ELA 10 4th Hour
Dear Mr/Mrs. President, as you know our country is in the midst of a two pronged energy crisis. The excessive use and burning of oil, natural gas and coal pump out millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases every year equating for a massive fraction of the United States annual pollution output. The second problem we have in the United States is the fact that at our current burn rate we will be entirely out of fossil fuels within the next few decades. This is no longer a matter of if but a matter of when, and it is now up to you and my generation to find a solution to this crisis before the clock runs out and we are left dead in the water. I believe that the only solution with the efficiency and effectiveness to solve this problem is nuclear energy, a prospect discovered and used through the past few decades that has proven to be an valuable tool and technological gold mine.
The world's energy output comes at a great cost; that great cost being the pollution of our earth due to fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels outputs approximately 5500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. This number is down from a plateau between 2004 and 2007 but since 2012 it has been back on the rise. The electric industry equates for 30% of the United States total greenhouse gas output while the United States itself outputs over 15% of the world's co2 emissions. But what do all these numbers mean? All these numbers represent is a change that wasn't made, a damage that can't be fixed, a world that is sinking into a hole that it won't be able to escape. All these numbers, data and research just show that nothing good is coming out of all this energy production. All we're doing is hurting the very place that gave us these energy sources.
Not many people think about an end to all this, a time when fossil fuel will be gone. But it's a dark reality that we have to face, no longer a ‘if’ situation but it is now a ‘when’. The generation before me and before that didn't have to think about this, an end to one of the biggest industries in the world. Many thought the world would end before we ran out of fuel but that's not the case. It is estimated that by the year 2088 (plus or minus a few years) all fossil fuels in the United States will be entirely exhausted; oil by 2052, natural gas by 2060 and coal by 2088. Now, all these numbers show is that even if big electricity producers refuse to lower their greenhouse gas outputs they will still be challenged by the fate of time and will be forced to make a change. So I think that we should make that change now so that we don't have to face those fears in the near future.
I believe the solution to all this is the very well known ultra efficient nuclear power. It's been powering our cities for decades but has been hidden away as a failure and mistake when it is actually our gateway to a safer more efficient future. Nuclear energy is already powering 10.9 % of the world's energy and approximately 20% of the United States energy needs. Many people assume nuclear energy is very dangerous due to its history from nuclear weapons to Chernobyl, but in fact Chernobyl only caused around 50 direct deaths and it is the only nuclear power plant disaster that caused direct deaths. While it is estimated that over 170,000 people die annually due to coal power plants alone. But many people also overlook the fact that almost all nuclear power plant disasters are due to human error, not the machine itself. This is why I believe that the key to make this work is this; government sponsored and monitored loans to energy companies to build new nuclear reactors. I think that the construction sites of those reactors needs to be monitored by government officials and nuclear engineers. I think that the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository needs to be refunded and completed so that the new power plants along with the already existing nuclear plants have a place to safely dispose of their waste. I also think that large oil, coal and natural gas companies should be restricted on greenhouse gas emissions to promote the change to nuclear energy. If the initiative is made to apply some of these changes during your presidency I believe that we will be making a tremendous step forward into a new age of nuclear prosperity.
1: "The End Of Fossil Fuels." Our Green Energy. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
2: By Comparing the Rate of Change for Each Parameter for the 2013 to 2014 Time Period to the Average Rate of Change for That Parameter for the Previous Decade, the Contribution of Each towards the Overall Deviation from Trend Can Be Calculated. The Table. "U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis." U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
3: "Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016\
4: Veterans, By. "Nuclear Energy Institute - Advancing Clean, Reliable Energy." Nuclear Energy Institute - Advancing Clean, Reliable Energy. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
5: "Chernobyl Disaster." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.