Project #77367 - REVISE ESSAY

THIS ESSAY WAS SUBMITTED TO MY PROFESSOR AS A ROUGH DRAFT. IT NOW NEEDS TO BE REVISED AND SUBMITTED FOR A FINAL GRADE. 

 

 

The Environment and Its Sustainability

A current issue with great environmental impact is an unstable energy system and the resulting climate change. This instability and global warming has the rooted causes within many facets of our globalized world. Among them are economics, politics, and industrialization. There have been difficulties funding our energy resources as well as producing energy resources that have caused problems globally.

The energy system, used by the global population, is currently unstable because of the environmental damages it causes as well as its inability to provide for the future. Fossil fuels accounted for 87 percent of global energy production in 2012 according to the Worldwatch Institute. This level of dependence has caused issues throughout the environment and cannot be sustained indefinitely due to fossil fuels being a limited resource. As fossil fuel reserves dwindle, more extreme and costly methods of harvesting reserves will be required to continue to supply our energy demand. This demand and the ways in which it has been met have caused the crisis that is global warming.

Climate change is the warming or cooling of the Earth’s average temperature. This has many adverse effects for all forms of life on Earth. It also adds to the instability of the energy system we have created. Most of the world’s population lives in coastal regions. As the Earth gets warm, as it has been the last 150 years, sea levels rise with the temperature and cause a loss of habitat in coastal regions and even extreme weather systems to occur more often.  Climate change is attributed to the human production of air pollutants called greenhouse gases that cause the Earth’s atmosphere to retain heat. The burning of fossil fuels for energy and transport are the largest contributors of these gases. Mass use of fossil fuels came about during the industrial revolution. 

The rapid onset of the industrial revolution is widely agreed to be the point at which humans became the primary contributor of greenhouse gases on the planet. The main gases that cause climate change are methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide. Since the industrial revolution began around 1880, CO2 emissions rose by about forty-three percent from 280ppm (parts per million) to 401ppm this April. This rise happened because of the high energy demands of developed and developing countries over that time span.  During the early period of the industrial revolution there were very few regulations to prevent wasteful and damaging practices allowing industries to build coal and other fossil fuel burning plants within cities and to clear cut forest which absorb CO2. Currently countries like India, the world’s third largest contributor of greenhouses gases, is in the process of industrialization and has declined to determine when their carbon emissions will peak and they will begin to reduce their emissions. Policies of this nature can only worsen the state of things.

In 1952 London, heavy smog fell over the city and was so toxic that it killed approximately four thousand people. This caused a series of laws to be enacted. This was one of the first times policy had been created to truly control the production of these pollutants. However policy still favors the consumption of fossil fuels though many laws worldwide have come to regulate their production. It is expected that fossil fuels will continue to dominate energy production for the next 20 years. This is in part due to subsidies that various countries pay to oil companies. Such policy encourages the use of fossil fuels. There is also the issue that in America, research centers found that only forty-eight percent of Americans believe that climate is a serious threat, which in turn causes politicians to make policy that is more a part of the problem than the solution, such as the continued subsidies to oil companies. Countries such as China continue to use fossil fuels while not regulating the pollutants its factories and power plants cause. China produces one third of the world’s greenhouse emissions, this causes the population to suffer and has even reduced their life expectancy be five and a half years. China and India both use coal fired plants as their main source of energy. It is an extremely dirty fuel to burn emitting many harmful gases. However it is very cheap compared to alternate methods of power generation.  Globally we give subsidizes to fossil fuels amounting to about 523 billion dollars verses 88 billion dollars for renewable sources. This overwhelmingly encourages people to purchase fossil fuels as the costs of renewables are much higher in comparison. Renewable energy systems have a tendency to have higher startup costs as the technology is still fairly expensive. For example a Chevy Malibu of this year costs $22,465 MSRP and their hybrid Volt costs $34,345 MSRP, a nearly $12,000 dollar difference.  It would take many years to recover the difference in price via fuel savings, making it not economically viable for many people. The high prices associated with renewable energy options causes many people to choose the more affordable more damaging fossil fuel options. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration conventional coal plants have a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of $95.1 per megawatt hour and solar photovoltaic cell plants have a LCOE of $114.3 per megawatt hour after government subsidies. The cost difference and profitability of fossil fuels cause a cycle that has created a dependency on the cheap and dirty energy source.

As we develop new technology and create a wealth of industry for our resources, until then will our energy demands will be met. Meanwhile, our dependence on our current resources has caused instability and the warming of our atmosphere. A failure to properly regulate our energy production and industry has caused our current problem of rising sea levels and changes in the composition of our air and oceans. The instability and detrimental effects of climate change are caused by the economic impacts of our dependency on fossil fuels. We are working on all fronts to see that these issues are addressed and to secure a better future.

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/26/2015 10:59 pm
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