Is Alternative Energies Necessary to Counteract Global Warming?

May 25, 2017
By Wyatt Wilburn BRONZE, Sparks, Nevada
Wyatt Wilburn BRONZE, Sparks, Nevada
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In past few decades, a new problem has risen in the Earth which is global warming. According to NASA, “the global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. Temperatures are certain to go up further.” The cause of Global Warming can be traced back to humanities misusage of energy, for example, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide release and fracking. Most energy comes from fossil fuels which are costly and extremely finite which also make the production and containment of these fuels slow from all the years of collecting these materials like oil, gas, etc. These materials also are a causation of global warming like the release of Carbon Dioxide from pollution. According to consumers. ul, “the need for cheap and obtainable resources is greatly needed.” Some of these resources come from solar energy, and wind energy.

The pros to switching to alternative fuels are mainly economic and about sustainability. According to Michael Klare, PhD, Professor of Peace and World, “The transition to renewables will be hastened by dramatic improvements in the pricing and performance of such systems. Due to steady increases in the efficiency of wind and solar systems, coupled with the savings achieved through large-scale manufacture, the price of renewables is falling globally…” He describes the efficiency of alternative fuels and it would therefore lower the prices of it in the future; primarily Solar and Wind alternatives such as Solar Panels and Wind Turbines. Other points made by various other scientists and professors describe alternative fuel as being “economically based in a sustainable manner without impact on other countries” (Martha Young). And Unlike the traditional types of energy, which are non-renewable, alternative forms of energy are renewable which means that they offer sustainable and stable energy supply in the long term. The Sun will not stop shining, the wind will not stop blowing, trees that are cut down for wood can easily be replaced. (Procon)

The cons to Alternative energy range from problems economically, to efficiency, to stability issues. According to Clifford J. Wirth, Professor of Energy Policy, “Solar power, nuclear energy, and coal are primarily useful for generating electric power, but these energies do not provide liquid fuels needed for transportation or mechanized agriculture, nor do they provide raw materials for manufacturing of 300,000 products, including fertilizer. Electric power from solar, coal, nuclear fission, or nuclear fusion will therefore not solve the nation's energy problems...” He describes the efficiency of Alternative Energy as being a solution having no solving ability. He then describes, “Alternative energy technologies are relatively new in offices and are not particularly efficient. This poses a problem with feasibility because the investment may not return, even in the long term. As a result, the interest of private investors for green technologies remains relatively low, while the Government can finance only a certain amount investments at a time.” He attacks the economics of alternative energy saying that one cannot mass finance a certain Alternative Energy. Regarding stability, the energy sector is not only seeking for alternative solutions to lower carbon dioxide emissions but to meet the rising demand for energy as well. For the energy supply system to remain stable, it is crucial for the supply to meet the demand. And with current technologies available, alternative types of energy – especially the most desirable ones such as solar energy – are unable to produce enough energy to meet the demand.

The argument over Fossil Fuel vs Alternative Energy can be seen presently in Nevada. In a news article posted by Kolo Eight news, “As two initiatives it opposes could be on the ballot in November, NV Energy has stepped up a campaign against the solar companies with a new regulatory filing and television ad. Adding to its uneven record on the issue of grandfathering rooftop solar customers, the utility has now take a definitive stand in a new filing with the Public Utilities Commission: Let customers who had systems or had applications at the end of last year have the same rates for 20 years” As it would seem in the article, they do not want new forms of energy as it would lower their income rates and in doing so, would draw people to energy businesses the aren’t NV Energy.

This issue matters because of the rising global temperatures that threaten our world. From the melting of the ice caps, and more solar radiation entering the atmosphere, we are more susceptible to skin cancer, flooding, and decline in animal species and agriculture. This if we can harness the potential given to us from alternative fuels and figure out how to store the energy, we can slow the global temperature rise, benefitting humanity and the creatures living in it.

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