Which Energy Sources are Ethical? Which are Not?
The TRUTH will Surprise You!!
Listen! You just can’t argue against the fact that most of the energy sources we use and take for granted every single day are shockingly unethical.
Every year we pour hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury into the air, oceans, lakes, and rivers which pollutes the water and ruins the fish we eat. Coral reefs are dying. The fish we eat from these waters may be hazardous to our health because of the pollution we put into the water. Mercury is known to cause brain damage especially in children!
Every year we pour millions of pounds of poison into the air polluting the air we breathe which affects our health.
Every year billions of pounds of pesticides are poured into our ground contaminating water and ending up in the food we eat.
Every year millions of acres of beautiful forests and jungles are cut down for agricultural purposes. We are ruining the beauty that God created and destroying our ability to remove carbon from the air.
Each year we pour billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Some scientists would bet their life that humans are causing global warming and possibly setting triggers for catastrophic events.
I’m NOT 100% convinced global warming is caused by us. It might just be a natural cycle, possibly caused by the sun, but it’s impossible to prove either way. I do think there is a very good chance that humans are part of the problem and I don’t want to risk my children’s and grandchildren’s future.
But even if you ignore global warming, you can’t get around the fact that we are polluting our earth!
Who is at fault for generating power unethically?
Believe it or not, it is YOU & me and everyone else on this planet! What do I mean by that? I mean that every time you turn on a light switch, every time you use your car, every time you prepare a meal, every time you heat or cool your home or apartment, every time you wash your clothes or your dishes, you produce unethical energy which pollutes our environment. So, you say that’s silly, I’m just living my life. I’m not producing the energy that pollutes our world. You’re right, you are not producing the energy, but you are asking someone to produce the energy for you. Unfortunately, as the production of energy has evolved over the years, along with population growth, it has polluted the environment more and more.
In case you’re not clear on how you are causing pollution by turning on a light switch, let’s discuss it briefly. It seems harmless enough-you turn on a switch and you don’t see any pollution being generated. However, what you have done is increase the demand for electricity and somewhere in the country a power plant is starting to generate more electricity. To produce the electricity, a power plant must take some other form of energy and turn it into electricity. To keep it simple, let’s assume the power plant uses coal to create electricity, which is how almost 50% of the electricity in the U.S. is produced.
So, the way that power plant produces electricity is by burning coal. We could go on into a long story of how burning coal ends up producing electricity, but that is something you can look up elsewhere.
In the process of burning coal many harmful by-products are produced and sent into the atmosphere. These by-products include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, nitrous oxides and particulate matter. You may not know what many of these items are, but they are harmful to our environment and ultimately to you and your family.
What can you do to stop producing harmful energy?
There are only two things you can do to reduce our environmental impact caused by energy use.
- You can reduce your consumption of energy. (To learn how, get this Free Report.)
- Or, you can switch to ethical (clean) energy sources which decreases the production of unethical (dirty) energy.
Possibly the single most effective, easiest thing to do is to use Green Power. That means sign up with your local electric utility to pay an extra fee so that the power company produces your electricity only from ethical energy sources. This will cost you a little extra each month, but there are few ways that you could help the planet more! So, the bad news is that it doesn’t save you any money directly, but the environmental impact is significant. To find a provider of Green Power in the U.S. go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/pubs/gplocator.htm. For Canada, go to http://www.pollutionprobe.org/whatwedo/greenpower/consumerguide/c2_1.htm. See our article on green power.
Unethical Energy Sources
Burning coal to produce electricity sends many pollutants into the air, water and soil, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, mercury and particulate matter.
Burning oil for energy has many of the same issues as coal in that it sends many pollutants into the air, water and soil.
Oil isn’t used much to generate electricity, but it is used to heat our homes and run our vehicles. Oil is burned in the form of gasoline in our vehicles and this adds many pollutants to the environment. Only 20 percent of the energy in our gasoline is used to actually move the car. The rest floats away as heat so it’s not very efficient. Some people think ethanol is part of the solution. Granted, it will help us use less oil in our cars, but it is not clear that ethanol is an ethical solution. See our article about ethanol.
Natural gas was originally a by-product of drilling for oil and has become an abundant source of energy. However, it has many of the same issues that burning any of the other fossil fuels has. It pollutes the air, water and soil. However, it emits half the carbon of coal for the same amount of electrical energy produced.
Nuclear energy doesn’t produce pollution in the same manner as burning fossil fuels, but it does produce a by-product that is highly radioactive for thousands of years and no one knows how to dispose of it safely. Because of that it is hard to call nuclear power an ethical energy source.
Ethical Energy Sources
There are multiple ways of using the sun to produce heat and energy ethically.
Passive Solar – One of the most natural ways is to let the sun shine through your windows into your home and let it heat your house. Obviously, this form of heat produces no pollution. To learn more, see our article on passive solar heating.
Solar Hot Water – Another form of solar energy that produces hot water both for bathing and for heating your home is through solar panels that heat water. This is a cost effective, although, a more complex way than passive solar to save a significant amount of energy for heating your house and your hot water. It has been around for a long time and is very cost effective in sunnier climates. See our article on Solar Hot Water.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – Solar power can be used to generate electricity with photovoltaic cells. These can be used on a single house or can be used by the utility company to generate massive amounts of electricity. See our article on solar photovoltaic.
You can use the wind to produce electricity. The wind is free, but you have to build a wind generator and tower to capture the wind. This form of energy can be used at an individual home with a small generator or utility companies can build large farms of wind generators to produce electricity. The U.S., as well as many other countries, has a major resource of this free wind to produce electricity and many wind generators are already producing significant amounts of electricity. See our article on wind generated electricity.
Hydroelectric power has been used for many years to produce electricity. There are many large dams already in existence that produce large amounts of electricity. Dams can cause ecological issues, but the flowing water is a low cost way to produce electricity. See our article on hydroelectric energy.
There are 2 types of geothermal energy we are referring to here.
Heat Pumps – The first is what you usually hear about where you use the heat from the earth a few feet below ground to run a heat pump. This is a more efficient way to produce heat for your home and is better than most ways to produce heat, but can be expensive to install. See our article on geothermal energy.
Geothermal Heat – There is another form of geothermal energy that may have more potential than solar and wind, but you don’t hear much about it. We’re talking about heat that is found a couple of miles below the surface of the earth where the temperature is several hundred degrees. That heat can be used to directly produce electricity by utility companies. This is already used in places like Iceland where the geothermal heat is near the surface, but with drilling technology that already exists; this form of energy can be used throughout the world and will probably become a major factor in producing electricity in the next 20 years.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to not only help the environment but to save money at the same time. There are lots of sources for saving energy on the internet and one of the easiest and best is right here on our website and the best news of all is that it is free.
Be sure to check out this Free Report that shows you how to easily reduce your home’s energy consumption and save you money (over $700 a year).
It’s time to start using energy ethically!