SCI207: Dependence of Man on the Environment
Instructor: Haleh Keshtkar
November 28, 2011
In recent years there has been more and more emphasis on finding ways to help save our resources. America has become so dependent on using resources such as oil, natural gas and fossil fuels, the most convenient form of energy, for our everyday lifestyle. From using cars and electricity in our homes to getting our products at our nearest retailer, we use a large amount of energy. With the rise of energy consumption, due to our lifestyles, there have been more and more ways of alternative energy production to be able to keep the same lifestyle without having to use the limited resources. One way that has had a good progress is using wind power. Wind power has become an “environmentalist favorite source of renewable energy” by using wind turbines that capture kinetic energy and convert it into electricity, (Bradley, 1998). Using this method to produce energy has many benefits not only for us but also for our environment. However, in addition to the benefits, there are disadvantages to maintaining the structure as well as protecting the endangered species that make contact with the wind turbines.
Wind power has become more and more popular because of what it has to offer. It has been installed in Europe where it has had a great impact Green Power 3
by reducing the amount of burning fossil fuel factories. In Germany, there are 18,000 megawatts of capacity and just in one German state, one quarter of the it meets its annual demand (Turk, 2011). This is something that the United States can benefit form because there is more land to use than in Europe. Using wind power does not just produce a clean source of energy; it helps to keep the electric rate low (AWEA, 2011). With the lifestyle humans have, there is a need for a better way to be able to maintain that lifestyle without having to give up a lot of our resources. Using a natural way to produce energy would allow us to use the money put into fossil fuels plants and oil plants to be used for other things that can help our economy improve. Not having this opportunity to use wind power could mean the amount of things we use on a daily bases could be no longer available to us. With so much going on about getting oil from the Middle East, we see that it is something that can eventually “run out” because it is not an endless amount of resource. Energy companies are resistant about adopting this new form of energy because they are not so sure how it would be to have these wind turbines in our landscape (Turk, 2011). They are very big structures that do Green Power4
not do much to entertain viewers other than spin but that should not be something stopping the production of turbines because they do a great deal to benefit our environment and will help us have a better alternative. There are also offshore turbines that allow us to have the same energy from the wind without having the structures in sight because they can be in the water. The disadvantage with that would be that boats and ships might have trouble not running into them depending on the amount of turbines out there and their location. Maybe this is something that is not noticed now but in the future when our sources are limited, this alternative could be the only way to still be able to maintain our lifestyle without having to drastically having to change something about it. The more we discover new ways to do thing the more we use energy. Fossils fuels, oils, and natural gases are not an endless supply of resource; however, having wind power will provide us with what is needed by using the wind. There is not much of a different from what was used in the past to grind grain only that they are a lot bigger and can harm endangered species that run into them. There have been reports of bird and bats running into them and dying from it. Nevertheless; with electricity wire all around cities and towns there are accidents with birds by getting Green Power5
electrified. This also endangers many species and is not benefiting our environment as well (Deal, 2011). Although it may not seem like a big deal for birds to be dying because of turbines, it has taken the lives of many bald eagles that are a federal crime under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Bradley, 2011).
In conclusion, there are alternatives out there that benefit our environment and us. There are advantages as well as disadvantages. Rather then burning fossil fuels that just harm us by in taking and breathing that more should be done to get the word out about the alternative ways to save. The more we use fossil fuels and oils the more it will be harder to cut back in the future. It is obvious that the way we are by using so much energy will cause us to become more and more dependent on getting those resources in order to continue enjoying our lifestyle. If using the alternative of wind power is not something we should consider to make a primary, we probably are looking into getting less productivity in the long run.
Turk, J., & Bensel, T. (2011). Contemporary environmental issues. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUSCI207.10.1)
Deal, W. F. (2010, September). Wind power: An emerging energy source. Technology & Engineering Teacher, 70(1), 9-15.
Bradley Jr., R. L. (1998). Dirty secrets of renewable energy. USA Today Magazine, 126(2636), 34.
American Wind Energy Association(AWEA). (1996-2011). Utilities and Wind Power. Retrieved from the American Wind Energy AssociationWebsite: http://www.awea.org/learnabout/utility/index.cfm National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). (2011). Learning About Renewable Energy. Retrieved from the U.S. Department of Energy Website: http://www.nrel.gov/learning/re_wind.html