
The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. By far the most prolific source of carbon dioxide is the burning of fossil fuels, be it coal, oil, natural gas, or other sources. This fact is of special importance to the energy industry in Texas, where the majority of electricity is currently produced through the burning of coal and natural gas.
What Are People Doing to Lessen the Effects of Global Warming?
With potential disastrous effects from climate change at the forefront of the global conversation, many countries are signing treaties and making pledges to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide. A reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide humans emit into the atmosphere can be an important step in slowing the rise of temperatures globally.
A primary way that people are working to reduce the emissions of these greenhouse gases is by prioritizing the use of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. These emission-less energy sources offer the promise of clean, renewable energy that does not contribute to climate change.
In the modern deregulated Texas energy economy, the direct selling company, Stream, has emerged at the forefront of those offering its customers a plan for purchasing energy from renewable sources. The most recent Stream energy plan to offer clean energy was unveiled in 2016 — the Smart 30 WaterSaver Green & Clean Plan. Motivated by a desire to make the planet cleaner and safer for generations to come, the Stream energy plan allows customers the option to purchase 100 percent clean energy in place of dirty fossil fuels.
Additionally, with water conservation being an important aspect of fighting climate change, the Stream energy plan also provides customers with an intelligent sprinkler controller to help regulate water usage.
While the Green & Clean Plan is the most recent example of Stream’s ongoing battle with global warming, the company has long been working toward that goal. A previous Stream Energy plan allowed customers to purchase renewable energy certificates, which allowed them to ensure that energy from clean sources was prioritized over the burning of fossil fuels. Stream’s charitable arm has also pitched in to aid in the recovery efforts after storms such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, both through charitable donations as well as the waiving of fees to affected customers.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Unfortunately, climate change presents us with more than a few problems that will likely necessitate solutions long into the future. With the rising temperatures of global warming hitting Texas especially hard, residents will have to continue to seek out innovative methods to alleviate the difficulties they are facing. Work being done at both governmental and corporate levels promises a host of inventive solutions to the climate-related problems we may encounter in the coming years.
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