In this increasingly technological age, many countries have begun to use greater and greater levels of energy per person on a daily basis. Compounding this growth is general increase in population, which increases as health practices improve. Consequently many nations and the world in general have needed to concentrate some of their attention on the safety of the nations and people in meeting their energy needs. One advantage of the development is the fact that it occurs at the same time as a rapid increase of technology and global interdependence. As levels of technology and energy use increase, developed nations all around the world have begun to focus on new ways to gain that energy, and in the case of China and the United States of America, learn how to use that energy wisely.
With the increased use of energy, scientists and world leaders have begun to discover how to best create and use energy. Many of these decision makers consider data that conveys information about possible effects of energy use on climate and the environment among many other things (Morgan & Keith 2008 p.191). This focus highlights a growing concern of increased use of energy. As energy consumption increases, particularly in developed countries, the effects both positive and negative will increase. To fulfill the need for energy with lower costs but higher efficiency, scientists have turned to nuclear energy, which operates most of the year and has little to no forced capability loss (Schwarz & Cochran 2013). This reliability both in financial and temporal elements means that nuclear energy may be a strong alternative in the search for providing energy to growing populations. However, consequences such as possible nuclear meltdowns force the consideration of other sources of power.
In China, this demand and diverted consideration has led to a ballooning interest in coal consumption and carbon emissions. As the government has lost control over energy demand in that country, the amount of carbon-dioxide emissions has risen drastically over the last few decades (Liu, Lund, Mathiesen & Zhang 2011). This lack of control in energy use not only impacts China’s economic potentially but it also affects the rest of the world as more greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere. As such China becomes an equal partner in containing the environmental catastrophe of global warming. Equally as important is the amount of raw energy consumed in the production industries of steel and cement, which recently have made up a greater part of the nation’s growth than any other sector (Liu, Guan, Crawford-Brown, Zhang, He & Liu 2013). This statistic alone highlights the growing economic pressures as a cause of increased energy use. Unfortunately as each nation begins to use more energy to support their energies and people, they prompt a race to increase production, and consequently more energy.
Similarly, the United States faces a demand for the use of fossil fuels on a large scale. Since the early twentieth century, Americans have demanded cheap, plentiful energy sources in order to live a full, middle-class lifestyle, a demand met by the use of carbon dioxide producing sources (York 2010). Just as in China, this demand prompts a government reaction in order to ensure such resources are available. Unlike in China, use of technology and energy is probably greater for the average person, solving the issue why the USA uses more energy for less people. A strong cause of that trend is the fact that nations with greater incomes generally have a greater demand for energy (Pitcher 2009 p. 55). This trend places more of a burden on the developed nations such as the United States to face and curb the energy use of their people, which admittedly number less than the population in China. Ultimately, if a nation such as the US cannot succeed in curbing fossil fuel energy use, than China will face seemingly insurmountable odds curb the use of their people.
In this modern area, developed countries throughout the world have seen a marked increase in population and energy use. While many nations such as China and the United States are attempting to make their energy use more efficient, the demand of the average person often proves to be too much to handle in the speed required. Consequently, many nations are still using fossil fuels to provide energy to people as others have looked to new methods such as nuclear power and renewable resources. No matter the source, developed nations will need to manage their energy use wisely in order to accommodate their growing populations in the future.
- Schwarz, P. M. & Cochran, J. A. (2013). Renaissance or requiem: Is nuclear energy cost effective in a post-fukushima world?. Contemporary Economic Policy 31(4) 691-707. Doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.2012.00341.x
This journal examines a variety of issues from an economic standpoint, providing another point of view. In this article, the authors discuss the risks and benefits of nuclear energy in this age. It was found through Google Scholar.
- Liu, W., Lund, H., Mathiesen, B. V. & Zhang, X. (2011). Potential of renewable energy systems in china. Applied Energy 88 (2) 518-525. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261910002837
This article, discovered through Google Source, originates from a journal detailing the practical use of energy. The authors approach the topic from the perspective of economic planning. Appropriately, this article discusses the policy of energy use in China.
- Liu, Z., Guarn, D., Crawford-Brown, D., Zhang, Q., He, K., & Liu, J. (2013).Energy policy: A low-carbon road map for china. Nature 500 143-145. Doi: 10.1038/500143a
Written in 2013, this article offers the most up to date view on the impact of Chinese industrial production on energy use. The journal itself offers a concentrated look at energy policy and environmental issues across the world. This article was found using Google Scholar.
- Morgan, M. G. & Keith, D. W. (2008). Improving the way we think about projecting future energy use and emissions of carbon dioxide. Climatic Change 90(3). 189-215. Doi: 10.1007/x10584-008-9458-1
Discovered through a search of the journal’s records, this article discusses the methods in which energy data is presented to various policy makers. The article itself is five years old, allowing for new information to have surfaced in that time. The authors are highly involved in research of environmental issues.
- Pitcher, H. M. (2009). Measuring income and projecting energy use: An editorial comment. Climatic Change 97(1-2) 49-58. Doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9696-x
In this article found through Google Scholar, the author discusses the relationship between income level and energy demand. His position at a research institute at a college campus makes the author seem fairly credible. However the relatively old date of the article means that the information may not be as current as possible.