Free Custom «Negative Effects of Natural Gas» Essay Paper

Free Custom «Negative Effects of Natural Gas» Essay Paper

Obviously, when the environment is in bad condition, it could lead to a number of various issues in different spheres. Natural gas emits carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere that negatively influences climate change and global warming (“Natural Gas,” 2017). Besides that, gas production is water wasteful; particularly, 72 trillion gallons of water are required to maintain 1.1 million active gas wells in the United States (Loki, 2015). Moreover, almost 90 percent of water spent on fracking wells does not return to the surface (Loki, 2015). This fact, in turn, causes high water prices and the absence of water for crop irrigation. Furthermore, natural gas drilling is harmful to the wilderness that inhabits not only land but also the oceans (The Wilderness Society, 2015). In addition to damaging impact on nature, gas is a real threat for the current population of the planet and for the future generations. Indeed, Colorado Department of Environmental and Occupation Health did a research in 2014 and discovered that females who reside near fracking zones are 30 percent more prone to give birth to children with congenital heart defects (Loki, 2015). Therefore, the society should take the topic of natural gas into consideration and reckon in its pros and cons more deeply. This essay will begin by describing the destructive impact of natural gas on nature; it will, then, give evidence to prove that it is a very costly and unsafe industry, and end by mentioning the negative influence of gas production on future generations.

The first reason why humanity should change its attitude towards natural gas is its threatening effect on the environment and nature. According to The Wilderness Society (2017), oil-drilling sites make noise pollution in wildlands. It correspondingly leads to the disruption of songbird interaction during the periods of breeding and nesting, and changes in the predator and prey dynamics (The Wilderness Society, 2017). As an example, it is possible to mention an unfortunate case of Jackson Hole’s pronghorn antelope and the detriment of their centuries-long migration routes. Their migration path of nearly 200 miles has become incredibly difficult due to the Jonah oil and gas field, and as a result, the number of antelope species in the area has decreased (The Wilderness Society, 2017). In addition, gas drilling can change landscapes and damage local ecosystems. In fact, erosion and fragmenting wildlife habitats influence the animals’ life quality and longevity. For instance, in order to prepare a site for installing well pads, pipelines, and building access roads, gas operators clear the territory. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (n.d.), such processes result in erosion of minerals and dirt, and penetration of pollutants into adjacent streams. Besides that, when natural gas is burned, it releases a great amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which contributes to air pollution (National Geographic, 2017). Natural gas is also known as a greenhouse gas meaning that it is connected with global warming. While discussing the dangerous effects of natural gas, it is important to mention its negative influence on water resources. For instance, one well can produce nearly a million gallons of wastewater, which includes radium and carcinogenic hydrocarbons (benzene) (Loki, 2015). Moreover, methane concentration in drinking-water wells near fracking sites is 17 times higher than in normal ones (Loki, 2015). Thus, by giving preferences to natural gas usage, society produces a huge amount of toxic wastewater that contains salts and radioactive materials. Therefore, humankind should take the necessary measures to clean drinking water and protect aquifers in order not to make our planet a desert. 

To continue discussing negative effects of natural gas, one has to say that this industry is very costly and unsafe for the surroundings. For example, the equipment needed for this infrastructure is very expensive, particularly long pipes, specialized tanks, and separate plumbing systems (“Natural Gas,” 2017). Furthermore, transportation, long-distance transmission, fixing and maintaining equipment requires additional expenditures. To illustrate, when a leakage occurs, usually, big sums of money are allocated to eliminate the problem in the shortest time possible. Besides that, sometimes, there is a necessity to evacuate the area temporarily, which requires not only human but also material resources. As for the safety, natural gas is a highly flammable substance and can cause huge damages in case of an accident (“Natural Gas,” 2017). Apart from explosion or burn, leakages may cause an eruption of mud and oil into the surrounding areas (National Geographic, 2017). Moreover, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed that the fracking process causes earthquakes (Loki, 2015). Recently, such states as Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas have experienced seismicity for the first time in millions of years (Loki, 2015). William Ellsworth, the USGS geophysics, says that the scariest fact about earthquakes caused by natural gas is that nobody can predict where the next incident will occur (Loki, 2015). 

The further reason to limit natural gas production is the fact that it is damaging for future generations. In 2014, Colorado Department of Environmental and Occupational Health did a research and found out that women who lived close to fracking sites were 30 percent more prone to have children with congenital heart defects (Loki, 2015). Moreover, according to Cornell’s University studies, babies, whose mothers resided near fracking sites in Pennsylvania, had lower birth weight and smaller APGAR scores (Loki, 2015). In addition, it is important to mention the benefit of nature conservation form the ethic perspective. If the natural gas industry will continue developing with the same speed, the future generation might not be able to see the beauty of nature in many places (The Wilderness Society, 2017). Obviously, the noisy equipment and destruction of natural habitat negatively influence fish, animals, birds, and plants. Consequently, people, who like spending time in the different recreational areas, will probably have no opportunity to show their children some of the picturesque places they used to visit. 

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In conclusion, the consumption and production of natural gas are expanding significantly making it a great threat to ecology, safety, and nation’s health condition. Particularly, methane in natural gas emits carbon dioxide when it burns which is directly related to global warming. Thus, governments need to take measures and fight methane pollution. In fact, Environmental Defense Fund (2017) together with Google Earth Outreach search for leaks and map them in pipelines under streets. Besides that, the aforementioned organization struggles for methane standards at state and federal levels (Environmental Defense Fund, 2017). This essay has given evidence to show that natural gas is harmful to human health, and especially influences those who live close to the places of its production (Loki, 2015). Therefore, it is advisable to build gas production enterprises far away from towns and cities. Furthermore, it is vitally important to clean groundwater from contamination and ensure safe water for local communities (Environmental Defense Fund, 2017). In the future, it would be beneficial to implement alternative energy sources that are cheaper and safer. In such a way, people will reduce the possibilities of gas leakages and diminish risks of earthquakes. The task of humankind is to live in harmony with nature and do everything to preserve it. Thus, it is extremely important to teach the future generation to protect the environment because welfare and prosperity of the planet are in our hands.


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