Hydrofracking is a term that I was definitely unfamiliar with before researching and learning what it exactly does and its’ importance during the 21st century. Natural gas has become one of the most sought out resources in current times. Its value is astounding and the uses are endless. People put a lot of time and money into researching ways for it to become more accessible in a costly manner. Hydrofracking uses excessive amounts of water to make mining for natural gas easier in harder to reach places, more economically possible than ever before. The water mixture is pumped into the shale to crack the rock. This then probes the natural gases to release into the air and causes dangerous pollution in the air. For some reason each time I hear new technology or economic savings I always think it is for the better. However this is definitely not the case.
Hydrofracking is perhaps one of the scariest methods of natural gas mining I have learned about. The millions of gallons of water it uses on each hydrofracking excursion is an awful reality. Knowing that millions of people live without clean water each day and hydrofracking wastes water for copious reasons is outrageous to me. The mixture of chemicals used in this process contains diesel fuel, biocides, benzene and hydrochloric acid. Companies that fund hydrofracking do not disclose the amount of chemicals used and the type used during the process. The harmful benzene is toxic and it is possible for it to leak into our drinking water. The storing of the potent chemical mixture is also a serious issue because it can cause soil and groundwater contamination.
Before the actual process begins the geographical regions where hydrofracking takes place are destroyed. The trees are mulled down and the drill sites permanently alter the environment.
I think hydrofracking is a desperate way to obtain natural gas and the only way it should continue is when alternative methods of the resources and chemicals to make hydrofracking possible, are found. In my opinion, the benefits of hydrofracking do not justify its’ means.
Like a few of the previous topics discussed in the course I was unfamiliar with the Solyndra scandal. I discovered that this deceptive company stole millions of dollars and terminated over a thousand jobs. This former energy company specialized in manufacturing panels of copper indium gallium selenite thin-film solar cells. What a mouthful! Basically they created energy efficient solar cells that could produce clean electricity in a renewable way. This type of technology is definitely important in the 21st century due to the short supply of fossil fuels we have left to use. Discovering new ways to use our planet in a non-harmful way for humans and the environment is crucial. The Solyndra company’s solar panels were unlike any that came before and their new technology seemed promising at the time of its’ debut.
In order to get the money to fund the production of these solar panels, the company turned to the government for their expenditures. The Obama administration fell into the trap of this company who promised to save the economy millions of dollars. After investing hundreds of millions of dollars into this company, which mostly came from taxpayers, also known as you and I, the company declared bankruptcy.
After this scandal, which the FBI is suspecting fraud, it left the people of America and the government as a whole with a negative feeling regarding other clean energy research and businesses. This entire situation is very upsetting for the country because the need for clean energy is so crucial during this time. If we turn our heads to this and focus on other things that might not “waste time and money” then the problem will remain and worsen. The failure of Solyndra was not mainly based of the scandal. Although the solar panels were innovative, they were not economically beneficial. Since the scandal investigations have been taking place and not a lot of focus has been on finding renewable energy methods. Hopefully this will change! Over time I think that our country will realize what is truly important. Or at least I hope….
The Obama administration continues to set new standards for the auto industry. Hybrid cars are being revealed more frequently than ever by auto companies. I remember when hybrids first came out they were scene as a less powerful, tree-hugger’s alternative to a real car. Now, hybrids are being designed for luxury and purpose. A hybrid is a car with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, each of which can propel it. Hybrids are being created to lessen the manmade global warming crisis and also, help people save their money in the process. These cars are marketable for not only the tree huggers of America, but for the person wishing to save money on gas. It is no secret that gas prices have raised to insane numbers. When I was in Las Vegas over the summer it was almost 5 dollars a gallon! Regular! Of course in the desert people are willing to pay higher prices. By driving a hybrid, little gasoline is used and instead electricity powers the car. Although I do not have a hybrid I think that the concept and design is brilliant and not only helps the environment, but helps the pockets of the people.
The reason that more auto industries are focusing on improving the design and make of hybrid cars is because they realize that better fuel economy equals better sales. Better sales then link to new jobs. The most recent advertisement I saw for a hybrid car is Ford’s 2013 Fusion with the new eco-boost engine. This car not only looked cool but it performed well and is a hybrid! The affordability is great. I was thinking to myself, “What more could someone ask for?” Luxury car companies are also urging the improvement on gas mileage for their future models.
