Wild fluctuation prices in energy and economic shocks have characterized the world recently, making the economies of most countries suffer and drop to the drain with companies collapsing. This effect has not only affected the US but the whole world. Recently, the Herman brothers collapsed due to the economic crisis. With global warming on the rise due to the use of petrochemicals and dependence on fossil fuel, then it’s time the world embraced change to the perception of nuclear energy production and use. Supply of fossil fuel has been decreasing, while CO2 gas has been increasing into atmosphere. All these factors give more reason to examine the energy policy the United States has and to include the changes that are seen to encompass the good of all citizens.
The use of nuclear energy has been rebuked time and again by several leaders, and its uses put to doubt by various people. This paper examines the reasons as to why the much neglected and low exploited energy will be our only option left in future to save our economies and environment from collapsing. The pros and cons are outlined in details and the effects of the efficient use of the energy elaborated. To save the environment and economies the adaptation of nuclear energy should be adapted in the US. The energy policies of the US regarding nuclear energy are explained, with the limitations they have. The limitations of energy legislation is also highlighted and giving a lasting solution to the effective, safe and positive use of nuclear energy.
The US situation
The US signed the Kyoto protocol which aims at reducing the four greenhouse gasses, namely carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, but remains the most non-cooperative member. The United States for example was claimed to be responsible for 36.1% of the emissions leading to global warming. All these gases are emitted mainly due to the use of fossil fuel, especially carbon dioxide and sulphur. Various other bills have been passed to the effect of global warming including; the America climate security act of 2007 to protect the environment from these emotions and the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (Energy Market and Economic Impacts of S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007, 2009 p.2).
The overdependence of fossil fuel will make environmentalist sing the same song over and over again. The world has been accustomed to the use of one source of energy. The big question is what happens when the fossil diminishes. The developed countries can turn to the alternatives sources of energy as nuclear but the poor countries have no option but to turn back to charcoal fuel. Another question arises why wait for so long before making plans; it is the time for the actions and the policy makers don’t have to wait until worse comes to worst to turn to nuclear energy (Energy Market and Economic Impacts of S. 2191, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007, 2009, p.3).
It has been predicted that with the current global warming trends, the Amazon basin is gong to be no more in 40 years. The emissions of the greenhouse gasses have been very destructive in depleting the ozone layer which prevents the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun to reach the earth. This has made the temperatures to rise and the loss of many habitats (Tiffanyaliano, 2009 para.5). Even the ice present at the Greenland has been on the decline through melting away, which is a major evidence of global warming. Global warming will lead to decrease of natural resources that man uses including water which is regarded as life. With the crisis of water hitting the earth, then mankind may even find it more difficult to ensure sustainability of the ecology (Nuclear Energy Plays Essential Role in Climate Change Initiatives, n.d. para.5).
The US should indeed revisit the energy policies with haste. This situation is of national interest and not just an issue to politicize otherwise dire consequences are expected in case of delay. The forest will continue getting depleted; the ice will continue melting with the increased use of fossil fuel despite the presence of the policies. The world should be protected from the scenarios similar to those witnessed in Easter Island which is extinct due to overexploitation (Tiffanyaliano, 2009 para.7).
Politically, the country is also compromised; many countries are now applying to use or increase the use of nuclear energy, countries like Iran has been suspected to produce nuclear energy or are in the process of starting the process. With the Middle East countries having a grudge on the US for attacking most of their Muslim countries like Iraq and Afghanistan the US stand a chance of being attacked by its foes. Another fact in the world today is the battle for supremacy and superpower. Many countries that can produce nuclear energy will do so secretly and in case of attack, then the government looses it political supremacy.
The government should increase the production of nuclear energy so as to protect itself politically and to protect the citizens that are more valuable to its rule (McLeish, 2008 p.75). The policies should be amended to accommodate various uses of the nuclear energy, be it for safety or consumption. This is driven by the necessity of security especially in the wake of so many terrorist attacks.
