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Energy Shortage We are about to Face

Introduction

Imagine that you cannot use electricity or get fuel for your car because these energy resources are no longer available. Your home has no power, and the lights, television, and the fridge are not working. You drive to the gas station, but there you find out that there is no gas. Although this is a hypothetical scenario, something very similar to the described situation may happen within the next thirty years because humanity continues to use non-renewable energy sources relentlessly. The issue that will be examined in this paper is the shortage of non-renewable energy resources on Earth. This paper will outline the issue of energy resources shortage and offer a solution to this problem.

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Overview of the Problem

Non-renewable energy sources are used in varied aspects of people’s lives, making them essential for people’s normal living. For example, gas and oil are mined and developed into fuel for vehicles – a means of transport a majority of people use to get to school, work, and other places. Apart from these, other minerals, such as copper, are also being depleted, but the effect of this will be less significant (Boryczko et al., 313). These resources are used by millions of people in the state, and the current infrastructure is built around the use of vehicles powered by petroleum. Gas is used for cooking as a source of heat in some households. It is difficult to imagine that this is a serious problem, especially considering the recent surplus of oil due to trade wars, which caused a significant price decrease (Ahad and Anwer, 163). However, the calculations and assumptions regarding the existing resources are made based on the current consumption rate and mining rates.

Due to the fact that humanity has been using Earth’s natural resources as a source of energy for decades, these resources are becoming rare. According to the research by Stanford University and Kuo, fossils mined and used to produce oil will be depleted by 2052, gas – 2060, and coal – 2090. This means that the global community only has about thirty years to find a valid resolution to the issue of energy source shortage. Moreover, the world’s energy demand is steadily growing each year, which further intensifies this problem. The solution to this problem is to design spacecraft capable of transporting large quantities of people and move humanity to a different planet with many resources to use.

Solution

Considering humanity’s history of relentlessly using up Earth’s resources, the consequences of pollution, global warming, and energy resource depletion, the best way to address this problem is to choose a new planet to live on in the future. This approach relies on the idea that people will most likely continue to use the resources and harm the environment, causing damage and depletion. Therefore, choosing a new planet that has not been previously inhabited will give humanity several hundreds of years to use the resources of this planet. Moreover, this approach will allow retaining the people’s lifestyle in the form that they are used to because this idea implies copying the infrastructure of Earth, building similar cities, houses, roads, and other elements on the new planter. Therefore, the solution to move to another planet is ideal because it allows people to have the lifestyle they are used to, without making any changes or paying more attention to the environment.

The idea of abandoning the Earth and establishing a colony on a different planet is not new. Elon Musk, an entrepreneur, has developed a similar solution to the issue of depleting Earth’s resources – moving to Mars. According to Pollitt, Musk “wants to build a colony on Mars. Make that a civilization” (1). However, when comparing Mars and Earth, one can see that the two planets are very different, which means that creating a civilization there, suitable for human life is a challenge. Hence, this plan offers to choose a different planet with an atmosphere and landscape similar to that on Earth.

Currently, this solution seems absurd because no company has capabilities or vehicles to transport many people to another planet. However, Musk’s SpaceX has already revolutionized the space travel industry by introducing rockets that return to Earth, which the company’s specialists then reuse. Moreover, SpaceX participated in the delivery of astronauts to the International Space Station. These actions allow lowering the cost of space travel, and it is possible that in the far future, people will resolve the issue of energy source depletion by moving their colonies to Mars and other planets. Musks’ efforts to revolutionize the space travel industry have already had a beneficial effect, and with future developments, this company may become the first commercial enterprise to send people to a different planet. As the idea of space travel is no longer a fantasy, more attention should be dedicated to the research of other planets and the establishment of colonies there.

The resolution to move humanity to a different planet is an absurd option. It is more probable that a better renewable energy source will be invented and used globally in the following thirty years. However, the option offered by Musk is also possible, although it would be difficult to move all people from Earth to a different planet considering the infrastructure that should be built on Mars to facilitate the move.

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This solution is the best choice because it allows people to continue using the strategies for obtaining energy and using it, which is what they have become used to in the past years. Due to the fact that this plan implies moving to a planet that is comparable to Earth, this new planet should have the same resources, and the existing methods applied to fossil fuel development could be used there as well. As a result, the daily routines of most people will not be adversely affected. Moreover, people will not have to change their views or values regarding the use of resources and contamination of the environment. From this perspective, this solution also resolves other urgent problems, such as pollution and global warming, which means that this is the best choice out of the available options.

