Environmental Science Final Paper

Environmental Science Final Paper - Bryan Tippett...

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Bryan Tippett Environmental Science March 8, 2010 Best Energy Possible Nuclear or Coal? The world we are living in right now has increased its consumption of energy every year, yet has become increasingly more conscious about the environment. Many people think that the ultimate option for the greener world is Nuclear energy. The idea of coal being a clean source of energy is greatly becoming a bad argument. Having such high energy demands creates many environmental issues such as land exploitation, pollution and the use finite resources. Fossil fuels have recently started to be a cost driver for the economy. Without fossil fuels, the world would not be able to survive. Since we need fossil fuels to survive, but fossil fuels seem to be the cause of the destruction of the o- zone layer and Mother Nature, what are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen? Coal energy is very inexpensive and easy to mine. There are many pros for having a coal power plant. The world has a huge amount of reserves 1
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allowing coal to be more widely distributed than oil and gas. Allowing coal to be easier to extract, will make the expense lower causing coal to be the best economic decision. The coal industry was greatly technologically advanced, making the conventional ways of mining coal a thing of the past. Coal has the ability to be stored, transported and controlled in large amounts very easily. Coal power plants are not likely to be subject to accidents that will cause cataclysmic events. The effects of a coal plant blowing up will not cause the community to be incinerated in the blink of an eye (deadly power plants 2010). The cons of coal power plants seem to out-weigh the pros of it. The burning of coal causes a large amount of sulfur oxide to pollute the world. Sulfur oxide is a toxic gaseous compound. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of coal burning that causes the warming of the earth, which could lead to global warming (Nuclear Power Pro/Con 2010). Carbon dioxide is not the only chemical compound that is exerted during coal combustion. There are tons of toxic metals and carcinogenic compounds that are also released. Also, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, when burned can have a detrimental effect to the agriculture causing such things as acid rain. Also, strip-mining produces solid waste, which causes soil erosion and also pollutes the streams. More than 100,000 men have lost their life during this century and more than a million have
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This note was uploaded on 05/22/2010 for the course SCI 123 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Kirkwood Community College.

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Environmental Science Final Paper - Bryan Tippett...

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