The United States of America population growth is slowing down. Nonetheless, there are approximately 300 million inhabitants in North America consuming natural resources in an attempt to heat their homes and workplaces, provide electricity, travel to and from work, and exist in a sanitary environment.
Ninety-nine percent of the U.S. population use electricity in their daily lives. Coal fueled power plants throughout the U.S. burn coal to produce electricity for the growing public.
Coal Ash Dangers
In order to help alleviate the growing public concern and eliminate hazardous gases from polluting air and water quality these coal fueled power plants attempt to capture the pollutants, such as mercury, arsenic, and lead by converting them into “coal ash.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) keeps records of coal-ash disposal sites. However, the EPA data confirms that coal ash is gathered up, dispersed, and disposed into approximately 1,300, non-regulated, coal-ash disposal sites.
Coal ash contains hazardous materials dangerous, and potentially fatal to all forms of life. Ultimately, coal is dirty to the touch, smell, and taste; there is no cleanliness in coal.
Renewable Resource Alternatives
Alternatives to burning coal comprise of using perpetual and renewable resources. This concept falls into the category of using technology to find a solution to our environmental dilemma and will decrease our ecological footprint on Planet Earth.
Coal ash may potentially seep into our air and waters, contaminating ponds, killing fish and wildlife, and poisoning our fertile soil. On the other hand, wind is a natural and renewable form of energy presently used to provide electricity to millions of U.S. citizens.
Wind power is also recognized as a vital alternative to using carbon based products such as coal. Presently, the U.S. Department of Energy is working on a Wind Program to help make using wind power more cost effective in respect to fossil fuels.
As an alternative form of energy, wind is considered a perpetual resource,
Wind is generated because of the sun’s rays changing the atmospheric conditions on Earth resulting in kinetic energy, much cleaner than burning coal, a nonrenewable resource.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind turbines used to produce energy throughout parts of the U.S are capable of producing the following:
“A 5-megawatt turbine can produce more than 15 million kilowatts in a year–enough to power more than 1, 400 households.”
The combination of the sun and wind, and technological advances in harnessing these forms of energy are, in my opinion, challenging and rewarding alternatives to our present day form of energy production and utilization.
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Hello and welcome Linsey! Thank you for taking time out to read and comment, as well!
I intend on using solar power when I return to the USA later this year.
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Thanks for forwarding this to your friend, Berry! Also thanks for taking the time to read and comment on your thoughts!
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Thank you, Sam!
It seems like stepping up the research and actual implementation of using alternative forms of energy is a no-brainer and an absolute must – given what we experienced from the energy crisis that was spawned by the oil embargo of the 70’s, and also from what we know to be true about the ozone layer’s depletion, brought about about by the burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon based emissions – all while we watch our melting polar caps shrink .
You would also think that we would already be much further along in designing laws that mandate “out with the old and in with the new energy policies and in creating products that further accentuate this change to rid us of our “business as usual” national attitude – so that we would have already made the bulk of the conversion by now and should be leaders in spreading our environmental success around the world.
But being the creatures of habit as humans are, and being the citizens who must have the liberty to pursue happiness as we Americans expect, we then slowly discuss how bad the energy and resource problems might get if we don’t do something and take action. Next, we conduct a study that could last 5 years to get the analysis from, then we will debate those results over the next 15 years before jumping the gun and taking any actions that might halt our big economic machine of greed and exploitation, a practice which supports the wasteful usage of raw materials – especially if they come from a different country.
After continually making disposable products that can’t be reused and that are too expensive to recycle, we then continue to overfill our landfills until it endangers the school down the street and any useful ground water. Then we finally decide to create legislation that takes 10 – 20 years before it kicks into full gear to produce any noticeable environmental impact or change in energy policy and usage.
So now what was that about doing something to combat the amount of coal ash that is polluting everything we need to survive and is being dumped by our energy producers? Wind energy is a great alternative…it should be in common usage by around 2050, soon after we look into the pros and cons.
You brought up some very important points, Alan! You’re absolutely right with respect to how long change takes place in trying to achieve a sustainable environment. I appreciate your concern and I’m trying to do my part to bring issues of this importance to light. Thank you, again!