Mitigation Strategies and Solutions
Topic: Energy Conservation
By: Barry Auman
The topic that selected is energy conservation because it is a big environmental problem that we need to work on to save the environment. This problem is very serious when energy is an expensive source and a very useful one. This problem causes environmental pollution and it needs to be reduced in order to make the earth a safer and healthier place. We all need to do our part to address this problem before it becomes worse.
Energy conservation refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption in order to preserve resources for the future and reduce environmental pollution. Energy efficiency is known as “the fifth fuel” and it can help the demand for energy just as coal, gas, oil or uranium can. The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming and nuclear plants generate life-threatening waste. The standard economic theory suggests that technological improvements increase energy efficiency, rather than reducing energy use. This is called the Jevons Paradox and it can occur two ways. Increased energy efficiency makes the use of energy relatively cheaper, thus encouraging increased use. Increased energy efficiency leads to increased economic growth, which pulls up energy use in the whole economy. Electric motors consume more than 60% of all electrical energy generated and are responsible for the loss of 10 to 20% of all electricity converted into mechanical energy. It has also been shown that natural day lighting increases productivity levels of workers, while reducing energy consumption.
There are living and non-living factors that contribute to the problem of energy conservation. For example, a human, animal, or plant is a living factor and rock, cloud, or ocean is a non-living factor. The characteristics for living things are metabolism, growth, responsiveness to stimuli, self-maintenance, and reproduction. What separates the living from the non-living is the fact that life uses energy to maintain itself. Non-life cannot do this, and as a consequence it erodes, corrodes, and breaks down. Humans and animals cannot manufacture their own energy and must receive it from other plants and animals. They obtain the energy that fuels their life-sustaining process by combining the food they eat with oxygen in a slow, controlled burn. When you break apart chemical bonds in food it releases energy. In the non-living world, energy can change from one kind to another. Living things need to continually acquire new energy and non-living things eventually run-down. Humans can also waste energy by leaving lights turned on that are not being used. Energy is being wasted by all of the automobiles that are driven daily. The environment, plants, and animals are affected by the pollution caused from these problems because they live in areas that are affected. The plants and animals need to live in a safe environment to survive because the pollution is killing them. The pollution is also causing global warming.
There are positive and negative behaviors with human impacts on energy conservation. There is a great cause of wasted energy by humans when they have dysfunctional settlement patterns. There are no strategic or tactical alternatives that achieve a sustainable energy consumption trajectory that don’t include fundamental change in human settlement patterns. When people don’t conserve electricity, gas, and water they will waste more energy and continue to affect this problem. Leaving lights turned on, leaving appliances plugged in, and cooking on electric stoves are all examples on how humans affect the conservation of energy. Some people car pool and this conserves gas and helps eliminate air pollution that is caused from automobiles. Another positive human impact is when humans conserve energy then they will save money on many resources that...