Tag Archive | "energy"

Resolved, that nuclear power and clean coal should be considered “green” energy sources.

Resolved, that nuclear power and clean coal should be considered “green” energy sources.

Background: Green energy often means sustainable energy, i.e., energy that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising future generations’ needs.  Sustainable energy sources typically include renewable energy which is derived from natural processes that are constantly replenished. Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower.  Coal is a non-renewable fossil fuel resource like oil—supplies of coal and oil are finite and will only diminish over time.  Nuclear power could continue forever and is sometimes considered sustainable, but is politically controversial because of various perceived risks like radioactive waste disposal and nuclear disaster due to accident, terrorism, or natural disaster.  However, nuclear power is the least expensive form of power now known to mankind.  No belching smokestacks of filthy black smoke.  No land or water pollution.  Nothing released into the atmosphere.  Takes up a few hundred acres of land at most, compared to the tens of thousands of acres for solar or wind use with the attendant loss of natural scenery.  And no death or injuries ever in the US nuclear industry compared to the hundreds of thousands of people disabled by black lung and other respiratory and carcinogenic diseases from coal plus the thousands of worker deaths in coal mining accidents.  The arsenic levels in coal ash increase the risk of cancer hundreds of times over.  Many believe that the perceived dangers from nuclear power come mainly from Hollywood.  On the other hand, the idea of “clean” coal comes mainly from Madison Avenue.  Many believe that clean coal is merely “public relations” by the coal industry.  There is no meaningful way to capture and sequester carbon emissions from coal.   Others contend that clean coal’s pragmatic benefits outweigh potential flaws.  The matter must be resolved soon as the green movement continues to re-energize the energy sector:

~KS FEB ’11

Posted in Domestic Affairs, Environment, Featured DebatesComments (3)

Resolved, that the United States put a cap on energy consumption in American households.

Energy consumption has been a growing problem in the United States.  Energy is often wasted by leaving appliances plugged in when not in use or leaving lights on in an unused room.  In 2005, the average household in America’s Midwest states consumed 113.5 million Btu of energy.  Currently, the most common source of energy is coal-based, which has been found harmful to the environment.  Now, the government must face the negative effects from this source of energy and deal with its limited supply. Would a cap on usage be an effective way to make the best of these resources, or could the cost of regulation be too great?

Posted in Domestic Affairs, EnvironmentComments (2)