Too Late to Repair It
It has taken more than 100 million years for Earth to accumulate and compress vast quantities of organic detritus into the seams of coal, domes of oil, and pockets of natural gas that modern industry exploits today.
But as easily accessed deposits have been used up, industry has been forced to go further, dig deeper and find new ways to open layers of fuel-bearing rock, among them, a contentious, risky process called fracking.
Still, one thing is certain. Some time in the future, the world’s deposits of fossil fuels will be depleted.
On top of that, more than 800 nuclear reactors are in operation worldwide. And every one of them is a catastrophe in waiting, pointing to the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima-Daichi. Their melted cores will remain deadly for millennia. And someone must guard our descendants from them for thousands of years as well.
Is it almost too late for anyone to repair the damage that has blemished this once pristine paradise, our Mother Earth?
The world’s remaining fossil energy must be used more wisely, to produce sustainable, environmentally friendly generating options such as solar cells, wind turbines and geothermal steam. But, let’s not give up hope! There is some good news.
Scientists have estimated that the sun has enough hydrogen fuel to burn for another 4 billion years. So no matter what humans wreak upon ourselves this time around, the Earth will survive. And in another 100 million years or so, after the fractured aquifers have been purified and waters flow clear again, after the radioactive remnants of 800 atomic reactors have burned out, been crushed, ground to dust and redeposited, Earth will be replenished with a new trove of fossil energy, safe again for unsuspecting, innocent life.
A comforting thought.
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