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To make sure we have plenty of energy in the future, it's up to all of us to use energy wisely. We must all conserve energy and use it efficiently. It also ups to those of you who will want to create the new energy technologies of the future.

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Fossil fuels enable human ingevnovnuity and gave rise to the Industrial Revolution. Coal-fired electricity empowers humankind's evolution in the Information Age. Humans harness earth's abundant fossil fuels resource - formed from the remains of prehistoric plant and animal life - as our primary source of energy. In a very real sense, using fossil fuels recycles the product of solar energy locked-up during photosynthesis over millions and millions of years. Whether using coal to make most of the world's electricity, petroleum as the lifeblood of transportation or, along with natural gas, as a feedstock for myriad industrial and commercial uses, fossil fuels are keys to our industrial evolution. Where Fossil Fuels Come From There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. All three were formed many millions of years ago during the time of the dinosaurs -- hence the name fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are made up of decomposed plant and animal matter. Plants change energy they receive from the sun into stored energy. This energy is food used by the plant. This is called photosynthesis. Animals eat plants to make energy. And people eat animals and plants to get energy to do work. When plants and dinosaurs and other ancient creatures died, they decomposed and became buried, layer upon layer under the ground. It took millions of years to form these layers into a hard, black coloured rock-like substance called coal; a thick liquid called oil or petroleum, and natural gas. Fossil fuels can be found under the earth in many locations around the country. In California, we have oil and natural gas resources. Each of the fossil fuels is extracted out of the ground differently. Coal used in power plants is not found in California but is abundant in other states. It is mined in deep mines or in strip mines closer to the surface and brought to California to power a few small power plants. ...read more.


Here's what we Learned 17. Hydropower uses the kinetic energy of moving water. 18. The moving water can be used to turn wheels to grind grains or in a hydroelectric power plant to make electricity. 19. Moving water goes through a turbine spinning the shaft, which turns a generator to make electricity. 20. California's hydroelectric power plants are found along dams on rivers and in the mountains. Another major form of energy is nuclear energy, the energy that is trapped inside each atom. One of the laws of the universe is that matter and energy can't be created nor destroyed. But they can be changed in form. Matter can be changed into energy. The famous scientist Albert Einstein created the mathematical formula that explains this. It is: E = mc2 This equation says: E [energy] equals m [mass] times c2 [c stands for the speed of light. c2 means c times c, or the speed of light raised to the second power -- or c-squared.] Please note that some web browser software may not show an exponent (raising something to a power, a mathematical expression) on the Internet. Normally c-squared is shown with a smaller "2" placed above and to the right of the c. Scientists used Einstein's famous equation as the key to unlock atomic energy and also create atomic bombs. The ancient Greeks said the smallest part of nature is an atom. But they did not know 2,000 years ago about nature's even smaller parts. As we learned in chapter 2, atoms are made up of smaller particles -- a nucleus of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons which swirl around the nucleus much like the earth revolves around the sun. Nuclear Fission An atom's nucleus can be split apart. When this is done, a tremendous amount of energy is released. The energy is both heat and light energy. This energy, when let out slowly, can be harnessed to generate electricity. ...read more.


(Prices will be higher for those things which, according to our own expressions, we ought to consume less of.) Jay Hanson wrote: > Economists who assume away political realities are skipping the hard part. > In the politics-by-money world that economists worked so hard to create, > Real demons, these economists, first they labour to create an ugly political reality, then they pointedly ignore it. How and why did this change happen? > It > is politically impossible to "internalize the costs" > So, the fact that environmental costs have been internalized in so many cases is merely a mirage, is it? > Booth sees old > technologies replaced by new technologies which bring new environmental > problems and new "vested political interests" who are opposed > environmental > regulation. > And what about new technologies created by environmental regulation, aimed at fixing environmental problems? (Hint: such constitute a multi- billion-dollar business in countries such as Germany.) Presumably, these would be interested in environmental regulation, being self-interested capitalists. George Antony The Carbon Cycle The carbon cycle is one of the most vital of all the atmospheric cycles. During the carbon cycle, carbon moves from vast reserviors -the ocean and atmosphere- on through organisms and ecosystems. Carbon is entering the atmosphere every second. It does this by cells engaging in aerboic respiration, as fossil fules burn, and as volcanos erupt. The world's oceans hold most of the carbon in a dissolved form. The soild and the plant biomass of the atmosphere are the next largest carbon holders. Most of the atmospheric carbon is in the form of carbon dioxide. The average time that an ecosystem holds any one carbon atom varies greatly. In the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, decomposers cannot break down organic compounds to smaller bits, so carbon slowly accumulates into peat. From the consumption of fossil fules, and air pollution carbon is not being recycled properly. The result is the green house effect which contributes to global warming. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A thorough description of the variety of energy sources available, starting with fossil fuels. Good summaries of the technical details. The discussion of ways of conserving energy is less well structured and focuses on the more obvious options.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 20/08/2013

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