Energy, Apocalypses, Space, and More!

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In this blog, I will be writing about different types of energy, how the energy types work, pros and cons of the energy type, pollution, and the future of energy. I will also be talking about possible apocalypses, space colonization and nuclear war.

Nuclear Energy

History of Nuclear Energy!

After World War Two, in the year 1945, nuclear energy seemed like it would be a great invention that would help humanity. Everything about this new form of generating power seemed amazing. Extremely cheap, near infinite energy was expected. Everyone was sure this would be available to the world by 1950.

Then, everyone learned the truth about nuclear energy. Nuclear energy was more expensive and complicated then people originally thought. On top of the large expense, the new nuclear companies had nowhere to get the money from. People had been worried about the risks, so they avoided investing.

However, in 1973, nuclear energy had a chance to improve. That year, a war in the Middle East, called the Yom Kippur War began. America was fighting against Arab, one of their main oil distributors. This caused a lack of energy from oil, which caused people resort to nuclear energy. With investments for nuclear energy picking up, people began to look for the most efficient nuclear reactor design. The light water reactor was chosen because it was low in price.

How do Light Water Reactors Work?

Light water reactors use heat from decaying radioactive material in a process called nuclear fission. A reactor core contains fuel and rods. The fission heats water and it turns into steam. The steam evaporates in a steam generator. This steam energy converts into rotary motion in a turbine generator, which then creates electricity.

Nuclear – The Advantages!

One of the major problems with generating electricity is its effect on the environment. Luckily, nuclear energy doesn’t emit air pollution. It also isolates all nuclear waste.

Another major advantage to using nuclear power is the low price. In fact nuclear energy is as little as half of the price of wind power. Although,

Nuclear – The Disadvantages!

There have been many disasters from nuclear energy. The Chernobyl accident caused 15,00 to 30,000 deaths. About 2.5 million people were dealing with radiation related health problems. In total nuclear energy has caused up to 600,000 deaths.

There are nuclear bombs that can destroy entire countries using this technology. Over 300,000 people have died from bombs used by North America.

Solar Power

The History of Solar Power!

In 1767 a man named Horace Benedict de Saussure created the first solar panel. In 1947 the solar panel became popular, after centuries were spent improving it. There was soon a large amount of demand for solar energy. In 2012, solar energy’s popularity grew again. Everyone thought that they were being eco-friendly, and that they would be helping the planet by using this energy.

How do Solar Panels Work?

Inside solar panels, light particles knock electrons out of atoms creating a flow of electricity. These solar panels are usually placed on your roof. When a house has solar panels on their roof, they usually also have another form of energy supplying their home, for extra power.

Advantages of Solar Panels!

Once you install solar panels, solar energy is free. You don’t need any fuel to use it. Solar panels also don’t cause pollution. (Although the factory the panels are made in may cause some pollution.) Nuclear energy will only last us up to 80 more years, while solar panels are a renewable energy source.

Disadvantages of Solar Panels!

Solar panel’s energy can only be used when it is bright and sunny. Even when it is bright and sunny, solar panels produce less than other sources of energy. You also need a very large plot of land for solar energy to be efficient.

Fossil Fuels

History of Fossil Fuels!

In the 18th century, people began to use fossil fuels. It became popular because coal was efficient in steam powered locomotives. Oil was also very efficient when creating energy. After it became popular, power use went up by near 300%.

How do We Use Coal to Create Power?

Coal is pulverized into a material called fine powder. The fine powder mixes with hot air and heats a boiler. The boiler contains water which turns into steam. The steam powers a turbine engine, which turns the heat energy from the coal into mechanical energy. Mechanical energy is energy that moves things into certain positions or motions. Mechanical energy is what makes trains move.

How do We Use Oil to Create Power?

Oil can be burned to heat a steam generator. Another option would be to burn the oil underneath pressure to produce exhaust gases. The exhaust gases power a turbine that generates electricity.

How do We Use Natural Gas to Create Power?

The natural gas is heated and the gas turns the turbine. The turbine then creates electricity.

Fossil Fuels Advantages!

