Magazine article Technology and Children

From the Editor: Green Technology: Energy

Magazine article Technology and Children

From the Editor: Green Technology: Energy

Article excerpt

We are in an era of unprecedented change in global energy requirements. Recent events have caused us to redirect our attention to locating additional sources of energy. The search is on for energy systems that cause few detrimental impacts to the health and well-being of all natural systems. Our students will be the citizens who will most likely benefit from green energy systems. Therefore, they should be made aware of the potential benefits that will be derived from creating power with green energy systems.

While green energy systems are not novel - they've been used for many thousands of years - there is a need to develop innovative systems that are clean and affordable. These systems must be universally available to the citizens of this planet. Many governments are working on strategies to create systems that can be used immediately. They also recognize that fossil fuels, particularly petroleum and coal, will remain a big part of the energy mix. Make no mistake; the ultimate goal is to find alternatives to fossil fuels and to substitute their use with innovative green energy systems. The results of these efforts will be seen in better economic and environmental forecasts. Ultimately, the present rate of carbon releases will be reduced as the planet relies on cleaner energy systems.

Experts estimate that green energy currently employs nearly 2.3 million people across the globe. The number of people employed in green energy enterprises is expected to grow as new systems are designed and put into place. The reduction of the use of fossil fuels will also hasten employment growth in green energy sectors like solar power, wind power, and biofuel production. The recent decline in oil and gas production is related to the fact that many large fossil-fuel-bearing tracts and known petroleum oil reserves have been developed. A number of countries have also developed their own fossil fuel resources without the assistance of the large oil companies, making sure that the resources are not squandered and that they receive fair value for the products they produce.

Huge petroleum companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, British Petroleum, and Dutch Shell announced record earnings over the last several years. However, these profit levels may never be achieved again as gas and oil become harder to find and extract. Notably, many of the aforementioned companies have dedicated enormous resources to the development of alternate energy systems. Like all good corporate citizens, they want what is best for the people they serve - and they have the money and resources to create innovative systems in the future.

Three kinds of green energy that appear to have great promise are wind, biof uels, and solar systems. Your students might be able to identify any number of these systems because they are becoming so prevalent in our daily lives. Are there wind turbines in your community? Where are they? Are any local industries using solar photovoltaic systems to heat or generate power for their production applications? How many homes have begun to use this technology to get off the grid? Does your community have a waste-coo king- oil collection system? Do you live in proximity to an ethanol production facility? If you answered "Yes!" to any of these questions, then you have a great opportunity to guide your students in an exploration of green energy systems. …

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