Speaker Repsonse # 1 Alana Lajoie-O’Malley Essay Example

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THE IMPACT OF OIL AND GAS 1

The Impact of Oil and Gas

Global warming is a serious issue that is not only a common fact, but it is an issue that needs our immediate attention. Over the past few decades the world has seen a major shift in climate change, but yet, continues to be a silent spectator and without doing much in that direction. Temperatures keep escalating higher and higher in the environment due to many factors that contribute to it, but sadly the steps taken to bring it under control is very slack to say the least. In this essay, we would be discussing how oil and gas contribute towards global warming and the danger it poses to our environment.

While some scientists believe that the global temperature could safely be increased by 2 degrees, there are others who believe that it would be suicidal if the temperature increases any more than it is now. Two of the significant contributors to temperature increase are oil and gas and the burning of these substances could prove fatal to our environment. The emissions of Carbon-di- oxide and carbon monoxide from high power plants for gas and oil contribute to the temperature rise and thereby global warming.

America and Russia top the list of oil and gas companies of the world and burning these major reserves and releasing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere would prove catastrophic and therefore great control has to be exercised in preserving them. On the

THE IMPACT OF OIL AND GAS 2

other hand, many of the major oil and gas companies are fighting to put a stop to the regulations levied against the release of Carbon- di – oxide. Into the atmosphere They are more concerned about the company’s economy than the damage meted out to human beings, flora and fauna in the environment.

Enjoying the beauty of nature, breathing in fresh air and drinking pure water, seems to be a thing of the past due to the damage done to the environment by the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal. The damage done by these elements far exceeds those brought about by human activity. The destruction of forests and the burning of fuels bring about air pollution and thereby the ‘Green-house Effect’. This in turn serves to bring about climate change and acid rain which is detrimental to the environment and also our lives.

Gas, oil and coal are chiefly made up of carbon and hydrogen and during the process of burning, chemical reactions takes place, as the carbon which combines with the oxygen in the air, forms carbon – di – oxide, while the hydrogen mixes with the oxygen and becomes water vapor, that is released into the atmosphere. Though the water vapor that is released does not pose a serious problem, the Carbon- di- oxide does. During the entire procedure, which is made up of chemical reactions, a large quantity of energy gets released in the form of heat and thus a ‘Greenhouse effect’ is what we get when the carbon – di- oxide is released into the atmosphere.

THE IMPACT OF OIL AND GAS 3

In addition, there is a lot of radiation that takes places between the sun and the Earth and from vehicles that get heated in the sun, emitting infrared into the atmosphere. Carbon –di – oxide that is released into the atmosphere due to the burning of gas, oil and coal, is a highly efficient greenhouse gas. These Carbon molecules absorb the infrared from the air, creating a greenhouse effect and thereby increasing the temperature of the Earth. Therefore, if we continue to burn gas, oil and coal, the carbon – di – oxide that gets released would add to the already existing carbon – di- oxide in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and the Earth’s temperature and this contributes to the problem of Global warming. This continuous cycle of burning and releasing of carbon – di – oxide and greenhouses gases into the air, has contributed in making the Earth’s temperature rise by one degree in the 20th century.

Conclusion

However, efforts are being made to conserve energy by making use of renewable energy, in order to increase energy efficiency. Steps are being made to control vehicle emissions and the burning of oil and gas to a certain extent but this is not enough. More stringent steps need to be taken to curb the greenhouse effect and decrease the Earth’s temperature, because if this continues it is going to create much bigger problems than we already have. Research is being carried out by environmentalists as well as scientists to find ways in curbing the greenhouse effect and to bring Global warming under control

References

Environmental Problems with Coal, Oil and Gas. Web. Retrieved on 9th April 2014.

http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter3.html

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.. Web. Retrieved on 9th April 2014

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719