Merz 1 Dan Merz Ms. Berryman English 10215 May 2005 Big Money! Big Problem! Although current oil reserves are supplying the world with more than enough energy, the supply will be running out sooner than we think, making oil and other fossil fuels (natural gas, coal, crude oil, and propane) very expensive and unattainable for the masses. As a world leader the United States needs to seriously pursue alternative forms of energy now! Mentioning them in speeches and acknowledging them is simply not going to solve the problem, President Bush and his administration need to solve the issue as soon as possible. World population growth has slowed little in the last half century, while the amount of fossil fuels has not grown nor will they ever.
With the current raise in oil prices globally we can start to see one of the main problems with fossils fuels, the cost. Oil prices are currently at an all time high, over fifty dollars a barrel. Experts say that the price will never again be below fifty dollars. As the supply of oil becomes less and less, the price will continue to rise and soon people will not be able to afford it. They will then be forced to either find alternative sources of energy or live without it. When discussing oil prices most people will think of gas prices, and that will be their main concern.
Over 60% of the world is powered by oil energy, so the world would literally stop running with out the amount of energy it is used to having all the time. The definition of energy is the ability to do work, so loss of energy equals the loss of the ability to do work. Merz 2 The situation has many opinions especially concerning the US involvement in Iraq. “Blood for Oil” is a popular saying of those who think that our investment in Iraq is less about democracy and more about covering our interests in oil. The case is that oil available to anyone will to pay the high prices, so it is possible that the US might have a legitimate interest in the democracy of Iraq, but not very likely. The idea that the military is where our interests lie is a viable one, but is it crazy, should people be concerned about that? No, because we need to protect our investments.
Three Big Oil Firms Post Record Profits WSJ 10. 25. 00/revised Commentary by Mark Gera ci 3 Q Financial Report and its US Economic Impact The three largest U. S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco posted record third quarter profits earlier this week, crushing Wall Street s estimates and sending many analysts scrambling to adjust their fourth quarter outlooks. Making headline news ...
We need not waste resources around the world in areas where nothing is going on, we have an agenda just like everyone and everything else. There are dozens of alternative forms of energy in the world, existent or developing. With our technology and resources we could be find the next great main energy source. The key to future energy will be renewable energy, fossil fuels are not renewable therefore not ideal when it comes to long term energy. What would be ideal is a source that is naturally occurring and renewable, like for example hydro-electricity. Damming up rivers and using gravity to turn the turbines, this is great form of energy.
Hydro-electricity could easily power the state of Washington; there are many dams in Washington and multiple rivers for future damming. But Washington does more than provide energy for itself, it also provides for other states as southern as Nevada and as eastern as the Dakotas. Hydro energy could potentially provide up to 50% of all energy needs, most of the larger damns have already been dammed so we would need to use the smaller ones. Problems with hydro are that it kills fish and their habitat, turns rivers into a series of lakes, and there is always the chance that the dam could burst killing thousands of innocent people (Odell).
Merz 3 Another common form of renewable energy is solar energy, potentially able to support 15% of energy needs. solar energy is mostly used in two different forms; the first being the most popular, solar panels.
Should The United States Invest More Money In Renewable Energy Research And Development As Opposed To Fossil And Nuclear Fuels The United States should invest more money into the research and development of renewable energy. These renewable resources would take the place of fossil fuels, which are non-renewable resources. Fossil fuels will not be here forever; they will be depleted soon. Therefore ...
Where large panels are lined up usually on a roof with running water through them, the water can then be used or stored for use in the house. The other method is more of a greenhouse effect in which there thermal reservoirs in a glass room, the sun comes into the room and is trapped there, the reservoirs allow for later use. The problems with solar energy are that there are only available during the day, and in especially sunny areas. The power they provide is not always but usually limited to heating, although that is usually for private users (Odell).
Geothermal energy is an option although it is non-renewable.
Geothermal energy takes advantage of areas where the earths outside layers are thinner and magma is heating the ground. There are reservoirs full of water that get heated and then steam is forced through turbines which create the electricity. This could only work in certain parts of the western US for a period of less than a hundred years before the temperature cooled too much (Glasgow).
One of the most promising forms of renewable energy is wind energy. Large wind mill are placed in fields or even better on tops of hills or ridges.
The mills turn turbines which create the electricity. There are not as many problems with wind energy, major problems that is. They may disrupt birds’ patterns and are rather noisy; also they are somewhat of an eyesore to some people (Goddert).
Nuclear energy is still a major provider of power to the US, at over 20% total energy. There has not been a nuclear power plant built in the US since the 1970’s, and there is always fear of nuclear waste contaminating surrounding areas, people, and animals. There might not be anymore nuclear power plants built anymore, but we will continue to use the ones we have until a safer alternative comes along.
Merz 4 A less promising form of renewable energy comes from tidal energy, requiring at least twenty-five foot tides. Tidal energy uses rapid rushes of water to turn the turbines to create energy (Vercammen).
... Nuclear power plants produced 28% of the electricity. 11% of Japan's electricity was produced with hydroelectric energy and 1% by other forms of energy. Nuclear ... persuasion, and is financially returning. The other sources of renewable energies are; wind, geothermal and solar. Wind requires a ... if they want to reduce or replace nuclear power. The fossil fuels, oil and coal have many drawbacks. They ...
Another form of energy is the biomass method. This method involves burning organic materials like; forests, agricultural products, and urban waste. Biomass results in soil depletions so that makes it a non-renewable source of energy (Ingle moore).
If scientists can perfect the method of nuclear fusion then nearly all of our energy problems would be solved.
Fusion is renewable and is literally unlimited, fusion is an energy source on the molecular level. Energy is created when certain molecules of elements and fused together and split (Hanson).
Even with these alternative forms of energy waiting in the wings, some people think the crisis will be unavoidable. Easy to extract oil will run out by the end of this year some predict, and the non conventional oil will run out around 2009 claims scientist Bruce Thomson. According to Thomson the next ten years will be significant in terms of oil and other energies. There are other forms but there is not enough time or resources to alter our lifestyles to them.
Most all machinery and transportation equipment run on gasoline, so travel and trade will see a significant drop in productivity. Over 500, 000 items are by-products of oil including; medicines, paints, computers, plastics, fertilizers and antiseptics. It will be impossible to convert the world’s 11, 000 airplanes from petroleum to whatever else. To think that the globe won’t miss a beat when oil runs out is a joke, alternative energies will not even come close to supporting the earth. While this is a non issue for most people it could very well be an Armageddon for global infrastructure and commerce, not to mention everyday living would be next to impossible. Most jobs requiring transportation would stop; mass transit is an option for some bigger cities.
The world would become more urbanized and feel more crowded. Power shortages affect everyone on the.