Looking Forward

sus·tain·a·bil·i·ty
səˌstānəˈbilədē/
noun
  1. the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level
  2. avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance

I kinda like this word of the day thing. Hello there! Let’s start simple.

Think about your average day. Alarm clock jolts you awake. Brush your teeth and shower. Eat breakfast. Drive to work. Type on your computer for a couple of hours.  Drive home. Eat dinner. Watch television. Sleep. Repeat.

It’s like clockwork. You have a pattern, a method to your madness that works. And it involves a lot of energy. But now, think of your average day with no electricity. No water. No technology to keep you busy or help you work. That is a day without natural resources.

Without electricity generated from various sources, your alarm clock, computer, and television would not work. Without clean water, you could not brush your teeth, shower, drink water, or cook. Without heat generated from whatever resource, you would not be warm on winter nights. We take our resources for granted, depleting them at a rate that the planet CANNOT hope to replace. We’re using up all of our dead dinosaur resources, more commonly known as fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are a natural source of energy that was formed in the past from living organisms. This includes resources found underground that we have been mining, drilling into, etc., which include coal, oil, and natural gas. Fossil fuels are what we call nonrenewable resources, meaning that we cannot reuse them. Burn some coal, that coal will never come back.

Fossil fuels are the main resource used for energy consumption in the United States. Check out this super easy pie chart:

eia

Petroleum (oil), natural gas, and coal are the top three contributors to America’s energy. That’s 81% of our consumption that comes from fossil fuels. EIGHTY-ONE PERCENT. 81% of energy that we rely on for everyday comes from NONRENEWABLE RESOURCES.

We heavily rely on resources that will disappear within the next few hundred years. It may seem like we have a lot of time considering the current generation will probably be dead by then (unless we evolve into immortals but sadly I don’t think that’s happening), but we are leaving the future generations with nothing. Imagine counting down the days til your lights go out for the final time, and stay out. A dystopian future could be closer than we think.

However, that issue can be resolved by relying more on renewable resources. Renewable resources are simply resources that can be reused, refilled, etc. Solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric sources are all renewable resources. Nuclear energy is a long story-we’ll get into that in a later post.

Renewable resources have been on the rise as sources of energy for many Americans. However, the new Presidential Administration could try to stop this growth. With the choice of the top fossil fuel companies as friends of the White House, we cannot be sure what direction the country will be going in. Each of the resources named are complex and deserve more time to understand. Be on the lookout for future blogs discussing them!

The only way to ensure an energy-filled future for our descendants is to make the switch to renewable energy, and stop relying on nonrenewable resources so heavily. With other countries aware of these environmental issues, that time is now!

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