We depend on energy; nothing in our daily lives could be possible without it. Electricity primarily comes from burning fossil fuels or using nuclear reactors. But the plain truth is, we are running out of fossil fuels. Our known oil deposits will run out in approximately 35 years, and if we increase the use of natural gas and coal to make up for the energy loss, our natural gas will last for 45 years and coal deposits will deplete in 75 years.
The effects of using fossil fuels are starker than their timelines. Humans release approximately two billion metric tons of pollution annually, mostly from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas; this pollution is destroying our environment and the ozone layer. Ozone and smog damage forests, crops, and other plant life, and reduces visibility. Other pollutants have the same effects, including acid rain, which harms lakes and soil, and even deteriorates buildings and statues. Pollution has many negative health effects as well. Pollutants cause respiratory and breathing problems, and toxic compounds can cause brain damage. Even renewable energy isn’t always cost efficient, takes up lots of space, and can have a negative environmental impact.
Nuclear power offers an alternative; however, the types of nuclear reactors we use today, light water reactors, are still dangerous for humans and the environment. Typically, they use uranium as a fuel, but this has many problems. Less than 2% of the fuel is...
... middle of paper ...
... Better yet, a liquid fluoride thorium reactor’s fission by-products include xenon, neodymium, radiostrontium, and molybdenum, which are all valuable.
There is one significant problem with liquid fluoride thorium reactors: there are none currently working. However, a small, 8-megawatt prototype was built and operated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for over four years. Today, companies like Flibe Energy are developing technology to harness the energy from these reactors.
Liquid fluoride thorium reactors have significant advantages over fossil fuels and light water reactors, with profound implications. The most important thing about this potential energy resource is that its use will greatly reduce atmospheric pollution, protecting plant and animal life and our beautiful environment. If we change how we deal with our energy crisis today, we can save our tomorrow.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Our world as it stands today is a truly magnificent place, amazing technological advances have been made over the years that have helped form a truly advanced place. However in order to achieve these technical advancements we need power. Many years ago the only power we needed or used was the power created with our own bodies, but as our society grew both larger and more intelligent we had to turn to other sources- the most obvious of those sources being fossil fuels. These almost “magical” resource including coal, natural gas, and petroleum, from millions of years ago, seemed the perfect solution to all our energy needs.... [tags: Environment Ecology Ecological Impact Essays]
616 words (1.8 pages)
- In 2007, the world consumed 5.3 billion tons of coal, 31.1 billion tons of oil, 2.92 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, and 65,000 tons of uranium. All of these energy needs could have been met with only 6,600 tons of thorium, an abundant, slightly radioactive element found in the Earth’s crust. We depend on energy; nothing in our daily lives could be possible without it. Electricity primarily comes from burning fossil fuels or using nuclear reactors. But the plain truth is, we are running out of fossil fuels.... [tags: Nuclear power, Coal, Uranium, Light water reactor]
951 words (2.7 pages)
- The Environmental Effects of Fossil Fuels The situation is scary, but real. The very resources that the world relies upon for energy are also helping to destroy the world. Fossil fuels, such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas, all include some very serious environmental concerns with their essential energy usage abilities. All stages of fossil fuel use have a severe impact upon the environment, from recovery to storage and end use. Thankfully, important legislation has been put together to help to reduce and control the havoc caused by fossil fuels on the environment.... [tags: Environment Ecology Ecological Essays]
753 words (2.2 pages)
- Ever since the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels have been used to power the World’s economy. When the world first discovered oil as an energy source in 1859, it seemed like an ideal source of energy. Energy that had no limits and no negative effects. It is now clear that thinking of fossil fuels as a limitless supply of free energy without any negative effects is a very foolish mindset. However, this mindset was so prevalent throughout the entire twentieth century that America and many other nations around the world have become totally dependent on fossil fuels as their main source of energy.... [tags: Fossil fuel, Energy development, Wind power]
1683 words (4.8 pages)
- The use of Fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, belongs the past. Fossil fuels are natural fuels that are formed when remains of dead organisms pass through episodes of natural processes such as decomposition and disintegration; that exceeded millions of years. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and natural gas; they are categorized as fuels due to their ability to release energy when they undergo combustion. Meanwhile, they are the main source of producing the energy that is consumed by humanity. The scope of this essay will discuss the different advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels as sources of energy and alternative energy sources and methods discovered by environmentalists that... [tags: Fossil fuel, Wind power, Energy development]
845 words (2.4 pages)
- It is widely accepted that the use of fossil fuels as an energy source has had disastrous effects on the environment. In America alone 73% of the energy supplied comes from the burning of oil and coal. The dependency America has on fossil fuel is wide spread; you experience it directly when you drive your car and turn on the lights to read this paper. What about the 27% of the energy used to supply the population of America (Smil 55).Some of it comes from a diverse sub-level of energy sources, called renewable energy.... [tags: environment, energy, oil, coal]
1318 words (3.8 pages)
- Earth, the only planet in our galaxy able to beautifully sustain life and everything attached is taken obliviously for granted. Earth, a planet that refuses to continue captivating all these dreadful chemicals let out by human generated so called “necessities” is giving up. What will be of existence if Earth finally decided to give up. Humans causing a surplus burning of fossil fuels in the United States are constraining Earth’s human tolerant time frame to run short. In just a few decades, The United States will be held accountable for about $4.7 trillion dollars due to the threats sea level rise poses (Frumhoff et al.... [tags: Carbon dioxide, Fossil fuel, Greenhouse gas]
1720 words (4.9 pages)
- Today, the United States produces most of its electric power through the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal. The usage of these fuels is responsible for a host of environmental, economic, and social damage. Without action, the continued use of these energy generation strategies will lead to continued the degradation of the health, economic strength, and environmental stability of the United States. To combat this threat, we propose the gradual elimination of the use of fossil fuels in energy generation within the next twenty to thirty years.... [tags: Fossil fuel, Natural gas, Coal]
1054 words (3 pages)
- Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels cause pollution, smog, and the greenhouse effect. Fossil fuels really do negatively impact our environment, especially when it comes to global warming, Although there is controversy over whether or not fossil fuels are causing the planet to warm, or whether it is warming naturally, there is significant research that supports the former hypothesis. When fossil fuels are burned, they emit different levels of carbon dioxide.... [tags: Environment Pollution Essays]
528 words (1.5 pages)
- Fossil Fuels: Are they Worth the Cost. Fossil fuels are a very important part of our society today. Natural gas, Coal, and oil are the world’s primary and most important source of energy. “90% of the energy we use in this country [USA] comes from fossil fuels.” (Source 3) Unfortunately, there are costs of using these fossil fuels to run our society. Some costs are obvious such as the cost of labor, equipment and supplies needed to extract, refine and transport the fossil fuels. These costs are taken care of in electricity bills, in the price of gasoline for automobiles and other governmental and company funding.... [tags: Environmental Issues Energy Resources Essays]
703 words (2 pages)