Fossil fuels are a cheap way to create energy. It is also reliable because it doesn’t require specific conditions to generate energy, like solar and wind energy. Fossil fuels have also been used by humans for decades. We have made large amounts of progress towards making the use of fossil fuel energy efficient.

Fossil Fuel Disadvantages!

Fossil fuels are non-renewable, unsustainable, and they contribute to global warming. We will eventually run out of fossil fuels. It has been predicted that we will run out of coal, oil, and natural gas by 2088. There is also the problem of deaths caused by fossil fuels. Luckily, the death toll hasn’t been as large as nuclear energy’s.

Wind Power

History of Wind Power!

Windmills have existed from before 1000 A.D.  In 1970, gas prices grew, leaving many people to resort to wind power. Then, in 1980, the first large wind farm was created.

How do Windmills Work?

There are three long propeller-like blades that are around a rotor. The rotor connects to generator. The generator produces electricity.

Advantages of Using Windmills!

Windmills don’t pollute the air. Windmills use is increasing by 30% each year. Windmills also can be built on existing plots of land, making it easier to harvest energy.

Disadvantages of Windmills!

Wind isn’t blowing all the time, meaning that this source of energy is unreliable. Most windmills only work at 30% of their capacity. If wind is blowing too fast, windmills will likely break. Windmills are also extremely loud, and they require a lot of maintenance.

Wave Power

History of Wave Power!

In 1799, a design for a tidal plant was created to use waves to harness energy.  It wasn’t until 1910, that this technology was used to power a house. The same oil war that made people resort to nuclear energy, also left people trying to harness wave energy. After a few people experimented with different designs, waves were finally available to be used as a power source for commercial use in 2004.

How do Tidal Plants Produce Electricity?

Electricity generators float on top of the water. They are secured to the ocean floor with a wire. These generators take the energy that the wave uses, and turns it into electricity.

Advantages of Wave Power!

One of the best things about wave power, is that it is both eco-friendly and renewable. It’s also more efficient than fossil fuels. Maintenance costs are low, and tidal plants last for long times.

Disadvantages of Wave Power!

The initial cost to build a tidal plant is very high, and there are very few areas that can support these machines. Sea waves are also very unpredictable. There could be large waves that damage the tidal plant, or there could be no waves to power it. Tidal plants aren’t a complete invention, and they aren’t efficient for what they cost.

If you are living somewhere with a cold winter, the water could freeze, completely stopping the energy generation from the plant. These machines also effect wildlife, by disturbing the migration patterns of fish.

Geothermal Energy

History of Geothermal Energy!

In 1847, a man named William Bell Elliot found a valley near San Francisco, California. He discovered geysers, but he thought that he had found the gates to hell! Five years later, in 1852, the geysers were developed into a spa and hotel. The hotel was called The Geysers Resort Hotel.

In 1862, a man named Sam Brannan spent $500,000 investing in the hotel, so that he could make a large renovation. This helped the hotel become very famous. Soon, in 1864, people began to move near the hotel, due to the geyser’s natural heat. In 1892, people took more advantage of the geysers and used them to create the world’s first district heating system.

In 1927, a large hole was created to explore the geysers. In 1930, people took advantage of this hole to create the first geothermal energy producing device. Geothermal energy soon became a more popular source of energy, whilst it developed.

How do we Collect Geothermal Energy?

Geothermal energy is heat from underground. The heat from the Earth’s core (Which is estimated to be warmer than the sun.) is used to warm apartments, homes, business buildings, and more!

Advantages of Geothermal Energy!

Geothermal energy is renewable, and environmentally friendly. Geothermal plants don’t take up much space, also assisting the green use of the energy. Geothermal energy harvesting is reliable, unlike solar or wind energy which need specific conditions.

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy!

Geothermal plants can have volcanic eruptions, causing risk to those who live nearby. Another risk to people’s lives would be the chance of deadly toxic gases being released into the air. Creation of geothermal plants also have a large price, due to the fact that there are few locations that the energy can be harvested from. On top of that, almost all of the energy sources are miles away from highly populated areas, where it is most needed.

What Energy is the Best?

This can be a very opinion based question. I personally think that nuclear energy is the best energy for now. Since it is non-renewable, it will only last us up to 200 more years. I think that by then, wave power will have had enough time to develop itself into a more efficient power source.

