The vast majority of energy produced around the world is contrived from what we must consider to be dirty production systems. The creation of this energy has many negative side effects that will be a reality to humanity for years, decades, even centuries to come. Energy is consumed without thought of where it’s coming from and without regard to what comes afterward.
Power in the developed world is strictly controlled and expensive. If you want warm showers, a stove to cook dinner on, or an illuminated screen to watch then you have no choice but to pay your government or the private companies they license for their access to the power that they control.
The developed world needs to be conscious that the energy that people are consuming is clean. For underdeveloped countries, the problem isn’t that they can’t obtain clean power, it’s that they have no access to power at all. Grid systems don’t reach rural areas and billions of people are disconnected and left in the dark.
Nearly 20 percent of the people in the world—over 1.3 billion—don’t have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)
Nearly 3 billion people—not far shy of half the global population—depend on firewood, charcoal, and dung to make the heat they need to cook food. The costs to their health and the environment are real.
Inefficient Power Sources
Totally dependent on the wind, if it doesn’t blow no power is generated
Turbines are located far from cities and energy must be transported far to reach people
They look bad, create fields that kill birds, cause negative effects such as nosebleeds on nearby residents and make constant noise
There is a low energy output compared to the high maintenance cost required for large, rotating oil gears
Requires materials that are expensive to install and maintain
Panels must be kept clean to work properly
They’re useless at night or when clouds are in the air
Cannot reach industrial output needs, only viable for personal/household use
Requires giant, expensive facility with a reservoir and dam
Causes pollution to water and air
Interrupts water flow and wildlife
Coal plants are the top source of carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions worldwide
Burning coal is a leading cause of smog and acid rain
Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, soot/ash, mercury, lead and arsenic are released into the air
Releases carbon dioxide into the air
Oil spills pollute water and all connected ecosystems
Supply is finite and exponentially running out
Extraction methods are expensive and destructive
The largest currently unresolved environmental problem as a result of energy production is that of nuclear waste
As of 2012, Canada had over 56,000 tonnes of highly radioactive nuclear waste without resources to store it
This waste will not decompose for millions of years and leaks into the ground water we drink
Nuclear power is produced by splitting atoms, destroying the foundation of all matter
Burning produces huge amounts of nitrogen oxide and other harmful toxins that enter the air
These emissions translate into damaging public health effects, as these pollutants have been linked with problems such as asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease for hundreds of thousands of Americans alone
Construction and operation of gas extraction systems often pose health risks to nearby communities
Water sources within the vicinity are often contaminated with hazardous chemicals used in drilling the wellbore, hydraulically fracturing the well, processing and refining the gas, and finally disposing of the wastewater