Energy Poverty Essay

1178 words - 5 pages

Energy has been around ever since earth formed. As humans grew more sophisticated, they needed to use more and more energy. Now that energy is a necessity, people without sufficient energy are at a disadvantage, which consequently creates energy poverty. Energy poverty is when the negative effects of dirty fuels and the excessive time spent collecting that fuel is adversely impacting a large amount of people’s health. Today, energy poverty is a big problem in the world for many reasons. Millions of people are being affected by energy poverty and millions more die from it. Unfortunately, not everybody recognizes energy poverty as a problem and the ones who do, rarely attempt to make a difference. Energy poverty is a very urgent and imminent problem that impacts many people around the world.

History
Humans have been looking for ways to use energy for thousands and thousands of years and as people have grown more intelligent, they have found new and creative ways to use that energy. The first energy source available to humans was the sun; it has been a useful energy source for millions of years. It is, in fact, responsible for sustaining all life on this planet. The sun is the beginning to most energy on earth. After the sun, came fire, which was first used for warmth and light. As time went on, people started using it for preparing foods and building tools. As population grew, so did the dependency on fire. By the 1500’s, Great Britain had to switch from wood energy, to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. This increase in population led to wood shortages all over the world. As coal started to replace wood as the primary energy source, engineers started finding different ways to use coal as energy. This change was called the industrial revolution. (Cruden 12)
The switch from wood to fossil fuels was the first major switch in energy sources. Fossil fuels are made from decomposed fossils of living organisms. The three main types of fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal is a hard, black substance found deep inside the earth. It is a widely used energy source in America. Oil, is basically liquid coal, and is usually black and found underground directly above coal deposits. Natural gas is mostly methane and is extraordinarily flammable. These fossil fuels are used for about 82% of America’s energy. (Cruden 15). Fossil fuels take up a big portion of America’s energy usage and once it runs out, America will need to find more sustainable energy sources. Although nuclear energy is a fairly recent development, almost 10% of today’s energy comes from nuclear power plants (Cruden 13). These energy sources excrete toxic liquids and gases most notably, carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). CO2 depletes the ozone layer allowing heat to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere easier resulting in the greenhouse effect. Not only does CO2 and CO destroy the ozone layer, it also comes back to earth as acid rain, and poisons...

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