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  • Marcia

Energy Resources

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

Energy is essential for life processes. Human life is greatly dependent on energy resources and its consumption has grown remarkably.

Depletion of earth's energy resources is directly responsible for global warming which has the potential to disturb healthy human life. Old humans had modest kind of energy requirements. They used to cook food by consuming fires which was also used to keep them warm. Today, we consume 110 times more energy than ever before.

Major earth's energy resources are:

Fossil fuels: Most parts of the energy resources we are consuming today come from fossil fuels. The biggest disadvantage of fossil fuels is that they can't be replenished once they are consumed. Techniques including drilling, mining and burning of underground fossil fuels are damaging the human health and environment at a large scale.

Remains of plants and animals buried deep in the earth million of years ago have massive carbon content. Oil, coal and natural gas are important examples of fossil fuels. Due to the burning of these fossil fuels, the amount of carbon is increasing in the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming damaging the natural environment.

Disturbing impacts of burning fossil fuels create:

Land degradation: Digging out underground resources takes a huge toll on our ecosystems and disturbs the natural life cycle. Fossil fuel industry requires a huge land to build their offices and homes for their employees. As a result, the habitats of various wildlife animals gets disturbed.

Pollution: Burning of coal produces sulphur compounds which go on reaction with other compounds cause acid rain. Acid rain disturbs the infrastructure at a slow rate and can even damage healthy skin. Acid runoff seeps into the earth and pollutes underground water. Oil spillage during transportation can pollute drinking water resources.

Air pollution as a result of depleting earth's energy resources affecting human health rapidly. Diseases including respiratory diseases and lungs cancer can be triggered by increasing levels of pollution

Emissions: Fossil fuel burning emits dangerous air pollutants into the air. Humans are exposed daily to these pollutants which are highly dangerous to human health.

Global warming: The widespread depletion of earth's energy resources is responsible for contributing greenhouse gases into the environment. As a result of burning coal, oil and natural gas, a huge amount of carbon content, methane gas, nitrous compounds, are releasing into atmosphere.

These gases are responsible for absorbing radiation and causing global warming. Global warming has many negative impacts on human health and causes death for many species.

Household energy and their impacts: Incomplete combustion of fuel due to poor households and malfunctioned combustion devices are responsible for the emission of toxic products. High-level emissions of toxic products in poor insufficient ventilated rooms result in rising household pollution and increase the chances of exposure, specifically among children and women because of spending most of their time in or near the kitchen.

Solid fuel combustion in house generating diseases including cataracts and lung cancer. Outdoor pollution, active smoking and smoke from tobacco strongly pose a serious impact on human health.

Some interventions to protect health are:

energy-efficient stoves

gasifier stoves

efficient electric cooking devices

Final thought: Combustion and extraction of earth's energy resources – such as combustion of coal, oil and biomass have the largest health impacts. These actions are responsible for polluting environment at a greater scale. We should not depend on fossil fuels which are non-renewable; instead, we need to move towards renewable and clean energy resources which are also cheaper than non-renewable. Building a clean future by moving towards solar and wind energy resources will greatly reduce human stress in many ways. Sustainable practices, social awareness and design effective policies will bring comfort to future generation.