Sunday, November 29, 2015

A few weeks ago, I was driving with my mother to a town about two hours away from where we live. On the way, we passed a large field of windmills. Earlier today, I saw a video clip with some windmills in the background. I decided to look into it just a bit more.

Wind energy works by harnessing the kinetic energy of wind, and using that to power turbines that generate electricity.

At a glance, this is a really good source of energy. However, it would be unfair to only go an inch deep. So, here are the pros.

It causes no pollution, which will help get the Earth back on track with this global climate change thing, and this energy is renewable, because wind generates (in short) from the different atmospheric pressures created by the convection currents in the air. One turbine can power up to 600 homes, and wind energy has lowered the cost of energy and will continue to lower it, because the operation cost of a turbine is extremely low.

Unfortunately, there are some cons like this source is not very reliable, because wind is not incredibly constant and fluctuates quite a bit. Also, since the turbines are spinning, that creates noise and also can hit and kill anything that flies by, like birds and bats. And though the operation cost is low, actually manufacturing and installing these windmills requires massive upfront investments. Some people also don't like the way they look, but when the earth is crumbling around us, I think we can deal with that.

I think it is too soon to say. Sure, the pros outweigh the cons, but not really by enough. It would be wise to give these a chance and change it later if it turns out to not be a good idea.

This could work.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Since energy sources matter so much, we need a source that can give us clean energy, low carbon emissions, no volatile substances released, and something that is preferably naturally occurring. So far, geothermal energy fits those requirements.

Geothermal energy is captured by using the steam from the convection currents in the mantle of the earth. However, some of the plants drill into the earth, through the crust. If we didn't drill to harvest the geothermal energy, it would be a much better source. The problem with drilling is it is cracking the earth, but since we don't have much choice for energy it may be one of our only hopes. I hate sacrificing things for other things, but it's much better than some of the other terrible mutilations to the earth, like fracking and drilling for oil.

We may be able to depend on this source, until the human population grows too much.

This source is alright. Let's make this more common.
In the past, when people thought about the Arctic ocean, they thought of open water with ice and polar bears, and everything was beautiful.

Now people are planning to drill there.

Not only are we depleting the world's oil, we are cracking the very surface of the Earth and the land we live on. Argue that it was already cracked if you like, because that's true (tectonic plates). Does that make it okay? No. I understand that we don't have much choice for energy, but drilling in the Arctic ocean is going too far. We have other areas that have oil and have already mutilated the land. We can't keep draining the oil all over the globe. The oil is there for a reason.

When humans evolved, we adapted to our environments and grew certain organs and other things that we needed. Other animals and plants did the same. Shouldn't that make it obvious that the earth would do the same? The oil is there for a reason, and it isn't because God put it there for man to use. We don't know what yet, but there are some theories.

This would probably be the point that those of you reading this are thinking, "Well she doesn't even know what she's talking about! She doesn't even know why the oil is there. It is probably just left over from much earlier and the planet doesn't need it anymore, like a human's appendix." You could think of it like that, but also keep in mind there isn't a definite reason we need sleep yet. We know what it helps, but we don't know why we do it. Still, if you go without sleep for too long, you'll start getting loopy and start getting headaches and it all goes downhill. It's the same with the earth. The scary part is, everything has already started going downhill. The oil is there for a reason, and we need to keep it there.

Not to mention, with drilling in the Arctic we are risking another oil spill. Sure, the Kulluk rig has good BOP, but there's always a chance it could fail. That's what happened in the Gulf spill in 2010, and even though the well was capped there was still a spill.

Drilling is dangerous for the earth and the life living on Earth. We can't keep taking shots n the dark and hoping to hit what we want. THIS IS A RISK. Drilling may be a solution, but it is not the solution we want.

This source is obviously not the one we should use.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Let us take a moment to think of what oil drilling does for us. It gives us energy. That's about all it does.
Now let's take a look at what it does to the environment.

Worth it? I don't think so.
Fracking. that seems like a good solution, right? It halves the carbon dioxide emissions of coal, it drives the gas prices down (which I know we all love), and it can produce up to 300,000 barrels, or 12,600,000 gallons of natural gas a day.

So that means it's worth it, right?


The pros do not outweigh the cons. In order to perform one frack job, a company needs this:
  • from one to eight million gallons of water
  • approximately 40,000 gallons of up to 600 different chemicals
These chemicals are vast, so I will only mention a few key ones:
  • Formaldehyde
  • Radium
  • Methanol
  • Mercury
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Acetic Acid
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
Those are just a few. Now for what it does to the environment. The fluids used for fracking are not biodegradable. These chemicals seep into the cracked crust and stay there and cause problems. However some of these chemicals seep into groundwater and release VOCs into the air, thus poisoning the animals and vegetation. You may ask, why should we care about animals and plants? There are so many of them anyway. Well guess what? We drink that water. There have been over 1,000 cases of reported water contamination, and that has caused sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage. Is it really worth it?

No. It's not.

This source is obviously not one we should use.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

In 2014, America imported about 9 million barrels of petroleum a day. Out of this, 46 percent was crude oil. One barrel of crude oil (42 gallons) makes 12 gallons of diesel fuel and 19 gallons of gasoline.

This amount of petroleum is absurd. As a planet, we need to find renewable energy sources. I say as a planet, because when one person doesn't take care of the Earth, we all suffer. China affects Canada, the British Isles can potentially harm Brazil, and America can hurt Russia.

Of course, I am aware that we are trying. But something a handful of people don't understand is it really matters where we get our energy. I don't just mean we need to change what form our energy is in, like converting to water power as a brief example because that is a pretty unrealistic solution, but where that source is located, for example is there was a power plant that didn't require water, it shouldn't be located on a river because that would be disturbing the ecosystem and whatnot. 

When we step back and take a look at all of the things we do, we need to consider our sources. Where energy comes from can unbalance another part of the environment. 

Our energy sources matter.