Nuclear energy is produced naturally by the sun and other stars which make heat and light from nuclear reactions. Nuclear reactions are the only requirement for the production of this energy. Manmade nuclear energy can be made from a large nuclei being split to release energy also known as nuclear fission where uranium is the main fuel, and by a small nuclei being combined to release energy also known as nuclear fusion where the hydrogen atom fuse to make helium (Richardson, 1999 p.87).
Reasons for energy legislations review
The advantages of nuclear power are unlimited and are the best solution to turn to in this period of fuel and energy crisis. Dependency on fossil fuel has already proven to be so costly. It has plunged the economies of many countries in to turmoil. The very fluctuating prices of fossil energy and crude oil in the markets are making the global crisis even more persistent. The dependence on nuclear energy will introduce a new era affordable energy and revitalized world economies.
Many renewable natural resources are overexploited. The US should not deplete the resources but should utilize nuclear energy to give the fossil fuel more time to regenerate, otherwise the situation may be dim in the near future since the economic crunch will persist and lead to a resource crisis rather than the economic crisis (The pros and cons of nuclear energy, 2009 para.3).
As opposed to fossil energy, nuclear power production emits relatively low amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). This can be seen as the means to reduce emissions of green house gases hence reduces global warming. The major problem caused by fossil fuel will be eliminated in the use of nuclear energy. Fewer emissions to the environment means the environment will be friendlier to stay in. This will give the natural resources, which may be extinct due to global warming, more time to rejuvenate. Nuclear energy production technology is readily available, it will not need time to first develop but it will meet the most present needs of energy (Pros and cons of nuclear power, n.d. para.8).
People are already facing a crisis, thus there is no time to invent more fossil fuel sites; an instant solution to the current problem is needed and no doubt the presence of nuclear power suits the events. The amount of energy produced or generated in a single nuclear plant is high compared to that produced or generated by fossil fuel. This gives the lasting solution to the use of an already extinct or declining fuel. The present world needs quantity and quality with this age where the world is densely populated and numerous needs for power must be met, and nuclear energy guarantees this.
Nuclear energy is also safe depending on the handling. Shocking statistics indicate that 10000-50000 Americans deaths are recorded resulting from burning of coal. The procedure of handling and maintaining nuclear energy is so protected that deaths are unlikely. It includes a series of barriers that separate the rays and heat from the outside. The impacts of practicing safe production of nuclear can only be said to be positive and beneficial to say the least.
Barrier to amendments
The barriers to the amendment of the energy policy can only be described best by those who are opposed to it. However, personal interests should not go beyond the public interest of people who are yearning for a redeeming image of the economy of Unites States. Those who oppose such amendments can only be termed as enemies of the state (McLeish, 2008 p.78).
The legislation is further faced by economic barriers. Many companies and cooperates in the fossil fuel business are making millions in profits, this leads to capital concentration in the energy sector thus the government may see as if it has made progress. The increased production in nuclear power production may seem very expensive in the short-term. The policy makers may be carried away by this statistics, ignoring the benefits that may be accrued in the long-run. Many are just interested in the profits of the energy sector, which make them ignore or block the enactment of the legislation.
People are generally slow to adapt to a change, whether positive or negative. The issue of inadequate education in reference to nuclear energy may be minimal as to have any significant effect on the demand for better, reliable and affordable energy such as nuclear energy. Some consumers also like to use what they already have and ignore what they don’t know or know little about. Such are the barriers that are hindering consumers to adopt or press for new forms of effective, clean, and reliable energy.
No matter what the barriers to the legislation are, the legislators need to examine the effective and safe use of the energy and the impacts it is going to create in the world of energy. It is with no doubt that, though the negative effects of nuclear energy given by the scientist, including the waste disposal and radiation effects, nuclear energy will go a long way in ending the crisis affecting the world economies. The increased use of fossil fuel will destroy the ozone layer and the harmful rays of the sun will reach the earth, leading to adverse changes in climatic conditions and other effects. So the continued use of fossil energy is not a solution. Embracing nuclear energy will make the world a better place to live in.