1. National Security: most oil reserves are located in unstable countries in the Middle East, and conflicts will likely arise on a global scale to gain control of a most valued resource.
1. Global Warming: over the past 150 years, the amount of carbon dioxide has increased by 25% as a result of burning fossil fuels, and the global temperature has risen by .5 - 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit. An increase in carbon dioxide is positively correlated with a global increase in temperature. Increased temperatures mean higher sea levels, and the flooding of sea level communities such as Long Island.
2. Air Pollution: the combustion of fossil fuels releases harmful byproducts in the form of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter. These pollutants can cause headaches, increased stress on heart disease, shortness of breath, lung irritation, and acid rain.
3. Heat Pollution: the release of heated water from generation plants into the oceans and rivers will decrease the dissolved oxygen in the water. Decreased disolved oxygen leads to eutrophication and decreases the survival of aquatic populations.
4. Wasted Water Usage: electricity production accounts for 40% of freshwater withdrawals in the United States. This water is used not only for extraction, processing, and fuel conversion, but for ongoing maintenance and cooling purposes. However, the energy portfolio is unequal in terms of water usage as seen in the figue below. Wind energy does not require any water withdrawal for electricity production.
Source: California’s Energy-Water Nexus: Water Use in Electricity Generation
The Energy Problem
A Clean Vision