TED Conversations

Noel Laporte

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?

Climate change, air pollution, rising sea levels and species extinction can all be attributed to the increasing usage of non-renewable energy in the world today. Non-renewable energy reserves are diminishing and finite with an ever-increasing demand from countries around the world. Coal, natural gas and oil all have detrimental effects on the environment. These effects are both local and global, harming species throughout the world. As we consider different renewable forms of energy, can we rank their potential impacts on biodiversity?

+11
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 23 2013: Horses have a low impact on biodiversity.


    "The estimate of wind energy related bird losses attributed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the column is in fact the opinion of one biologist and not an official agency statistic. The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, a collaboration of government officials, conservationists and industry representatives, more accurately estimates, based on actual data collected from over 100 wind farms nationally, the loss to be 200,000 birds annually.

    This number pales in comparison to other sources of human-caused bird mortality, such as buildings, which USFWS estimates kill between 97 million and 976 million birds annually." ~http://elkodaily.com/news/opinion/letter-wind-turbines-kill-fewer-birds/article_cbb317d4-95b1-11e2-8aa6-001a4bcf887a.html
    • thumb
      Apr 23 2013: if you want to produce 2 TW energy using horses, the environmental impact will be quite overwhelming.
      • thumb
        Apr 23 2013: And that we are a 17 TW world now that would be a lot of horse shit.
        • Apr 23 2013: As a Mom of two, I often wondered how much energy I could've produced with the amount of potential power my kids left in their diapers...
      • thumb
        Apr 23 2013: Never thought of it that way and you are correct. But, if we reduce our power requirements it could work.
        Considering the fact that the majority of everything we create with massive amounts of energy is wasted duplication of products that are mostly dissposable, I see plenty of room to remedy energy requirments by some form of efficiency arrangement that produces reusable items instead. An automobile that would last for 100 years would not work well in a capitalistic society, but, in a class I civilization it would be acceptable.

        A tractor is a usable device on the farm, but it produces pollutiion in addition to work. The pollution from a horse is useful for fertalization of the soil and it can assist in growing it's own food. A tractor cannot grow it's on fuel, unless it uses ethonal for fuel.

        If we take enough people and teach them to plow using a horse, enough people could plow the same amount of land as a single person with one tractor.

        The Amish do it all the time and totally sustain themselves. In many small countries around the world, more than enough food is grown to sustain the population with animals. While powered automation can do a better job, it needs massive amounts of energy to come into existance and to maintain itself. Also, in those countries where it is applied, for some reason (capitalism), many people are now going hungry and dealing with polution problems that threaten their health.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.