Table of Contents
The present project will briefly explain the situation with the international oil industry by the example of the article “The Coming Era of Energy Disasters,” written by Michael Clare. He claims that British Petroleum oil spill was the beginning of the future catastrophes. The similar situation takes place in different parts of the world, and it is an essential problem of the existing society. This project will be interesting for the following audience: scholars, scientists, developers of modern technologies, ecologists, and other non-indifferent individuals, who care about the preservation of energy. The representatives of science and technologies will benefit from hearing this project because they will gain impetus to the development of the new energy-saving technology and prevention the planet from the disaster. The intended public is aware of the existing troubles in the energy industry; however, they need to listen to the possible solutions and the refutation to these solutions. The project will also attract volunteers and activists, who want to live on a clean and wealthy planet and preserve its natural resources and climate. Moreover, energy disaster will impact every individual on the Earth; that is why this theme is the concern of every human being. The project will provide the alternative methods of energy extraction. The purpose of the project is to persuade the readers that it is possible to avoid the energy disaster if beginning to act today. Every place in the world is at stake, and there is no time to wait. The current project may help the audience to apprehend the presented condition better. The risk of energy disaster is too close; thus, it is high time to find solutions and alternatives to save the planet and humanity.
Today, many oil companies claim that they need to dig deeper and deeper to get eviscerate oil. Among them there are the following corporations: British Petroleum, Chevron, Exxon, Murphy Oil, Statoil, Petroleo Brasileiro, etc. Some of them have already experienced the energy disaster. For example, one of such catastrophes was British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon emission, which happened in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 (Freudenburg and Gramling 156). It happened as a result of continuous attempts to extract more oil from deeper locations (Klare). Consequently, oil spill contaminated water, and only minor amount of fuel was picked up from the water surface. The rest of it got to the nearest waters and environment. Such oil spills resulted in a huge loss of fish, spineless, seabirds, mammals, corals, and other marine dwellers. Moreover, those kinds which have survived may also have some health problems and modifications that will lead to their extinction. In order to avoid energy disaster occuring in the future, the next steps must be taken. First, all human beings should use energy and other natural resources sparingly. Second, energy industries should gradually transit to the renewable kinds of energy. The inner planet recourses are not infinite; they will be devastated eventually. Though many people argue that alternative energy is too expensive, it is the best method of prevention the disaster, because it takes energy from the renewable resources, such as Sun, water, wind, etc. It is endless and may be used in every part of the world, and it is less harmful than fuel, gas, and nuclear power.
Renewable Energy of Wind, Sun, and Water
The most low-priced way to get renewable energy is wind. Such countries as Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, Scotland, Ireland, etc. successfully use wind turbines for providing electricity for their citizens (Smith). The wind is everywhere, and there is plenty of it; moreover, in several years it may become cheaper than contemporary electricity (Bocris 72). Thus, in the world where “one in every four people has no access to electricity,” wind energy may become the best solution to this problem (Affonco 105). Wind turbines can be small and big; small turbines can be used in private houses or buildings, while big turbines provide electricity for huge areas. They “convert energy of the wind into electricity” with the help of rotating gears (Jacobson and Delucchi 1157). Every country can apply this method of extracting energy because the wind is free and is always available.
Another alternative method of producing energy is solar technology. Jacobson and Delucchi distinguish two kinds of solar technologies: solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power systems (1157). The first technology uses arrays of silicon containers that convert solar radiation into electricity. The second method uses mirrors that reflect sunlight on a fluid, heat it to high temperatures, and then it is converted into electricity. However, this method of energy extraction may be used only in sunny places, such as deserts, steppe, or other open areas. Still, it may substitute petroleum and nuclear energy in many countries.
One more renewable resource for the power industry is water. There are two kinds of extracting energy from water: wave power and hydroelectricity. Wave power utilizes wind: the wind creates waves and “the greater the wave height, the greater the wave energy produced” (Jacobson and Delucchi 1157). Another method needs hydro turbines, which generate energy by water falling from dams or rivers. Hydro energy is possible in those countries, where there is plenty of water resources. Conversely, it cannot be used in deserts, where is a lack of water. However, such countries as Japan or China, which now are fighting for natural gas in gray area (Klare), could easily extract power from water.