Ecological Footprint

Your ecological footprint is the measurement of the amount of Earths that would be required if everyone lived your life. The average person requires 1.5 Earths. Your ecological footprint is measured by certain types of surveys. The surveys question you about the types of energy you use, how often you drive, how large your home is, and more.

Space Colonization

You may be thinking “So, if my ecological footprint tells everyone we need 1.5 planets to sustain our needs, why have we not lost our planet yet?” It’s going to happen soon. It is expected global warming will kill us by 2024. Humanity would likely be able to stop this catastrophe, if we had worked on it earlier. When the idea of global warming first emerged, rather than doing something about it, most people ignored it. The idea of global warming is still ignored by some people. At this point, one of Humanity’s multiple final options is space colonization.

Space colonization is the idea of making other planets habitable and colonizing them. It is also a very likely option for us to use to save ourselves from global warming. I know, space colonization won’t exist for years and currently sounds like science fiction. It is still possible for us to delay global warming to the time it is possible. Becoming green, or eco-friendly, is probably our best bet. If we can stretch the Earth’s resources to 2030, we will likely be able to achieve space colonization.

The Russian government plans to have the moon habitable by 2030, and they plan to have many people living there. The process will begin in 2016. If humans survive the next (approximately) 20 years, most of us will likely be living in space.

Electric Cars

The best environment friendly automobile is the electric car. Electricity powered cars are a very great invention. Not only that, but you can save on gasoline! These cars even have the same safety precautions as normal cars. Electric cars aren’t noisy, and don’t require much maintenance.

Still, technology isn’t perfect. There aren’t any electric car fuelling stations yet, and even when the car is fully charged, it is only able to drive 50-100 miles. It takes 4-6 hours to recharge these cars. These cars usually only have 2 seats.

Self-Driving Cars

So, with the invention of automatically driving cars, I began to wonder how much energy they consumed. Self driving cars are surprisingly, extremely environment friendly. If 10% of cars were self-driving, there would be approximately 386,000,000 litres of gas saved. This 10% change could also stop up to 211,000 crashes, and save 5.5 billion dollars across every car owner. These cars may become the preferred mode of transport in the future.

Global Warming Apocalypse!

What if, we humans didn’t change our ways? What if we didn’t try to stop our pollution from causing global warming? We would likely end up in the global warming apocalypse. In this global warming apocalypse, the Earth would gradually heat up, quickly reaching dangerously hot levels. This heat could cause large cities like New York, to become uninhabitable. This endless heat wave is expected to begin in 2020 and become deadly in 2040. This apocalypse will throw many food chains off balance, killing millions of species.

What if The Sun Disappeared?

While on the topic of potential apocalypses, let me mention another situation. ‘What if the sun disappeared?’ It is very unlikely that something like the sun disappearing would happen in reality, but there are some great scientific theories about what could happen.

First off, if the sun disappeared, nothing would happen immediately. It would take around 8 and a half minutes for the change to be noticed. For the first few days, electricity and power would still be useful. Photosynthesis would likely stop immediately, causing a huge impact on Earth. Plants would no longer be able to take in carbon dioxide, or produce oxygen. This oxygen could still last nearly 1000 years.

After nearly a week, the Earth’s average surface temperature would drop from 14 degrees Celsius, to 0. So, we would likely all live for the first few months. However, after a year, the average temperature would drop to -73. We would still have some heat from the Earth’s core keeping us alive, if we lived in the right places.

What if Humans Disappeared?

Another interesting question is, what if humans disappeared? Well, within the first hours, most power plants would die out. Animals would escape the electric fences that had lost there power. Billions of animals will be released, yet most will starve to death. House pets will escape as well, but most of them will be killed by stronger, wild animals. Some entire species, like lice, will go completely extinct. Most roads will turn into rivers, normal buildings will be covered in plant life, and most wooden buildings will have burnt down.

In only 100 years, all wooden buildings will be gone completely, and metal structures will begin to rust. By now, animal populations will have returned to what they were before, but many animals will be living in the wrong continents. Zoo animals, and any surviving farm animals, will be living in unnatural climates. The only thing that won’t disappear will likely be our plastic garbage.

