First off, nonrenewable resources are resources that cannot replenish naturally as fast as it’s being consumed. Many of these resources are known as fossil fuels. There are three main types of fossil fuels coal, natural gas, and oil. Coal is a brownish, blackish rock that is high in organic carbon, mainly from plant material.
It formed in low-lying wetland and marches. Oil is a liquid and mostly made of hydrocarbon. It is able to form when a rock, high in organic carbon, is introduced to intense heat and pressure. Natural gases also form from decaying plants and animals.
This a gas mostly made from, “methane, a compound with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms” (“Nonrenewable Resources”). One of the major issues with nonrenewable resources, “According to the U.S.
Energy Information Administration, (is that) non-renewable energy sources cannot be replenished in a short period.” For this reason, we will have to eventually select a new source so humans need to work on a primary energy source now so we can slowly transfer over to renewable resources. Another major issue with using fossil fuels is their impact on our environment and living creatures. The issue of global warming is an idea that much of the scientific community supports. They believe that fossil fuels “trap heat, steadily drive up the planets temperature, and create significant and harmful impacts on our health, our environment, and our climate” (“Benefits of Renewable Energy Use”).
This process also effects the ocean. As the carbon dioxide levels increase the ocean helps by absorbing some of the carbon dioxide which causes the ocean to be more acidic. Whether the carbon dioxide is in the ocean or the atmosphere there is extensive damage to different creatures and the environment. For example, polar bears habitats, the polar ice caps, are melting due to Global Warming for CO2. (Ocean acidification?)This increase CO2 also harms humans.
A study, “Led by Dr. Joe Allen, Director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings program, and Dr. John Spengler, Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation at Harvard, used a lower CO2 baseline than the earlier study. They found that, on average, a typical participant’s cognitive scores dropped 21 percent with a 400-ppm increase in CO2” (“Exclusive: Elevated CO2 Levels Directly Affect Human Cognition, New Harvard Study Shows)”.
Another issue for humans is the depletion of the ozone layer. As the ozone layer begins to deplete, “People, plants, and animals living under the ozone hole are harmed by the solar radiation now reaching the Earth’s surface—where it causes health problems, from eye damage to skin cancer” (Is There a Connection Between the Ozone Hole and Global Warming?). Overall, the burning of fossil fuels causes carbon dioxide to be released into the air effecting the environment and the living creatures in it. With all the issues that nonrenewable cause scientist have searched for a new energy source. The solutions that they found are renewable resources.
The most popular renewable resources so far are solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biofuels and biomass. Each of these sources are able to reproduce in a relatively short amount of time overcome depletion. For solar energy there are, “Solar photovoltaic (PV) devices, or solar cells, change sunlight directly into electricity,” (“Energy from the sun”). This means that solar panels collect heat from the sun and transfer the heat energy into electricity. Also, energy from the wind is harnessed by turbines that spin when wind passes through them. In order for these wind turbines to be successful they must be placed in the correct positions.
Good areas include tops of rounded hills, plains, areas near water, and gaps between mountains. In addition, hydropower generates, “…electricity from the kinetic energy in moving water, the water has to move with sufficient speed and volume to spin a propeller-like device called a turbine, which in turn rotates a generator to generate electricity,” (“How Hydroelectric Energy Works”. Geothermal energy is when water is injected underground, the heat inside the Earth makes the water return as steam. This steam is used to turn turbines to generate electricity. Lastly, biomass energy is created from burning plants and using the steam to turn turbines. There are also some other renewable energy sources such as biofuels that are used.
Overall, these energy sources are better than fossil fuels because they can be replenished faster making this energy more assessable and eventually they will be our only option until millions of year go by. The greater access we have to these resources are not the only benefit, renewable resources are considerably better for humans and the Earth than nonrenewable resources. Both solar and wind resources generate clean and sustainable energy. Biomass energy uses different sources that would otherwise be wasted.
Overall, many of these renewable resources have minimal effect own our environment. The air pollution factor is decreases significantly, so is CO2 emissions, virtually no pollution to water sources, and only some disturbances to animals. They resources are also significantly better for humans. “The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked with breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, cancer, premature death, and a host of other serious problems,” (“Benefits of Renewable Energy Use”). These new resources also help create many jobs for installing to maintenance while fossil fuels are most mechanical.
Currently, some energy are too expensive for some people to afford but since these sources are produced naturally the often cost less to install. For this reason, they are able to provide more stable prices for all civilians. Even though there are staggering benefits to using renewable resources some people believe that there isn’t enough sources in order to sustain everyone. Though, The Union of Concerned Scientist agued, by using facts to explain that, “Solar and wind are highly predictable, and when spread across a large enough geographic area—and paired with complementary generation sources—become highly reliable,” (Barriers to Renewable Energy Technologies).
The University of Pennsylvania also suggested, “Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050,” (Can the World Run on Renewable Energy?). Overall, all the facts go to support that renewable energy are better for the Earth as a whole than fossil fuels and it can be made sustainable. David Attenborough said, “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.
” The energy that we used today is proven to be harmful to the Earth and those living in it. Not only is it harmful but it will eventually not exist. We need to start now adding to the amount of nonrenewable resources being. One to have reliable energy in the future and to save our Earth. More research and effort put towards this extremely important issue will allow humans to create more efficient and environmental solutions to save our environment, our plants, our animals, and ourselves. Once this strive towards renewable resources is used by the whole Earth and we make renewable resources our primary source of energy, we can look forward to a cleaner, healthier, and better tomorrow.