There are many other alternative methods of energy producing, which could replace oil and gas industries. Among them there are bio-fuels, tidal tribunes, geothermal waters, and other renewable resources. Every state could choose the most available method and become independent from elapsing fuel. Petroleum resources are almost devastated; besides, oil becomes more and more expensive because it is harder to mine it from the Earth interior. Those countries which possess oil sources use this fact for personal benefit, while other states suffer from it. On the contrary, renewable sources are available even for the poorest countries; they just need to find investors for building new technologies.
One more advantage of renewable energy is that it is endless. Everything in nature is interdependent – the Sun shines, water evaporates, then it rains, plants raise and absorb carbon-dioxide gas, producing oxygen; winds blow, and everything interacts. People could use these natural processes for generating energy without negative outcomes and meddling in the Earth depths. Besides, these technologies do not devastate natural resources; they just use their power for extracting energy from natural life-cycle. Sustainable use of natural resources can provide electricity for all the human beings on the Earth, even if the amount of population increases.
Renewable energy is harmless. On the contrary, petroleum spills impact the environment negatively and bring damages to people, animals, and other living beings. For instance, the influences of the Gulf oil spills are wide-spread and may have long-term effects on the “physical, psychological, social, and economic health of populations in the affected regions” (McCoy and Salerno 43). People have problems with reproduction; children are born with some defects; many individuals suffer from toxic and even psychological stress. Fish, animals, insects, and plants become extinct, which causes deficit of meat and fisheries, while people suffer from hunger. These outcomes are not sole. Climate changes continuously: Arctic icebergs are melting because every year the average air temperature becomes higher. Air is polluted, and waters are contaminated. Global ecosystem changes, and if nothing is done immediately, the energy disaster is unavoidable. According to Michael Klare, in several years, the following catastrophes may occur: Newfoundland - Hibernia platform may be destroyed by iceberg, Nigeria and America may fight for oil, Petrobras disaster may happen, etc. (Klare). These are just several scenarios, and many wars and fights may ensue because of petroleum or gas extraction. The question arises: is it not a sufficient reason to make immediate changes in power industry? The answer is obvious. Renewable energy is harmless; it does not pollute environment, and has “essentially zero emissions of greenhouse gases” (Jacobson and Delucchi 1155). The only harm to the environment is the accidental one; for instance, a bird may get in between the rotating wind turbines and consequently could be killed. However, such accidents are not frequent, and damage in this case is minimal. Thus, alternative methods of producing power may save the planet from extinction, devastation, pollution, and potential energy disasters.
There are those who would argue and tell that the above-mentioned technologies are too expensive and need too much time to be built. On the one hand, it is true, and some of the technologies need sufficient costs and time to be done. However, though constructions are expensive to build, they are very cheap to run (Bockris 66). Even if a state spends much money on its building, all these expenses will be covered in several years. Moreover, they will bring constant income because the produced electricity will be affordable for every human being. Of course, such constructions cannot be established at once. Nevertheless, if people begin substitution today, in a decade almost every place on the Earth will be able to use renewable resources for energy extracting. Otherwise, if nothing is done, fuel and natural gas reserves will be devastated, the planet will be changed completely, and the humanity will suffer from huge calamities.
The planet experiences great changes because of human activities. People mine petroleum and natural gas from the Earth depths, and every time they need to drill deeper and deeper to extract the remains of oil. Fuel and gas resources are almost devastated; states fight for their recovery and imbalance takes place everywhere. However, it is still possible to restore harmonious order on the Earth. Humanity just has to use all natural resources reasonably and preserve energy. Thus, people need to substitute current power industries with the alternative technologies that will save energy and make no harm to the environment. Among such alternatives there are water, solar, wind, and some other kinds of energy which are extracted from the latter elements and transformed into electricity. Renewable resources are always available; they are everywhere and can be established in every country of the world. However, some people say that alternative energy is too expensive. The experience has shown that it is expensive, but only at the beginning. Moreover, at first, oil industries also needed big costs to be built. Nevertheless, if the investors finance renewable technologies, in several years they will get their money back. In addition, it will bring great income. Therefore, it is necessary to create new technologies for extracting power in order to save the planet from devastation and energy disasters. If people begin these changes today, they will have a chance to survive in the era of the approaching calamities. Otherwise, the “coming era of energy disasters,” illustrated by Michael Klare, will gradually destroy the planet.