There are several environmental effects associated with non-renewable mineral resources, and all of them are of a harmful nature. These are water, air, and soil pollution, radioactive and solid wastes (Miller and Spoolman 309). Moreover, the use of non-renewable minerals generates noise and heat (Miller and Spoolman 309). All this leads to safety and health hazards for people. These issues raise the question of how to utilize this type of recourses more efficiently.
More Sustainable Usage
Humanity has developed several methods of using non-renewable mineral resources with greater efficiency. It includes industrial measures such as recycling and reuse of mineral resources in the same processes or as raw materials for others and production optimization to make it cleaner (Miller and Spoolman 312). Socioeconomic methods are mining subsidies minimization and additional taxation of those goods associated with environmentally harmful production practices (Miller and Spoolman 312). It is worth noting the state financial support for the recycling of non-renewable mineral resources.
The Earth’s Major Geological Hazards
It is no secret that the Earth is a place full of dangers. One of the earth’s major geological hazards is an earthquake (Miller and Spoolman 303). Interestingly, it gives rise to two hazardous phenomena, which are tsunami and landslides (Miller and Spoolman 303). It is necessary to mention the volcanic eruption that is another large-scale dangerous happening. Despite all its technologies, humanity still cannot fully defend itself against these natural disasters.
Total U.S. Energy Consumption and the Nominal U.S. Gross Domestic Product
The numbers show how strongly people, mostly from countries with advanced economies, depend on fossil resources. It has to be noted that the numbers are given in the British thermal unit (BTU). U.S. Energy Information Administration claims that in 2000 the total U.S. energy consumption was 98702.224 BTU while in 1979, it was 80811.788 BTU. Therefore, it means that consumption increased by 17890.436 BTU over 21 years. In the abovementioned 2000 and 1979, the nominal U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 10252.3 and 2627.3, respectively (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The country’s GDP increased by 7625 billion dollars. The ratio between the second variable and the first is 1:2.34628668852; rounding up the result gives 1:2.3. One can conclude that fossil fuels are badly needed for the growth of the U.S. economy and that American society is overconsuming.
New England’s Liquid Natural Gas Ports
All four Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) ports are concentrated in New England. They are located in “Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont” (U.S. Energy Information Administration). Such a density of LNG ports is conditioned by frequent and cold winters in the region (U.S. Energy Information Administration). U.S. Energy Information Administration notes that “LNG imports help to meet natural gas demand in New England because the region currently has limited pipeline interconnections with the Northeast and U.S. natural gas producing regions.” Even though the U.S. is known as producer and exporter of natural gas, some of its territories lack this necessary resource.
Electricity Pricing in Different Countries and Renewable Energy
The taxation system varies from country to country, and electricity pricing is no exception. As of 1995, the nominal average retail price of electricity in the U.S. was 6.89 cents per kilowatt-hour (U.S. Energy Information Administration). It is significantly lower than in Germany and Japan, but higher than in India and China. For renewable energy to become not only a trend but also a standard in the energy industry, it needs cheap technologies that would make the consumption of renewable energy economically feasible for most of the world’s population.