Would a increase of solar panels, hydroelectric power, and wind power be effective national strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent global warming?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The things that you mention would not be an "effective" national strategy for reducing emissions and preventing global warming.  This is because they would be both too expensive to be affordable and insufficiently effective in preventing global warming.

As you can see in the Scientific American link, the level of cuts in emissions that would be needed to prevent serious global warming would be tremendous.  The article estimates that emissions would need to be reduced by 70%.  Even if this is seriously overstated, it would be exceedingly difficult to reduce emisssions by anywhere near to this amount through solar, wind, and hydro power.

In addition, these types of power have serious issues.  Solar power is, at this point, not economically competitive with fossil fuel power.  America's potential for hydro power has been pretty well reached as there are dams on most rivers that would provide relevant amounts of power.  Wind, too, is relatively expensive and is not feasible in most parts of the country.

Overall, then, the things you mention would not be effective as a national strategy for preventing warming.  However, they might be effective (particularly wind and maybe solar someday) as a part of a strategy that also puts a strong emphasis on conservation and reducing demand for electricity and oil.