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Linking Renewable Energy Resources Around the World

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Question



Why do I need to be concerned about global energy problems?

Key Words

global energy problems, energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, climate change, dependency on foreign oil, fossil and nuclear fuels, politically unstable regions, primary energy demand, atmospheric, water, and land pollution, toxic waste

Answer

The use and cost of energy affects each of us every day of our lives. Many issues arise from the use of energy: greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, climate change, dependency on depleting supplies of fossil fuels — especially from politically unstable regions of the world.

Today, 80% of the world's electrical production comes from fossil and nuclear fuels, and virtually all transportation is fueled by liquid petroleum (gasoline).

The World Energy Council projects primary energy demand will triple by 2050, as population grows to 8-9 billion and developing nations elevate living standards.

The fossil fuels by definition are nonrenewable and are destined to run out — so economies will be forced to change as these fuels are depleted. Rich nations will be insulated a bit longer, yet scarcity will surely create geopolitical tensions.

The emissions from the burning of fossil and nuclear fuels creates atmospheric, water, and land pollution and toxic waste. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says this combustion is causing a discernible change of the global weather and climate patterns that will affect all humanity in decades to come.

Related Issues

World Energy Use

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