Feb 10

After watching, An Inconvenient Truth, I have decided that I want to broaden my horizons to investigate the energy outlook in 2110 as a whole instead of just nuclear energy.

World Energy Crisis. Web. 09 Feb. 2010. <http://planetforlife.com/>.

This shows that oil, coal, and natural gas were supplying 85% of the world’s energy needs in 2008. So far, we have discovered enough oil to last us for another 42 years. Of course, as John said, this number has remained constant for a while, and is most likely due to the fact that we have only discovered what we truly need for the near future.

With regards to global warming, this site investigates several alternate energy sources to mitigate the release of carbon when burning fossil fuels to create energy. As evident in the wedge of mitigation (as I call it), we can save some CO2 emissions by switching to clean air energy. It is important that we cut down on our emissions as there is a positive correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and the Average Temperature (as seen in An Inconvenient Truth)

“Clean-Air Benefits of Nuclear Energy.” Nuclear Energy Institute. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.nei.org/keyissues/protectingtheenvironment/cleanair/>.

This resource from the NEI is helpful for my original topic of focusing on nuclear energy. It also shows that the generation of nuclear energy does not create any ozone harmful gases (such as Nitrogen Oxide) that protects the environment from being adversely affected by ozone depletion. This is mandated by the Clean Air Act of 1970.

Also, the site goes onto talk about how nuclear generation doesn’t produce CO2, the largest greenhouse gas that is contributing to climate change.

“Nuclear energy is the only large-scale, clean-air electricity source that can be expanded widely to produce large amounts of energy. Nuclear energy makes up more than 70 percent of all the nation’s clean-air electricity generation. U.S. nuclear power plants also prevented the emission of 1 million short tons of nitrogen oxides and 2.7 million short tons of sulfur dioxide—pollutants controlled under the Clean Air Act. The amount of nitrogen oxide emissions that nuclear plants prevent annually is the equivalent of taking more than 47 million passenger cars off the road.”

“Wind Energy in California.” California Energy Commission Home Page. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.energy.ca.gov/wind/overview.html>.

Wind energy is being utilized in California and across the globe to attempt to cut down on CO2 emissions during energy generation. Wind energy is feasible in places where there is a high wind and a low risk of building towers (i.e. not by an airport).

In California, there is currently a federal tax credit (i.e. monetary incentive) for those who decide to utilize wind generation. It is also interesting to know that in California 4,000 jobs were created when the state decided to utilize wind energy.

This site is helpful as it gives a glimpse of a clean air, alternative energy generation method that can help with reducing CO2 emissions.

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