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Depleting Energy Resources
After hearing my speech, my audience should have more ambition and interest toward
making alternative energy resources more a part of their lives as opposed to finite non-
a. According to the 4th edition of Chemistry In Context, a McGraw Hill
Higher Education publication, the United States, as a nation, consumes an
average of 20 million barrels of oil on a daily basis. At 42 gallons per
barrel, that’s 840 million gallons of oil per day. (Attention Getter)
b. We as a people need to greatly reconsider our dependence on such non-
renewable resources, and make more of an effort to at least partially
convert ourselves to other renewable resources. (Introduce Topic)
c. After hearing my speech today, you all should not only agree that we need
to make a big change, but also make more of an effort to conserve what
we have left. (Preview)
Transition- It is obvious that this will affect all of us, and all generations to come, but it
may affect you in ways you have never thought of.
a. Americans as a society consume far more than what is necessary.
i. According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, North
American consumption, about 6.5 tons of oil per year, remains at
more than twice the levels of Europe and the Soviet Union, and
about 10 times the rest of the world.
ii. If we remain consuming energy at this speed, all of the world’s
known oil reserves will be depleted by the year 2050.
b. There are also some negative side effects to us depending on so much
i. The by products that dissipate into our atmosphere are a large
contributing factor to pollution and global warming.
ii. “Succeeding generations are going to curse us for burning their
future raw materials, and they are right. Not only are we using up
valuable resources-petroleum and coal-but we are adding pollution
and carbon dioxide which maybe contributing to global warming.”
The preceding statement was a quote from Dr. Ronald Breslow, a
Columbia University physical sciences professor.
c. From the stuff that your car thrives on, to the plastic seats in all of the
chairs all around the world, petroleum is a concern that we must put much
more thought towards in terms of a replacement.
Transition- Certain steps have been taken in the right direction in terms of a temporary
a. Many of you have heard of or seen these “hybrid” cars; ranging from the
Hywire to the Prius, these are prime examples of a healthy temporary
i. According to Honda.com, the Civic Hybrid, much like the Toyota
Prius, has a 1.5L gasoline engine(about the size of a motorcycle
engine), and a 67 horse power electric motor.
ii. Or take the GM HY-Wire that uses fuel cell technology which,
according to howstuffworks.com, converts chemical energy into
electrical energy by exchanging protons, side to side. Best of all, it
burns completely clean, only emitting H20 vapor.
b. There are also other potential candidates for a possible permanent fuel
i. You have probably heard of a possible hydrogen fuel, it’s abundant
and clean. However, in order for hydrogen to be useful as a fuel, it
must be in its liquid state, which is a -253 degrees Celsius, and
with the insulation required for that temperature, the gas tank
would take up the entire back seat, and you would only be able to
go around the block a couple of times. Also, a regular gas station
explosion would destroy the property that it occupies; a hydrogen
station would wipe out an entire block.
ii. Another possibility is Biodiesel. Chrysler has a 2005 Jeep Liberty
CRD (single rail diesel), that it powered this way. For the most
part, biodiesel is a very concentrated cooking oil. It’s clean,
renewable, and is a better lubricant, but it is also very expensive,
clogs fuel injectors, and gels at low temperatures.
Transition- Obviously, were on the right track. We’ve got a start, but eventually need to
make a complete transition.
a. Just imagine a distant, clean future, providing we are not destroyed by a
comet or nuclear holocaust.
i. CO2 emissions would go down, thus steadying the greenhouse
effect. No more industrial fogs over places like L.A. or New York.
ii. Air pollution would plummet, and we would not have to be
worried about so-called “ozone action days,” where the air is so
polluted you are not suppose to get gas due to the fumes it releases.
b. But, imagine what would happen if we stayed on our current course of
action and dependency.
i. The greenhouse effect would eventually wipe out winters and
make the summers unbearable. Heat stroke and dehydration would
ii. Larger cities populations would have to wear breathing masks to
commute due to pollution on heavy days, and acid rain would fall.
Transition- However, the option is in our hands, as our generation will be the first to be
affected by these attempted conversions.
i. I have plead my case to you, our energy dependency is in need of
serious reform. We are the pioneering generation of this transition
and it is our responsibility to clean up our lives. So please, keep
this in mind from car pooling, to replacing the catalytic converters
on you cars. (Action)
ii. So, please remember that the life of our planet is in our hands, and
we cannot afford to drain it before future generations are even
iii. All in all, everybody plays a role, from picking up litter to buying
more eco-friendly cars. In a way its like voting, people think,
“What difference can one person possibly make?,” well 1 person
can make a huge difference.
Stanitski, Conrad L., Pienta, Norbert J., et al. (2003), Chemistry In Context, McGraw Hill
Higher Education 4th edition
Dr, Breslow, Ronald, February 2001, press release on “Sustainability Through Science”
British Petroleum Company, June 2000, BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2001
2004, HowStuffWorks.com >>http://www.gm.com/company/
2004, HowStuffWorks.com >> http://www.howstuffworks.com/question262.htm
2004, Honda.com >> http://automobiles.honda.com/models/model