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Energy in trouble

A metalsmith or a steelworks, which will use more energy?

Energy & Climate Change

Scientists worldwide agree that climate change is caused by carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. The effects are likely to cause a great deal of suffering, especially among people in poor countries, who are least able to cope with natural disasters.

The dilemma we face is that...

  • the modern world cannot function without energy,
  • the current main sources of energy are fossil fuels,
  • but burning fossil fuels is what is causing climate change

Energy - the more we use, the more we want.

In the past century, many more countries have become industrialised. They have moved from farming to industry as their main source of income, which has lifted many millions of people out of poverty. But as people become richer, they also want the things that come with money, like cars and electricity. This has led to ever rising energy use across the planet.

In 2006, the world demand for energy was estimated at 15 Terrawatts, or 15,000,000,000,000 watts of power. That's the same as lighting 25 old fashioned 100w light bulbs for every person on the planet, all at the same time. 86% of this energy came from burning fossil fuels.

Activity: Energy use across the world

Look at this chart. Compare the energy used, CO2 emitted and numbers of people living in the 6 countries shown.
Who uses the most energy?
Why do you think that is?
Have a think about how people in the different countries live. 

  • What things do you imagine that people use energy for just to stay alive?
  • What energy do they use to make a living?
  • What energy is used for non-essential activities?

Reducing fossil fuel use fairly.

According to the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, to prevent the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80% by 2050.


Is it fair to ask all countries to cut back their carbon emissions by the same percentage?

Next: Peak oil


What's your opinion?

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Current rating: 3.4/5 (from 5 votes cast)

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bob 16-07-08 14:10
NOT RATED physics lover 16-07-08 14:10
This page gives us a real insight into the world of physics
bob 16-07-08 14:10
ive changed my mind
Fred 16-07-08 14:12
yeah, you could do better
NOT RATED physics lover 16-07-08 14:13
this is a thought provoking page
Yah mom 16-07-08 14:13
The page about peak oils are very interesting
J 01-10-08 08:36
NOT RATED x 01-10-08 08:38
this page is the best i have evr seen
NOT RATED Yr10 01-10-08 08:39
me no like science
NOT RATED Rbz 21-11-08 12:29
This is ****! < jokin I love PHYSICCCCCC!>> I'm totally a geek! :P :D