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Alternative Energy Sources Scientific/Environmental Essay

2262 words - 9 pages

Topic 1 - how our environment is being polluted- the effects of acid rain- global warming- smogTopic 2 - the alternate sources- using solar power- using water, wind, geothermal and tidal- using nuclear power fission fusion and hydrogen- the exTopic 3 - how to use our energy wisely- tips for how to cut down on the toxic gases- making sure that companies use the right precautions- make sure not to waste energy. We create the demand. Reduce the demand, reduce the harmful effects.Alternate energy sources is a new topic that has been discussed quite a lot in the last few years. Scientists are starting to realize that our energy sources are depleting, or getting very harmful for the environment. We know that the environment can take a certain amount of these exhaust fumes and toxins, but we are expelling too much for our planet's system to handle. We are just now realizing how bad we have started to destroy our planet, and how the effects of our damage we have done, are lasting longer than we hoped. Our main sources of these problems of the past century have been primarily, fossil fuels. The reason being, that our main source of energy has also been fossil fuels."Fossil fuels are fuels that result from the fossilization process of living tissue after millions of years" (Source 3). Coal and crude petroleum are the fossil fuel, raw sources. Some disadvantages in the utilization of coal are that there are problems with getting this form of fossil fuel. First, the extraction of the coal from the ground can be very expensive. "Most coal deposits used to lay closer to the surface" (Source 1), but we used coal as our primary source of energy before. The closest coal is now used up, and we need to dig well below the surface of the earth. "This means that special drilling, the creation of mine shafts must be paid for... In addition, there is the danger of mine explosions, when deposits of natural gas or finely powered coal dust undergoes combustion resulting in an explosion." (Source 1). Breathing of coal dust by the miners leads to a condition known as black lung. "This adds to the cost of the coal mining industry for the need of mine safety, and insurance and medical costs for the miners. Once the coal reaches the surface of the ground it must be transported by railroad or ocean going ships" (Source 2). This is an pricey task. Once it reaches its destination for burning of the coal, one has to make sure that sulfur deposits and other elemental trace amounts are extracted from the coal which is expensive in and of itself. If this is not done then a number of other things are possible. "Coal that has sulfur impurities in it [will] produce Sulfur Dioxide and Sulfur Trioxide in the air. This can have a debilitating effect on old and young alike. The dense sulfur oxide gases are difficult to expel from the lungs once they have entered. This can cause various lung related diseases such as emphysema." (Source 1) Sulfur oxide alerts are common in regions where coal...

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