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Energy Crisis
by Swaraj Mohanty

The world is blessed with a number of divine gifts. It depends upon us, how we utilize it. If we continue using conventional sources of energy at this rate, surely a day will come when the world will be without oil.”

These lines are neither any quotation nor any lines found in English literature. In fact, these words were spoken by honorable President of India Dr. A. P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Science says that energy never ends, it only change its forms. But the source of energy can be well diminished. Now the time has arrived when energy crisis has became a cause of concern for the entire man kind. It is like an activated bomb threatening to explode any time.

Still it is not clear what energy is? Energy is the capacity to do work. There are various forms of energy which are making the whole world to work in different manners. Basically, there are two types of energy – conventional and non conventional. Conventional sources of energy are those which cannot be reused while the reusable source of energy is termed as non-conventional source of energy. Fossil fuels, coal, petroleum etc. are considered as prime sources of energy. They are used as propellers in industries, automobiles, locomotives etc. For instance, coal is a conventional source of energy. Once coal is burnt it is gone for ever and can never be reused. However, nature has been kind enough to bless us with enormous deposits of coal, petroleum and other sources of energy, some of which, can be formed by natural processes. Their formation and consumption were balanced till the population bag was tied up to its rim. Once the population bag exploded, the ancient heritage made its way to extinction. We can recall the famous saying by Thomas Malthus, “Population is growing geometrically while the resources supporting it are growing arithmetically”. Population explosion is becoming a serious problem. Recently, a team of Biologists stated that if the resources are used at this rate then, by 2050 the deposits will vanish.

Now it is advisable to use conventional energy sources, primary sources of energy in ancient days. Till 1980s transportation was possible only through trains run by coal and diesel. But now, even the automobiles use petrol. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a world without oil is unimaginable. The industries depend upon these sources of energy. And on the other hand, the country’s economy depends upon the productivity of these industries. So basically, a country’s economy is entirely dependant upon the availability of sources of energy. Imagine a world devoid of coal and petroleum. Can we go to school, offices? Can we get a desired product at the right moment? When vehicles, industries etc. are unable to function, necessities such as these appear luxuries.

The time has come to make a complete transition. We have to think of alternatives. Ten to fifteen years back the problem of energy crisis was rising. But then no one took the matter seriously. None of us knew that the problem will become a threat to mankind. The statistics show that coal takes a 1000 years for its formation while in thousand years population increases more than 1000 times of the coal produced. Energy crisis has engulfed most of the countries. Even the mightiest country, the United States is fighting against the Middle East for energy sources since decades and has also been in bitter terms with Iran, Iraq and other oil producing countries. These countries have been exercising their monopoly over oil in the international market. Within ten years oil prices has increased by about nine times or 900%.

Taking all these into consideration we should take an initiative to develop alternative sources of energy such as hydroelectric power, wind energy, tidal energy, geo-thermal energy etc. as, these are non-polluting as well as eco-friendly. These power plants can be installed easily with minimum investment and these resources are also renewable. Similarly, in bio-gas plants production of energy from cow dung produces ample amount of energy, keeps the environment clean and leads to safe disposal of wastes.

It is now the duty of each and every inhabitant of this beautiful earth to take care of the preservation of the sources of energy. The malady is indeed deep rooted and we have to toil hard to remove it completely. We have to shed our luxuries and prepare to devote some part of our lives to mother earth. If all of us join hands, all the problems which pose a threat to mankind can be rooted out, to make the earth a better place to live in.  

21-May-2006
 
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