TED Conversations

Noel Laporte

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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?


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    Apr 24 2013: All forms of energy are bound to impact biodiversity in some way or form when we consider how much energy we would need from them. Solar power requires rare minerals which must be mined out of the Earth which leads to environmental degradation and species loss. Hydro-electric power often floods terrestrial habitats that house specific species as well as creating troubles for aquatic ones. Nuclear energy is clean in its production but the potential harm done by the waste could be disastrous for biodiversity. Biofuels create a monoculture, leads to a great loss of species.
    One of the renewable energies with the least impact on biodiversity animals and plant life in general is geothermal power. It may not be the most assessable renewable resource, but if we are looking at energy sources through a biodiversity lens, then it is one of the best. I think we need to seriously consider this as an alternative when considering preserving life other than our own.
    • Apr 24 2013: though current method of 2 straws in ground fracking the gap in the middle just seems dumb.. saw video explanation of it once and the presenter said something like " and as we run more 300+ degree hot water at extreme pressure through the 300+ degree rocks we find that the flow rate increases ! " and i couldn't help but lol thinking has this idiot scientist never seen cold water running through cold rock increasing the flow rate.. it's called the Grand Canyon.. and now there making these under extreme heat and pressure 1 mile underground .. ya awesome idea.. LOL and now there doing this with oil and gas ya no need for government regulation there lmao so dumb

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