Space Time Capsules

So, when the world is about to end, if we have no chance of survival, we have only one thing left to do in our existence. We need to make time capsules. Not for ourselves, but for other species. We would need to send these time capsules into space to tell any form of intelligent life that could ever come across it, that we existed.

There are already messages from Earth that have been sent into space. One of these time capsules is called Lageos 1. The message inside contains three maps. One, is a map of Pangea (When every continent was connected), one map is of Earth today, and one map is of what scientists think Earth will look like in 8.4 million years.

In 2012 a record disc, was sent into space in 2012. The disc contained images of Earth, and us humans. It’s strange to think, that other life forms could one day find our time capsules. In the future aliens could be studying us humans.

Global Warming Isn’t Real!

Some people think that global warming is a lie. These are 4 major arguments that I have found from people claiming global warming is false.

  1. In 2012 scientists claimed that global warming caused the ice caps in Antarctic to melt. However, that year, the ice caps actually got larger.
  2. Scientists claim that global warming causes the temperature to increase. This used to be true. Between 1975 and 1997, there were changes in temperature. After that, the temperature changes stopped. Even though the temperature changes stopped, many scientists still claim they exist.
  3. Many scientists predicted that the ice in the Arctic would melt by 2013. People who don’t think global warming is real claim that since the first predictions about global warming were false, the second predictions will also be false.
  4. Any increase in global temperatures could simply be a natural climate shift.

 

Even when these argument points are brought up, I still believe that global warming is real, and it will have an effect on our future. There are still many arguments that prove global warming is true. These are 4 of those argument points:

  1. It has been proven that the sea level has been rising, and most scientists claim it was because of melting ice caps or glaciers.
  2. The ocean temperature has been getting much warmer with no explanations, other than global warming.
  3. Carbon dioxide levels are currently increasing. Carbon dioxide levels have raised by 25% since 1957. Scientists have also concluded that the increase in carbon dioxide is the fault of humans.
  4. The sun isn’t changing in temperature, yet the Earth is definitely getting warmer. This is unexplained heat is thought to be because of global warming.

Nikola Tesla and Infinite Energy!

Nikola Tesla was a great inventor, who had the honour of being named the inventor of the 20th century. He created many great things, but here I will be focusing on his ideas of infinite energy. He created a blueprint for a device that could create infinite free energy, that could be distributed to everyone. It was called the radiant energy receiver.

The radiant energy receiver would be able to take static energy from the air, and turn it into a usable form of electricity.

Nuclear War

One of the major disadvantages of nuclear energy, is that as the technology develops, it gives people the opportunity to create nuclear weapons. There have already been nuclear threats in certain countries. Some people predict that a nuclear world war 3 will begin one day.

What Will Happen When a Nuclear Bomb is Detonated?

Anyone that was close to the bomb would likely die immediately, evaporating into dust. In fact, the bomb would likely destroy the entire city it was detonated in. If you were lucky enough to not be killed by the initial explosion, everyone with a phone would receive a text warning them of the explosion. After you got the warning on your phone, you would have up to 3 minutes to get to safety before the bomb could kill you.

How to Survive Nuclear Attacks 

If you’re thinking that the only way to survive a nuclear bombing is by hiding in a bunker, you are wrong. If you hide inside a bunker, you are still very likely to die if a bomb drops. Of course, you still want to be inside, or at least find cover. The first thing you should do, is leave your mouth wide open. This will prevent your eardrums from popping at the sound of the explosion. Also, any flammable materials will burst into flames when the blast happens, so avoid those. After the explosion is over, you still need to wait up to 20 minutes for the air to clear.

After 24 hours, if you haven’t completely left the area, you will die of radiation poisoning. When you have left town, and find another shelter, you need to go either into a basement, or the tenth (or higher) floor.

Environmental Impacts of Nuclear War

Some scientists claim that nuclear weapons are the largest threat to the Earth’s environment. The damage that would be done to the environment by a potential nuclear bombing would take more than a decade to restore. Plants likely wouldn’t be able to grow for up to 5 years in areas that had been bombed.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my blog. Do you think nuclear war or global warming will happen soon? What energy do you think is best? Comment below!

 

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