Other solutions do not guarantee success ⸺ it is possible that green or renewable energy will not satisfy the needs of humanity, considering the increasing demand and the limitations of these sources. For example, solar energy can only be collected during the daytime, meaning that another type of source should facilitate a house’s energy needs at night. This is because energy storage, especially in large quantities, is another issue. However, if the weather is gloomy, the solar panels will be unable to collect the energy, leaving the housing with no electricity, heating, or cooling. All of these aspects require additional consideration and complex solutions to ensure that people’s lives can still be comfortable, even when using renewable sources of energy. This is the reason why this solution is not as good as a plan to move humanity to a different planet, where people can continue having their usual lifestyle.

Counterargument and Refutation

Some people think that the energy problem is not urgent because the shortage will become evident only after thrifty years. As a result, they may think that this is a concern for future generations. However, most people younger than 60 years old will probably live until 2052 ⸺ the time when the oil resources are expected to end. Hence, this will be their concern as well, since they will have to limit the use of technology, energy, or transportation methods they are used to currently. Moreover, the resolution to this issue is challenging because the majority of Earth’s infrastructure was built relying on gas, oil, and coal as the primary energy sources. As a result, if the global community fails to find a resolution, people living right now will experience severe problems with energy shortages in thirty years.

Some people say that moving humanity to a different planet is not possible because it will require unimaginable investment. However, several years ago, when Musk first established SpaceX, not many people believed that a commercial company is capable of creating an aircraft, yet SpaceX succeeded (Pollitt, 1). With the dedication of scientists and engineers, as well as support from the government, it is possible to bring this ambitious project to life. For a long time, space programs were designed as research projects that aimed to explore rather than create some value. Therefore, the scientific and technological developments in this field were consistent with these goals. However, with the focus on moving to another planet, it is possible that the scientists and engineers will be able to build spacecrafts capable of transporting large quantities of people.

Some might say that green energy is the best way to approach this problem. Green energy is not a new development, however, as the years pass, it becomes more and more essential to use it. Renewable energy currently contributes to approximately 1/4 of the global energy consumption (Kuo). Unfortunately, this is not enough to account for the increase in demand for energy. Green energy is more challenging to use, and many states lack the infrastructure to begin transitioning to the use of green energy only. For example, to require the citizens to use electric cars only, there has to be a sufficient number of charging stations to make this solution valid. Other options, such as solar or wind energy, have limitations as well – they require specific conditions – landscape, temperature, and type of wind to operate. As a result, these sources do not guarantee a continuous energy supply. Some people say that green energy generates as much pollution, if not more, as regular oil and gas because of production pollution when creating devices for collecting this energy.

Green energy, for example, solar panels or windmills, in fact, has become more prevalent in recent years. However, this technology is complex and relies on natural factors – the amount of sun or wind, something that is difficult to calculate and predict, and even impossible to influence. As a result, the widespread use of this energy is unlikely because the human needs a continuous supply of energy that green technology, as it is a currency available, cannot provide. Moreover, rebuilding the Earth’s infrastructure to accommodate the green energy solution would require a massive investment. Furthermore, the governments would have to change their policies, and people would have to rebuild their homes and redesign their energy supply solutions to ensure that they can use green energy. This approach appears to be overly complicated, with many uncertainties that can hinder its implementation.

Conclusion

Overall, the issue reviewed in this paper is the rapid depletion of energy sources on Earth. On a daily basis, people in this country use petroleum to fuel their cars and gas to cook. However, these sources of energy are derived from non-renewable minerals, which means that at a certain point, humanity will not have them. With the speed at which humanity uses oil and gas, it is possible that by 2090, none of these resources will be available. However, many people’s activities rely on these non-renewable energy sources, which creates a significant problem. Therefore, in this paper, the idea of moving humanity to a colony on a different planet is presented. This idea may appear absurd or unimaginable, however, considering that other options did not prove to resolve the issue, this is the best choice. Moreover, similar ideas were voiced by Elon Musk, who is developing spaceships capable of transporting people to other planets and which should be less costly. Some of the counterarguments are that the issue is not urgent and that green energy can resolve the problem that was reviewed in this paper.

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Works Cited

Ahad, Muhammad, and Zaheer Anwer. “Asymmetrical Relationship between Oil Price Shocks and Trade Deficit: Evidence from Pakistan.” Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, vol. 29, no. 2, 2020, pp. 163–180.

Boryczko, Bożena, et al. “Depletion of the Non-Renewable Natural Resource Reserves in Copper, Zinc, Lead and Aluminium Production.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 84, 2014, pp. 313–321.

Kuo, Gioletta. “When Fossil Fuels Run Out, What Then?” MAHB, 2020. Web.

Pollitt, Katha. “Rocket Men.” Nation, vol. 308, no. 18, 2019, pp. 10–11.

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