Sustainable Energy and Materials.docx

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Simon Fraser University
Resource & Environmtl Mgmt
REM 100
Karen Ruckman

Sustainable Energy and Materials Understanding human-caused flows of energy and materials challenge earth’s life-support capability Assessing technological, geological and biological options for changing flow to reach greater sustainability Assessed from ecological, economic and social perspective Exploring institutionsDecision Making Policy mechanisms foster more sustainable technology and behavior Energy: - Cannot be created or destroyed - Can be degraded after usage less usable - World consumption: ~15 terrawatts~15000 gigawatts Oil: - Very versatile/useful // polluting - Limited supply - World consumption 84,000,000 barrels/day Effects of energy crisis: 1. Developing World a. Increase oil priceHuge national debts in developing countries b. 70% energy created by burning wood, charcoal, agricultural waste, animal dung c. Population growth’s consumption>Rate of replenishment 2. Developed World a. Oil Increase in priceLow economic growthHigher inflation Big trade deficitsUnemployment Averting “Dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the climate system b. “Acceptable” global level of warming: 2 oC c. Cannot emit anymore carbon in 2060 for “safe” climate change d. Can only burn 500 more gigatons i. Currently burning 10 gigaton/year Types of the energy we use: - Non-Renewables: • 80% Fossil Fuel  35% Oil  25% Coal  21% Natural Gas • Nuclear: 3% - Renewables: • 11% Biomass • 3% Hydropower Problems of current Energies: - Global Oil Reserves (Canada, OPEC, Venezuela) • Costs of oil kept low (For sake of economy) • Does not reflect military, environmental and health costs - Tar sand • Oil in neighboring sandstone layers • Refined like shale oil • Energy intensive process • Expensive to transport • Contains ‘bitumen’ - Coal (China, USA, Australia, India, EU, Russia) • Not used for automobiles/transport/heating/cooking
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