Essay by afelton1906University, Bachelor'sA-, October 2007

download word file, 14 pages 3.0

Energy is the ability to do work. When we move something by pushing or pulling, we are doing work. Energy is necessary for anything to move or change. Energy is measured in Joules (J). Energy is always subject to conservation. Thus, Energy cannot be made or destroyed, it can only be transformed. In practice, energy is lost to the user during transfer, an effect known as entropy. This rise of modern civilization would not have been possible without the discovery of vast resources of energy and the development of ways to transform it into useful forms. All that we do require energy. The more energy we have at our command, the better we can satisfy our desire for food, clothing, shelter, warmth, light, transport, communication, and manufactured goods.

In the advanced countries, the living standard of living is already high and populations are stable, so their need for energy is not likely to grow very much.

This need may even decline as energy use becomes more efficient. Elsewhere rates of energy consumption are still low, less than 1 kW per person for more than half the people of the world compared with 11kW per person in the United States. These people seek better lives which means more energy, and their numbers are increasing rapidly, which means still more energy.

A result of burning fossil fuels is the formation of carbon dioxide when the carbon they contain combines with the atmosphere that acts to trap heat by the greenhouse effect. This is mainly responsible for the warming of the earth's atmosphere that is going on today, a warming that will likely have serious consequences for our planet. Global warming is when the earth heats up (the temperature rises). It happens when greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane)...