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Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on environmental issues in the energy sector.
Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on environmental issues in the energy sector. The release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to global warming and is thus a danger to the well-being of human beings. To ease global warming, either people refrain from using fossil fuel as an energy source or capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere (Easton, 2011, p. 148). In carbon capture technology, the debate is not about the existence of the said technology but on their sustainability, safety and viability in being stored underground indefinitely (p. 149).
In a nutshell, there are three issues surrounding the debate between David Hawkins and Charles Schmidt – the availability of technology, safety concerns and the political will to end the use of coal (Easton, 2011, p. 149-150). Hawkins maintains that the technology to capture carbon emissions are already existing and can already be utilized while Schmidt contends that the available technology is not yet technically and financially viable to be utilized on a major scale (p. 149). Anent to this issue is the question of safety, while Hawkins maintains that the technology on safety concerns are already feasible, Schmidt contends that there is still no assurance that carbon dioxide can be stored and can remain in containment underground indefinitely. He also adds that there are still no clear guidelines on who will be responsible for monitoring and take the blame if storage fails (p. 149). Regarding the last discussion point, Hawkins states that the coal power industry is projected to entail at least $5 trillion investments to put up power plants in the next 25 years in order to support the project power demands worldwide (p. 151). As there is a growing need to put up more plants to support the growing power needs of the world, Hawkins maintains that there is an immediate need to set up carbon capture devices to reduce pollution and mitigate climate change effects brought about by coal-burning (p. 154).