Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbon gasses consist of methane, higher alkanes, and sometimes small doses of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, helium, and nitrogen. Decomposing plant and animal matter exposed to intense heat is the source of it; the matter that makes it up slowly rots away until all that is left is energy gotten from the sun, stored in the form of chemical bonds.
It’s a fossil fuel, used as a source of energy. It’s primarily used for cooking, heating, and electricity generation, but it can also be used as fuel for vehicles. Some places also use it as feedstock for making plastic.
It was thought to have been discovered as early as 1,000 BCE by the Chinese, who used bamboo pipelines to transport the gas that seeped up from the ground and funnel it to boil salt water.
Now, the important thing to note here is, natural gas is not a renewable resource. There’s only so much of it, and although it does regenerate itself, it does so too slowly to cope with how much the world uses. In 2015, it was estimated that the world consumed about 3400 km³ of natural gas per year, and if we kept using it at the same rate as in 2015, the reserves of natural gas left in the ground that would be worth recovering would last 250 years as far as it is concerned.
Of course, that doesn’t factor in corporate greed and the negligence of humans. If the world increased its usage of natural gas by just 2% annually, the stores of the gas left wouldn’t last a decade.
As well, one must consider the fact that natural gas being used up in the ways that it also creates terrible ecological waste in the form of air and water pollution. Sea creatures are getting sick and dying off, birds are becoming poisoned, and the ozone layer was slowly deteriorating at an alarming rate until very recently.
Only through the efforts of various environmentalist groups have we been able to stop and even reverse the damage to the ozone layer we’ve caused with all the pollution we’ve been releasing, but that still doesn’t address the fact that the pollution itself is still out there.
Greenhouse gasses are a very real threat to the environment, on top of everything else. They stop heat from bouncing off the surface of the Earth and reflecting back up into space, which is where global warming comes from. The ice caps are melting, various Arctic and Antarctic species of wildlife are slowly losing their homes on the ice floes to rising temperatures, and erratic weather patterns are becoming more and more common the world over.
Perhaps the worst part about all of this is that nobody wants to listen. Scientists have been saying for years that sustainable, renewable energy sources have been ready for global implementation, and yet they’ve not been put into place. A gradual phasing out of natural gas as our main power supply would be better than the nothing that’s going on right now.
So what’s the problem?
People are too busy making money off of the dwindling natural gas market to see the danger that’s right in front of them. All those big CEOs in their high-rise offices probably all think that they’ll just be able to milk the Earth dry and then switch over to renewable energy when it suits them, but that’s not the way it’s going to work.
If there’s no more gas by the time we reach that point, then how will these arrays be put into place? There won’t be any gas left to power any heavy-duty mover vehicles like trucks or planes, and electric vehicles can barely handle their own weight, much less the weight of a two-ton wind propeller.
Yes, more and more people are getting solar panels or small wind turbines installed on their property, but it won’t be enough. We are quickly spiraling down towards the eventuality of having to harvest our energy with solar panels and wind turbines and then rationing it for when we need it!
Instead of wasteful assumptions, let’s focus ourselves. The Beta Switch Review has some interest things fact about healthy diets. Check them out. But as far as gas consumption goes – I, for one, do not want to live in a world where we have to wait an entire week for one sunny day to turn the lights in our houses on for a single hour.