Car experts continue to research multiple ways to better fuel economy for upcoming designs. Some of these ways are alternative fuels, weight reduction, engine development, transmission development, increased aerodynamics, and even automation. These tricky terms and methods are now being looked at in ways to improve the fuel economy, not just the power of the car. These and many more design and mechanical techniques are taking the auto industry by storm. The struggling economy has a lot of room and growth for such vehicles and the ultimate benefit is that they are better for our world.
During October 2012 Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. Perhaps the most buzz for area of disaster I heard about was New York. I remember when the Hurricane was approaching I didn’t think it would destroy anything and only brings some wind and rain. I stayed inside all day not even looking outside of my windows. Come to find out the not so little Hurricane had left New York in pieces. Not only did Sandy destroy homes and businesses, but it possible that it will become one of the costliest hurricanes of all time. The climate change due to global warming may have affected the rise of sea level and the warm temperatures on the sea’s surface. The melting of artic ice due to these irregular weather conditions contributed to the rise in sea level and ultimately contributed to the brutality of Hurricane Sandy.
The rise of temperature on the sea’s surface is part of what caused Hurricane Sandy to spiral out of control. This year, the Atlantic Ocean had a temperature increase of 5 degrees. It is thought and researched by many that global warming contributed to 1 degree of the 5. Since the temperature rose, it allowed Hurricane Sandy to travel further north, therefore destroying New York. The warmer the sea’s temperature, the more water vapor is produced. The water vapor then caused increased rainfall and flooding, thus leading to Hurricane Sandy. Another issue regarding global warming which is thought to contribute to Hurricane Sandy is the rising sea level. During the hurricane, the sea level was 9.15 feet above the average high-tide line. This increase made water vapor produce easily and therefore contribute to the heavy rain and wind. The melting ice from the artic due to global warming is a contributor to the abnormal rise in sea level. The melting artic ice is a huge issue and since the 1970’s about 50% of the Arctic Sea’s ice has melted. Scientists believe that this is a direct effect of manmade global warming. The melting of ice not only caused sea levels to rise, but changed the pattern of the atmosphere. This change resulted many have caused Hurricane Sandy to change paths and hit northern America.
Of course, most of the effects of global warming are “theories” and cannot be proved. However I disagree. If science and nature are screaming at the world to change their behavior, I definitely find truth there. Hurricane Sandy may still have occurred without the “global warming” effects but I truly think that the wrong done to our planet by mankind is a main factor in the hurricane’s brutality and force. Perhaps this is a wake up call to preserve our beautiful planet and research global warming in further depth to find out what myself and others can do to slow down their contribution to the world’s end. A bit dramatic, but I think it’s necessary.
Throughout the world the effects of global warming due to energy consumption has resulted in the destructive reality we are living in. The earth is changing. It is developing in a way that makes scientists predict the world will ultimately end. It is in our power and knowledge that we can change this reality. Small changes can and will result in a big change that will help generations following our own. Energy conservation in Germany is a crucial part of their way of living. Europeans as a whole have realized the global warming crisis and are working to reverse it in more ways than one. Germany is a victim of overusing their energy and the cost has risen to great extremes. Since 1991 Germany has began to adjust their energy consumption use to make it more efficient for their country, and ultimately the world.
Not only has Germany learned to use their energy efficiently, but also during the process nearly 400,000 jobs were filled and created. In 1997 the country’s goal was for 12% of electricity to be renewable by 2010. This goal was met and crushed by 2007 when 14% was deemed renewable. Right now the focused goal is for 2020 is for 35% of the electricity to be renewable. Their goals continue to get higher and higher throughout the years.
Germany has created many ways to decrease their energy use and increase renewable energy. Following the US and China, Germany is the third largest user of wind power. It is said that no other county is as knowledgeable in this category than Germany. 7% of the country’s power is produced by wind. Future plans continue to be made by creating offshore wind turbines in order to continue decreasing Germany’s dependence on energy derived from coal and nuclear power plants. Another source of energy Germany is currently using is photovoltaic solar power. The sun produces this type of energy and systems to create solar power have reduced immensely and are therefore being implemented more. Hydroelectricity also helps Germany produce electricity through water. One of Germany’s most important source of renewable energy is biomass and biofuels.
The effects of global warming are devastating the world each day. The changes that Germany has made in finding new ways to use and create energy can help conserve our planet. They set an excellent standard for all other countries.
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