Energy is arguably the most important topic of the 21st century. The main questions that arise when discussing this subject are: How should we create energy for the world to use? How is creating energy effecting our environment? I asked these 2 pivotal questions and many other questions to my father, Mike Donley, a Petroleum Land Man.
Beginning with what I think is safe to assume what the majority of people think of when they here the word “energy”. Crude oil is a fossil fuel that is found in the Earth’s crust and is used to make petroleum products which is the world leader for a source of fuel or energy. My father believes that the tables are turning toward solar and wind for a source of energy but very slowly. He said he is willing to bet that crude oil will be around for at least another 150 years.
Top 3 Countries that import crude oil.
- United States (9,080,000 barrels/day)
- China (6,167,000 barrels/day)
- India (3,812,000 barrels/day)
I am sure you are all aware of the effects that crude oil has had on our environment. When petroleum products are burned for fuel they release the following toxins.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
Unless you are President Elect Trump then you most likely believe in global warming. Global warming is caused by having an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So how does carbon dioxide generate heat to cause global warming? It does not, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps the thermal radiation emitted by the Earth in the atmosphere.
My father thinks that solar energy will be the one to put crude oil out of business further down the road. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas. Ever wonder how solar energy actually works? Well, photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into direct current electricity. The inverter in the solar panels then converts that into alternating current electricity which can be used for powering your lights, appliances, & soon cars.
Wind is the least popular source of energy, but is still becoming very useful for many countries. Wind turbines can not be placed just anywhere and expect to generate energy. Wind turbines require large open areas and of course wind to turn them. That is why we do not see wind turbines in big cities, but rather in rural plains like Kansas for example. Turbines work very simply; the wind turns the propellers connecting to the main shaft which then spins a generator to create electricity.
The United States of America
The U.S. is definitely behind the game when it comes to energy. The U.S. leads the world in importing oil and consumes more oil than China (2nd) and India (3rd) combined. The U.S. is also failing when it comes to renewable energy like solar and wind. The U.S. is 4th on the list of countries that produce solar energy, behind China, Germany, and Japan. America has been doing better in the wind power category but still fall behind China.
In conclusion, the U.S.A. needs to have a wakeup call because energy is ultimately what runs the world. We are killing our environment faster than any other country and we are not focusing our resources on fixing this problem like we should be. Eventually fossil fuels will run dry, renewable energy is the future we need if we want to survive. I am challenging everyone of you to support and help anyway you can in the fight for renewable energy.