Environmental Problem in the World Term Paper

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Some forms of energy, such as wave and tidal energy and hydrogen fuel cells are still being studied. Another writer states, "Techniques to harness the energy found in the oceans are best developed for tidal power, wave power and ocean thermal energy conversion" (Middleton 52). Many other types of alternative energy, such as solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energies are all being used where they make sense. Other solutions include nuclear energy, but the problem of disposing of the nuclear waste is a big problem, and so, no new nuclear facilities are being built. Authors Ottinger and Williams continue "Nuclear energy is excluded [...] because of its high capital and operating costs, complex technical requirements for operation and maintenance, and unresolved problems of proliferation and waste disposal" (Ottinger and Williams 331).

None of these solutions are being used enough to remedy the problem, and there are many reasons why they are not being more heavily used. Many of the long-term projects are very expensive to build and operate, and so utilities are hesitant to invest in them. Around the world, many countries are investing in alternative power, such as wind power. Another writer notes, "India, China, and a dozen European nations have installed thousands of wind turbines that generate electricity at a cost comparable to new coal-fired power plants" (Johnson 15). Here is the U.S. wind power has caught on in some areas, but the vast areas needed to create these "wind farms" is limited, and many people here find them unsightly, so they are not as popular as they are in other parts of the world. They have to be in an area that gets a lot of wind, too, which limits where they can be installed and used.

Solar power is another solution, but it also is not being utilized as much as it could. Some systems are very expensive to implement, and home systems are expensive, too. They also only work best in sunny, warm locations. Another reason these solutions are not working is the power of the big worldwide oil companies. They make large profits on the sale of there fuels, and they fight any kind of alternative power legislation in most modern countries. One expert states, "While the development of alternative energy sources continues to lag, supporters of the oil industry continue to promote the use of fossil fuels" (Rosentreter 8). Thus, the companies that stand to lose the most if alternative power comes into use are fighting it as hard as they can.


In summary, the problem of clean, low-cost alternative and environmentally friendly power sources continues to plague the world. While there are alternatives to dirty and damaging fossil fuels, these alternatives are costly, and they are not developing rapidly enough to help solve the problem of non-renewable sources of energy. Another problem is the power of the big oil companies, who stand to lose a lot of money if alternative power really does catch on. They have clout and they are not afraid to use it. If the big oil companies would invest in alternative power sources then perhaps they could still make a profit while making the planet healthier, too. It seems that everyone on Earth needs to work together to help solve this problem. It will not go away, it will only get worse, and ignoring it will just make things happen sooner. There needs to be more funding to support environmentally friendly power sources, and more people need to research and study the problem. Someday, the oil, gas, and coal will be gone, and then, what will the people of the Earth do? Nothing happens overnight, and if we all want to have a better, cleaner, and brighter future, we should start working on it right now, before it is too late.


Author not Available. "Causes of Global Warming." EchoBridge.org. 2005. 21 July 2005. http://www.ecobridge.org/content/g_cse.htm

Cristol, Hope. "New Concern About Acid Rain: Trees' Immune Systems may be Damaged by Pollution." The Futurist Nov.-Dec. 2002: 8+.

Cruver, Philip C. "Lighting the 21st Century." The Futurist Jan.-Feb. 1989: 29+.

Johnson, Dan. "Alternative Energy Sources Gain Worldwide." The Futurist Aug.-Sept. 1998: 15.

Middleton, Nick. "New Wave Energy." Geographical Jan. 2001: 52.

Ottinger, Richard L., and Rebecca Williams. "Renewable Energy Sources for Development." Environmental Law 32.2 (2002): 331+.

Rosentreter, Richard. "Oil, Profits and the Question of Alternative Energy." The Humanist Sept. 2000:…[continue]

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