Energy powers everything in this world, as Albert Einstein once said, “Energy is everything and that’s all there is to it.” Energy powers the world, cars, phones, trains, planes, electricity, access to water and television are just a small sample size of what energy can provide. Being so important, energy is mass produced. It can be produced by several different ways, some are clean and some are awful for the environment. Some forms of energy leave greenhouse gasses and large amounts of pollution behind when they are used, but these kinds are the cheapest and most efficient. The more expensive and cleaner ones are harder to come by and most everyday people cannot use them. However, this is starting to change as the world is starting to see the consequences of using those types of energy.
The industrial revolution started global warming. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, coal was the most used energy form. Burning small amounts of cheap coal created useful powerful energy. However, the burning also caused pollution that was so bad that when burnt in the US it flowed into Canada and polluted their ecosystem as well. Coal was used for a lot of things, but its most famous use was to power factories. It powered metal factories in Pittsburgh and it released so much crap that Pittsburgh was nicknamed Polluted Pittsburgh. It released toxins that were very dangerous to humans, and when people started to notice and complain about coal, energy companies were forced to find a new power source, however, coal never faded out, it is still the most used energy in the world. Through the slight decline of coal, cleaner energies were made, and helped the environment slightly. Nuclear energy was one of these forms, which has blossomed into the second most used power form in the world. Nuclear energy is clean, unless there is an accident which causes the waste of it to be released. A few years back in Japan there was a release of nuclear waste into populated areas. The consequences were very severe. Another example is Chernobyl, a town in which a nuclear power plant exploded and many people died, while others formed mutations. Chernobyl will not be able to hold human life for another 20,000 years. Wind power, while commonly used in the Netherlands, is not a reliable option for most places. The same can be said for solar power, which thrives in hot sunny places, but does not do well in dark and rainy areas. Many other energy sources are like solar and wind power in the way that they can thrive in certain places, but are completely ineffective in other places.
When the car business exploded the power source for the cars did also. That source was and is still gasoline, which when used exports massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the environment. Cars are a very important part in people's lives, and unless there is another better form of transportation, they will be used. With more people getting cars, more pollution was produced and it seemed like it was going to be a never ending cycle until there was either a cleaner source of energy for cars, or other transportation forms. The alternative transportation forms have not been a huge help, but different energy for cars have. First, there were hybrids, cars powered by gasoline and by a battery. Then there was the first generation of fully electric cars, which did not get a lot of miles on the charge, and most were not highway accessible and were used mostly for neighborhood drives. In the last few years though we have seen a dramatic rise in electric cars being used as everyday cars. Tesla came first producing expensive luxury cars, than Nissan, Bmw and Mercedes all came out with there own version that was available to the more common folk. All these electric cars are great, but there are still a ton of disadvantages to them. One being, it takes much longer to recharge than a gasoline powered car, which makes it harder to take them on longer drives. Even more so, if you are low on battery on the road, it is very hard to find a charger. In a few years, hopefully it will be more rare to see a gasoline powered car than an electric one.
All of the things I just listed would help slow down global warming, but can we really ever stop it. NO! The damage has already been done. Some scientists think it is so bad that instead of trying to cut down on pollution and other things that contribute to global warming, we should try to create something that just hides it. Inventions have been made to try and cancel out the greenhouse gasses causing the problem. Geoengineering is a scary subject, because no one ever knows how it will play out after time, but it could be our best hope to stop global warming.
Global warming is scary. Thinking that our coastlines could completely disappear and take out cities like Los Angeles, Honolulu, South Beach, Barcelona and even Vancouver is a scary thought. We have to find a way to stop it, and that could be cutting down on coal and gasoline or geoengineering to reverse it. No matter what we do we have to do it fast, or the next generation because the next generation will not have to worry about it, because the damage would have already been done.
Biello, David. "Can Geoengineering Save the World From Global Warming?" Scientific American. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
"Alternative Energy." Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Madsen, Travis. "Electric Cars Are Putting The Brakes On Pollution." Environment America. 24 June 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.