Pollution has become a major environmental concern mainly as a result of studies conducted which have created the awareness about how the various types of pollution greatly puts the entire world at risk with the effect of such pollution mostly being global warming. Though numerous campaigns have been initiated to help curb the negative attitude being put on display by various energy-tapping industries throughout the whole world, there seems to be no relenting on the part of these industries as they are mainly concerned with creating wealth for themselves and are not bothered by the risks their activities create for the world as a whole.
Pollution is the act of introducing harmful substances or materials like chemicals into the environment which have a negative effect on the environment. There are numerous ways through which the environment gets polluted and some of these are;
Air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, soil pollution, thermal pollution, visual pollution, radioactive pollution and littering.
All these forms of pollution do cause unimaginable damages to the natural environment. Though every industry in some way cause some form of pollution, there are some that really lead the race in terms of environmental pollution. It is therefore in the right direction for one to take a look at some of the negative impacts of these industries on the environment.
Bio Fuel Industries
Bio fuel is the direct opposite of fossil fuel in terms of the duration these dead or living organisms have been in the system. This means that bio fuels are the recent living or dead organisms that are used in the generation of energy. The incessant use of bio fuel energy generally results in negative impacts such as deforestation as these living materials like plants are all used in generating this source of energy.
These are industries that rely on the use of charcoal acquired from the burning of freshly cut trees. Though these industries may not be seen as major industries, the amount of charcoal used in African societies within a day in the carrying out of numerous cooking activities is something that greatly needs to be reviewed. This is due to the fact that Africa, which once boasted of forest reserves of around 7 million km2 now, has about 2.5 million km2 of this forest lost to such acts as the burning of charcoal. The indiscriminate felling of these trees for burning charcoal leads to deforestation as its main effect with soil erosion and air pollution being the other accompanying effects.
Fossil Fuel Industries
These are industries which make use of any of the three types of energy derived from fossil fuels namely; coal, petroleum and natural gas. Fossil fuel has since the inception of the industrial era been the major source of pollution of the environment. The use of any of the mentioned types of fossil fuels leads to serious environmental issues which have been talked about almost every day by agencies campaigning for a cleaner and safer environment.
The effects of coal mining and usage are very telling on the environment. From the mining of coal, through its processing stage to its usage are all fraught with various forms of environmental pollution. It has been estimated that the usage of coal alone by industries causes the lives of around one million living organisms to be cut short as according to the WHO.
The effects of coal mining and its usage include the following;
- Loss of lives during mining disasters,
- Gas poisoning
- Collapsing of the roof
These effects do not even come anywhere closer to the negative impact coal mining and its usage tends to have on the environment as a whole which include destruction of land, air pollution leading to global warming and pollution of water bodies.
Petroleum has always had a very negative effect on any living organism that it comes into contact with. Processing and usage of petroleum causes various degrees of damage to all living things including the environment. Due to the fact that most of man’s activities are made easy through the use of petroleum products, the ability to check its eventual effect on the environment has always been a problem.
Natural gas has always been classified as the most environmentally friendly of all the various forms of energy derived from fossil fuels. Though it is currently being touted as the cleanest energy from fossil fuel, studies carried out shows a rather alarming finding as it has been estimated that by the year 2030, natural gas would become the second highest source of CO2 emission into the atmosphere. Aside it surpassing oil (petroleum) on the CO2 emission ladder, it is also in itself a GHG containing harmful substances that make carbon dioxide look like an angel.
The GHG emissions from nuclear industries are mainly due to the nuclear fission and accidents associated with these nuclear energies. The harmful gases that are emitted from the use of nuclear energy are quite a bit low when compared to that of fossil fuel.
Electrically Powered Industries
Though electrical energy features on the list of clean energy sources due to its minimal amount of harmful gases emission, the total number of people currently switching to the use of electricity is becoming somehow alarming as the little amount of CO2 emissions have gone up considerably. Even with this considerable increase in the CO2 emissions from electricity usage, it does not qualify it to be even ranked with the main orchestrator behind global warming in the form of fossil fuels. This makes electricity-using industries safer to have around than fossil fuel powered industries.
Industries that Use Wind Energy
The effect of using wind as a source of energy ranks so low on the environmental pollution scale with the likes of fossil fuel and nuclear energy also being on that same scale.
After taking such a careful look at these industries and the type of energy they use, when the question of which of them are the worst in terms of polluting the environment is brought up, one has no other choice than to go for industries that rely on fossil fuels as the worst in polluting the environment.