Finding a sustainable, realistic source of energy has long been a goal for many developers around the world, with some countries investing heavily in alternative energy production methods in order to better develop both a strong infrastructure for power generation as well as help offset their own individual energy needs throughout the year. While alternative energy is generally hailed as a boon over much of that generated by conventional petroleum-based fuels due to the typically lower carbon dioxide output level this does not mean that it is necessarily positive in all aspects.
As but one example of a common drawback that is associated with many alternative energy production methods even simple magnetic discs used for many electricity generating motors (such as those used in wind and water turbines) have take their own environmental toll upon their surroundings during their production. While the primary magnetic source first used by humans was lodestone, modern day magnets necessary for motors to function at the highest possible efficiency are generally made with neodymium – a combination of rare earth elements that can hold a strong, steady charge for the life of the magnet.
While lodestone is a naturally occurring substance found within the Earth neodymium magnets require a number of different compounds to be processed and combined for effective use. Unfortunately for our environment, however, these materials are best harvested in one place in particular – land left after the felling of a rainforest. The reason for this is that the trees, during the course of their long growth cycle, have naturally brought up and deposited many of the materials (such as neodymium, iron, iron-boron, dysprosium, cobalt, copper, gallium, aluminum and other trace minerals) towards the surface of the earth and retained them in those aras. By doing so the land under a deforested rainforest patch allows for large quantities of the minerals to be harvested for processing and production with minimal effort.
Unfortunately the necessity for the destruction of high carbon-absorbing plants can easily be used to argue that any benefits that could possibly be gained through the usage of magnets for energy generation does not make the end result worthwhile. While this is absolutely true in a short-term perspective from a long-term viewpoint this may not necessarily be the case as the land could be re-cultivated and re-planted once the necessarily minerals have been harvested, and the long-term benefits may in fact outweigh the initial damage in the distant future overall.
While this is but one example of some of the drawbacks associated with renewable energy it is not the only one. At the same time, however, renewable energy brings with it many benefits that can generally outweigh these drawbacks. Just be sure as a consumer to bear in mind at all times that there are pros and cons associated with any situation, and approaching everything with an open mind ready to accept each of these is necessary to make the best informed decision possible.
No comments yet.