We often hear that we are in danger of running out of non-renewable resources. But, what exactly is a non-renewable resource?
Stated simply it is a resource which cannot be replenished at a rate equal to or greater than it is consumed. For example, oil is a non-renewable resource. There is only so much oil in the ground. Every year the world consumes thirty-one billion barrels of oil. At some point, if we continue to use oil at the same rate, we will be using more than we are extracting from the ground.
On the other hand, if we were able to produce cars that run 100% on solar power, we would be using a renewable resource - the sun. It would be renewable because the sun produces so much energy that we would be in no danger of depleting it.
Non renewable energy resources primarily come from fossil fuels. These are fuels that had their genesis millions of years ago as buried organisms decomposed to form the oil, coal, and natural gas that we are able to take advantage of today. These fossil fuels basically provide the energy that drives the economy of the U.S.
Currently, at least eighty percent of all the energy that we, as a nation, use comes from fossil fuels. Our military experts have long been aware of how our reliance on this form of energy is putting our country at risk. And just recently, they have released documents that warn of the effects that global warming will have on our national security.
The biggest reason that they are concerned is that these fossil based fuels that we depend on so heavily is the cause for the huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions that are polluted into the air each year. The most dangerous of these greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide, mainly because there is so much of it produced each day.
If you talk to scientists, it is beyond dispute that greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. The polar ice caps that have existed since man has been keeping records have begun to melt. And the result has already begun to cause the sea levels to rise in areas around the world. Already millions have been displaced from their homelands with many millions more to be displaced in the future.
At some point the tipping point will be reached and it will be too late to make effective corrections to the problems that man has caused. No one knows exactly when this tipping point will occur. But nearly all climate scientists agree that it is not that far away.