Solar Energy Is More Environment Friendly

Solar Energy Is More Environment Friendly

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Solar energy is more environment friendly. This alternative source does not rely on the incineration of carbon substances to produce energy in contrast to the commonly used fossil fuels and therefore, does not aggravate the air and water pollution issues that the world is currently facing. Solar energy also has only a few detrimental effects to society and these can be easily eradicated by modern technology and strict regulation. During the energy production process, solar factories release toxic chemicals; however, these chemicals do not pose a threat because there are already solutions that can remedy this situation. Aside from this, solar power is categorized into renewable energy; hence, it does not incur the damages that are usually sustained when utilizing fossil fuels. Producing fossil fuel energy involves hazardous activities, such as mining, drilling, ground clearing, and waste disposal, which could be destructive to both humans and the environment. Mining causes soil erosion, which could exterminate soil organisms and destroy aquatic ecosystems. The method of land reclamation is not a solution because the chemical properties of reclaimed mine soils have been immensely altered and so this method cannot guarantee the regrowth of native flora. The Bagacay Mine in Hinabangan, Western Samar, Philippines serves as an example of the destruction caused by mining. The reports show that the area is devoid of vegetation, narrower creeks, and unstable slopes that could cause landslides along with the siltation of drainage systems (Mines and Geosciences Bureau & Mining Environment and Safety Division, n.d.). In addition to these, mining is perilous to the laborers. An investigation by Goodstein (2005) revealed that the death toll of coal mining in England alone exceeded more than 100,000 during the second half of the 19th century. Oil drilling has negative impacts as well; it contributes to pollution through oil spills, gas flares, and waste discharges. The Niger delta located in Africa is one of the largest wetlands in the world and it has become devastated because of oil exploitation and exploration. Between 1993 and mid – 2007, 35 incidences of oil spills have been recorded. These are disastrous because oil spills discharge hydrocarbons into the soil and water sources and contaminates crops along with marine ecosystems. Oil spillage also prevents the absorption of oxygen in mangroves and ultimately leads to death. Gas flares also releases hydrocarbon compounds such as methane and sulphurous oxides, which contributes to the greenhouse gases.

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As these gases mix with the moisture in the atmosphere, acid rain is formed thereby damaging forests, water sources, and infrastructures. Waste discharges, particularly baryotes and bentonitic clays, prevent local plant growth until new topsoil has been developed (Pyagbara, 2007)

(II.A) In the aspect of waste products, solar energy production utilizes noxious compounds such as arsenic and cadmium. Although these chemicals are detrimental, their impacts can be disregarded because present technology allows humans to safely neutralize the compounds’ adverse effects through recycling and proper disposal (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association [NESEA], 2008) Since the production of solar energy does not rely on any form of incineration, it does not release CO2 therefore not contributing to the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere.

(II.B.1) On the contrary, fossil fuels release greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. According to Goodstein (2005), releasing vast amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere has unpredictable results. The escalation of CO2 in the atmosphere also increases the amount of infrared radiation reflected back to Earth, this in turn slightly warms the planet and causes more water to evaporate. Water vapor is also a powerful greenhouse gas thus amplifying the effect of CO2, which triggers the shrinking of the polar ice caps. Conversely, the extra moisture in the atmosphere holds the possibility of cooling the planet.

(II.B.2) Furthermore, fossil fuels release chemicals that endanger human health. A study found that the burning of fossil fuels releases particles such as PM10, which caused an increase in adult mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Infants exposed to high levels of different PM types suffered sudden infant death syndrome and pregnant women subjected to these particles have had their children’s’ respiratory health adversely affected (Grigg, 2001).

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