Timothy Rah Oxford Academy 10th Grade
We are damaging the environment. It’s a fact, and there is no denying it. Technology has developed to a point where it is now accessible to the majority of the population. This technological marvel reached its apex during this decade and so did the worry of what technology could do to the earth. Scientists have been working to save our planet and have come up with many innovations to do so. Some of these technologies are things that you could’ve passed by while on the road, but there are also some inventions that are more secluded and specific to a demographic. Either way, both work to hopefully pull earth out of the pickle that it is currently in.
According to the US Department of Energy, the ocean is the biggest solar collector on Earth, collecting 250 billion oil barrels worth of thermal energy. If we could just use a portion of this resource, wouldn’t it be possible to power a whole city on just alternative energy? Scientists think so, because one of the many inventions developed by scientists is the Ocean Thermal Energy Conserver (or the OTEC). This invention is exactly what the name says it is; it’s a man made platform on top of the ocean’s surface made to gather heat and wind, in turn creating energy. This platform contains a plethora of technology on it such as solar panels, wind turbines, etc. Because of the output of heat from the ocean, the OTEC is able to gather immense amounts of electricity, and is currently powering houses in Malki, Hawaii. When compared with regular power plants, a thermal energy based power plant emits no pollution to the environment, while a regular plant emits greenhouse gases, damaging the atmosphere. The only drawback to this innovation is that it is not efficient enough to power whole cities with it, but in the future, as this technology continues to develop, the OTEC will become a more reliable source of energy and maybe even make its way to powering densely populated areas.
Today, there are 253 million cars on the road, and most, if not all of those cars emit greenhouse gases that are harmful to the earth and its beloved atmosphere. There are many car companies that are working to go green by making cars that run only on electricity and other alternative energy sources. The shortcoming of these types of cars is that most tend to be costly, compared to cars that run on gasoline. On the other hand, one prevalent car brand, Toyota, has come up with a car (the Toyota Mirai) that runs on hydrogen, while offering it at a cost that is lower than any other alternative energy car. Now, you many be thinking: how does a car run on hydrogen? The Mirai use hydrogen fuel cells, cells that are used to convert fuel to electricity, to power its engine. Cars that normally run on fossil fuels are run by burning fuel, resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases. The Mirai, on the contrary, emits water due to hydrogen and oxygen combining. Because of this, the Mirai can be seen as a better alternative to a car that runs on gasoline and maybe even electric cars due to its price difference. With all this being said, hydrogen fuel is hard to find in your regular gasoline station, so finding a way to refuel may be difficult, but if hydrogen and other alternative energy based cars were to be more widespread among households, more and more gas stations would offer these alternative sources, in turn, reducing the amount of greenhouse emission.
Technology is becoming a norm for society, and while it is causing a lot of harm to the earth, it is also helping to reduce these effects to a minimum. With more and more innovations being developed, a brighter future is becoming more visible. In present time, being eco-friendly may be hard for most due to the cost it takes to go green, but in time, society will become more aware of the environment, leading to a happier and livelier earth.
<Timothy Rah Oxford Academy 10th Grade