It’s no secret that fossil fuels are absolutely terrible for our planet. Humans have single-handedly caused a rapid 40% increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels since the Industrial Revolution, generating greenhouse gas emissions that simultaneously cause Earth’s surface temperature to rise and Mother Earth to feel all sorts of bad vibes.
In fact, the need for a stronger focus on alternate energy sources has been a huge part of this year’s election cycle; [in the last Presidential election] Greenpeace USA — along with 20 other organizations — asked all presidential candidates to sign a pledge to reject fossil fuel contributions. Why is this a big deal? Well, for voters who cared about climate change, the best choice for president was the person that would consider the planet before the interests of Exxon lobbyists.
Around the same time, on the legislative level, the city of San Francisco became the first major city in the U.S. to require the installation of solar panels on all new construction. The decision was passed by unanimous decision among the city’s legislators, and represents a promising step toward San Francisco’s ultimate goal: powering 100% of the city’s electricity demand with renewable energy.
Surprising sources of renewable energy
Fortunately, energy sources like wind and solar power offer promising fossil fuel alternatives that won’t kill our only home in the universe. In fact, some potential energy sources — like algae biofuel — can actually improve the planet by reducing CO2 emissions up to 80%.
It might sound weird to think that fuel made from seaweed could eventually power your car, but there are plenty of out-of-the-ordinary energy sources in development that we interact with everyday.
As these energy sources are further explored, we may discover that something as weird as booze, texting, or even space lasers could help solve our energy needs without requiring the burning of fossil fuels. Here are five of the weirdest renewable energy sources in development today: