BHS Student Council focuses on energy, environment

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was submitted by the Brady High School Student Council Energy/Environment Committee.) If we consider the human assault on our planet, what sorts of images come to mind’ We think of factories, power plants or cars belching out smoke. We imagine birds on beaches coated with oil or crop dusters spewing synthetic pesticides as they skim over fields. All these images have a common element; they suggest the wasteful use of energy resources. Energy powers the factories, cars and crop dusters and is at the center of our lives. Energy powers the ecosystems that support society. It is also central to the life of civilization; if industrial society does not have plentiful sources of energy, it faces collapse. So how do we “heal Earth’ A pivotal problem in deciding how to heal the Earth is finding some way to assess the total human impact on the planet and determine how much of that impact is generated by various nations and activities. Rich countries neglect the use of “traditional” energy sources (wood, crop wastes and dung). In the poorest nations, traditional sources supply 50 to 95 percent of energy use, while in the richest they make up only two percent (mainly firewood and cogeneration of heat and electricity from agricultural and forestry wastes). The average American uses about 11 kilowatts of commercial energy, while citizens of poor sub-Saharan African nations average only about 0.03 kilowatts. Under those assumptions, the average American does about 70 times the damage to the global environment as a poor African. There are several other ways in which the Earth is being destroyed from day to day. Take into consideration how much unnecessary energy you use every day so that you can make a difference in the “healing” of our planet.

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