Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where Will We Be In 100 years? by Roxanne Wyant

Where will it end, and we know it will; this insatiable appetite for using nonrenewable energy.  If we keep it in perspective just over a century ago there were no automobiles, two centuries and there were no trains. The modes of transportation were horses and buggies, wagons, or your own two feet. If we are already deep drilling for oil because the shallow oil has been depleted what is it going to look like a century from now.
Some would say what difference does it make I will be dead and will not care. Thank goodness, there are also those who do care and want to find alternative renewable methods. I for one am one of those that care about a safe environment for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If we are going to use energy, and there is no indication that we will not, we will need to develop the renewable energy and find alternatives for our dependence on oil.
Renewable energy includes, tidal and wave energy from tides and ocean waves, geothermal energy taken from the earth’s internal heat rising from its core. There is biomass energy stored in plant matter from photosynthesis, hydropower energy from running water, and solar energy that comes directly from sunlight.  Even though these are renewable, they are still resources that if we are not careful we may harm the environment with these also.
Hydropower, for instance, entails dams that can harm the salmon that need to make their way up the river during spawning season. We have made some stride in wind energy but that also has a set of problems. Farmers have been using wind for some time now but not at the degree, we are using it now. Scientists do not know what affect the enormous wind turbines might have on the wildlife.
North America consumes more energy than any other nation in the world, (Withgott & Laposata, 2014, p. 523) our dependence on oil, we love our cars, lights, heat and air conditioning.  According to Withgott & Laposata, it takes energy to make energy the processes for extracting it from the ground, underwater and from the air.
When looking at alternative energy we must also take into consideration the health cost; the employees that mine for coal or work on the oilrigs face numerous health issues. They breathe in the residue from in the coalmines and those living in the town ingest it. We are surrounded by petroleum products in homes everywhere we look there is products that are made from petroleum from our stove to our toothbrush it is everywhere.
Each one of us must cut down on our consumption of energy. Some of the ways can be, turn off the lights when you leave a room. Take the train instead of your car one day a week. I think it would be a good idea to have a day when no one except emergency vehicles can be on the street. It could be illegal to drive for that one or two days every six months. It would be interesting to know just how much emissions would not go into the air those days.
We must continue to search for alternative energy, one that does not hurt more resources, but will maybe restore some of the injury we have already caused. I would like to see a better solution for garbage, dumping our garbage in landfills and the ocean is not an answer, we are polluting our oceans and damaging the sea life.
I personally have a certified energy home, which includes thermal windows and thicker insulation. I also have a tankless water heater that I highly recommend. The nice thing about a tankless water heater is it only heats the water you use. I also wash clothes in cold water instead of hot or warm. We must each take responsibility for what we contribute to the pollution of the planet at this point it is the only one we have.

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