Energy is one of the world’s greatest inventions of all time. We use energy on a daily basis for just about everything. Our way of life is based upon energy and how we use it. We use large amounts of energy for transportation and electricity. Due to the limited supply of resources available to us we need to make sure that we conserve them wisely so that these resources will be around for future generations. It is imperative that consumer start to take responsibility for their actions. There are two ways to conserve energy; one is by using energy efficient technologies and the other is by changing our habits. Individual efforts combined with governmental support will assist in decreasing energy usage which will in turn create a better environment for everyone.
According to the EIA, the U.S energy consumption is 100 quadrillion btu/year and is projected to rise by 37 percent within the next 20 years. The U.S is also currently building 151 coal-fired electrical generating plants in order to keep up with the current demand (Holness, 2008). In 2003, 422 quads of energy were used in the world and 92 quads within the U.S alone. According to the report “Cutting Global Energy Demand Growth,” it is predicted that in the year 2020, the world will be at 613 quads. This report also states that by becoming energy efficient we can reduce this number to 478 quads in 2020 (Schirber, 2008).
Some non living factors that contribute to energy consumption are the sun and the earth’s atmosphere. The sun produces large amounts of heat which creates heat. Humans tend to elude the heat by turning up their air conditioners. This increases energy use. Energy emissions that are released into the earth’s atmosphere can cause major health problem to humans and are very harmful to animals and plants. Living factors that contribute to energy consumption are plants and animals. If plants are affected by high energy consumption, than it will create a problem for the animals, which will than create a problem for the humans. The whole food chain could be distorted. Humans are the main living factor that contributes to energy consumption. We are dependent upon certain items such as fossil fuels for heat and energy. This is affecting our atmosphere causing problems for all types of living organisms.
The greatest positive impact that energy conservation has is that natural resources will still be around for future generations if we start conserving now. Energy conservation will also have positive effects on our environment. It will also prevent health problems associated with burning fossil fuels and coal needed for energy.
Humans also have a negative impact on energy usage. Most people do not realize the amount of energy they waste in any given day. Simple steps such as fixing lighting structures, planting trees around your house, and by driving less will help curve the energy abuse. All of these are very important steps in energy conservation. Leaving lights on when not in use is a negative impact on energy consumption.
According to Laird (2009), people from all different occupations have been trying to find a way to better use our resources. For 20 years, our nation has been trying to come up with a plan to reach sustainability. The government is only a part of the equation. Everyone including innovators, government, firms, and nonprofit organizations need to come together. Simply put, they are not doing enough to make sure that energy sustainability is feasible for average consumers. Laird states that they need to create policies that are flexible and create institutions that can learn and change from mistakes. According to Laird (2009), “The level of funding, public and private, for renewable energy R&D is abysmally low, when seen in the context of the size of the energy market.” One of the most recent programs, Cash for Clunkers, was initiated by the government to assist individuals in buying more energy efficient...
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