21 March 2016
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. The fact that it powers the world is so important, energy is mass produced. Energy can be produced in many different ways, some good while others harm 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 the clean expensive one, because the cost is to high. However, this is starting to change as the world is beginning 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 powerful energy. However, the burning also caused pollution that was so bad that when fuel was spread into the U.S., 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 pollution that it was nicknamed Polluted Pittsburgh, which released toxins that were very dangerous to humans; 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. As more people grew concerned over coal’s potential ability to heavily pollute the air and create major health consequences, newer and cleaner energies were beginning to be produced. Nuclear energy was one of these forms which has blossomed into the second most used power form in the world. For the most part, nuclear energy is a more clean form if carefully preserved. A few years back in Japan there was a release of nuclear waste into populated areas, and 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 genetic mutations. Chernobyl will not be able to hold human life for another 20,000 years. One example of a place where nuclear energy has thrived is France. Another energy source, wind power, while commonly used in the Netherlands, is not a reliable option for most places. The same can be said for solar power, because it 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 of the world, but are completely ineffective in other places.
When the car industry began, gasoline as a source became extremely popular, This spread massive of carbon dioxide into the environment. Since cars are the most efficient sources of transportation in more suburban and rural areas, they will continue to be used and further pollute the air. The alternative transportation forms have not been a huge help, but different energy for cars have. First, there were hybrids which are cars powered by gasoline and 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 became the first company to produce expensive luxury cars. 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 remains several other issues and disadvantages to these types of cars. For example 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 risky because no one ever knows how it will play out after, 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, by decreasing gas and coal consumption and production or applying geoengineering to solve some of these issues. No matter what we do, we have to do it fast so that the next generation will not have to worry about it because the damage would have already been done.
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Biello, David. "Can Geoengineering Save the World From Global Warming?" Scientific American. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Madsen, Travis. "Electric Cars Are Putting The Brakes On Pollution." Environment America. 24
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