However, by burning fossil fuels we are releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere faster than plants can absorb it. CO2 is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect; as more fuels are burnt, the atmosheric concentration of CO2 increases, causing the average global temperature to rise. Climate change affects the distribution of climatic regions, sea level changes and ultimately, the planet's ability to support human communities. Burning fossil fuels also contributes to acid rain, which is implicated in the loss of wildlife in lakes and rivers, the reduction of land ferility and the destruction of trees.
We need to start taking steps to reduce our energy consumption at home and in school.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- The recommended temperature for classrooms is 18 degrees C. Every 1 degree C increase in temperature over the above figures could add up to 10% to cost of heating billls.
- A photocopier left switched on overnight wastes enough energy to make 5,300 A4 copies.
- It is estimated that we only have enough oil in the world for another 50 years,
- On average, a car in Ireland travels 20,000km a year, releasing 2,895kg of carbon into the atmospherre.
- Ireland imported 89% of its energy needs in 2008.
- Fossil fuels accounted for 96% of all energy used in Ireland in 2008.
- Oil is the most dominant energy source used in Ireland.