Are you Ready to Live Without Nonrenewable Energy Sources

Topics: Petroleum, Natural gas, Coal Pages: 5 (1958 words) Published: March 18, 2014

Are You Ready to Live Without Nonrenewable Energy Sources
Chinita Johnson
Marla Muse
December 12, 2012

Are You Ready to Live Without Nonrenewable Energy Sources

What will you do when your lights go out because there are no more fossil fuels to fuel the electricity needs of our nation? As many of us have dealt with power outages for one reason or another, they were usually for a very short period of time that may have seemed like forever. For the past few decades there has been a huge push for conserving and preserving energy. Many live lives from day-to-day without ever giving any thought as to where their electricity comes from. Believe it or not, the depletion of non-renewable energy sources poses growing concerns for future generations if energy conservation and preservation are not taken seriously. “Coal, oil and natural gas are called fossil fuels because of the way that they were formed, the end products of photosynthesis that formed millions of years ago in large deposits of carbon compounds” (Berg & Hager, 2007 p. 7 & 105). Fossil fuels are also referred to as nonrenewable energy sources because natural processes do not replenish these sources within a reasonable period of time in which to be reused, they take millions of years to form. Coal and natural gas are most widely used to provide our homes with heat and electricity, and to fuel industrial and manufacturing plants. Nearly every mode of transportation uses some form of crude oil or petroleum for fuel. Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the United States and is also the home of the largest known coal reserves in the world. “More than one-fourth of the total known world coal reserves are in the United States” ("The National Academies Of Science", 2012). Although coal is plentiful, the dangers associated with harvesting coal and CO2 emissions have begun to outweigh the low cost of burning coal. “The production of coal is $1.60 in comparison to $7.30 for natural gas and $16.20 for petroleum oil” ("The National Academies Of Science", 2012). Whereas coal is a big contributor to CO2 emissions, coal has additional land and water issues associated with its use and harvesting. Oil, this fossil fuel accounts for over one-third of the energy used in the United States. The problem with oil is that the United States peaked in production of its own oil more than 40 years ago and now relies heavily on other countries for this fuel. With the rapidly growing demand for oil in other countries, there is a growing concern that there will come a point when the oil supply cannot meet the increasing demand of the world population. Add to the supply issue, the concern for the environment from the burning of the oil as well and the harvesting of oil. “Natural gas is used to heat more than half the homes in the United States” ("The National Academies Of Science", 2012). The majority of our natural gas comes from our own country. Natural gas is found in several products that we used every day. As crazy as it may sound, “natural gas is found in medicines, paint, fertilizer, plastics and anti-freeze” (National academies, 2012) to name a few. The biggest concern with natural gas is not its combustion or emissions so much, but rather the relatively small supply that we have to work with for our future generations to come. “Known world reserves of natural gas total about 6000 tcf (trillion cubic feet), and at the current rate of use is expected to last for only 60 years” ("The National Academies Of Science", 2012). There are many issues associated with the harvesting of fossil fuels. Harvesting fossil fuels has destroyed land masses and contaminated water sources. Harvesting fossil fuels has also led to the loss of animal life along with health and loss of human lives. The rate in which these fuels are used has caused many to project that some of the supplies will be depleted a considerably short period of...

References: Bamberger, M., & Oswald, R. E. (2012). Impacts of gas drilling on human and animal health. New Solutions, 22(1), 51-77. doi:
Berg, L. R. & Hager, M. C., (2007). Visualizing Environmental Science. (chap.3, p. 50). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Kolar, J. L. (2000, Autumn). Integrating Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Sources. Environmental Quality Management, 10(1), 59-67. Business Source Complete
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