Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Energy, waste and the environment – a geochemical perspective: introduction

By
R. Gieré
R. Gieré
1
Institut für Mineralogie, Petrologie und Geochemie, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany giere@uni-freiburg.de
2
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
P. Stille
P. Stille
3
ULP-EOST-CNRS, Centre de Géochimie de la Surface UMR 7517, Strasbourg, France pstille@illite.u-strasbg.fr
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

Energy has played a key role in the development of civilizations around the globe. Since prehistoric times, Man has depended on energy sources for heating and cooking purposes. The main energy source at that time was wood, and wood burning continues to be of utmost importance in certain parts of the world. The need to secure energy sources has a direct interaction with the environment. Throughout history, this interaction has been detrimental to the environment, as documented, for example, by early deforestation in the Mediterranean area, where the growth of civilizations was linked to deforestation (Thirgood 1981). Today, the environmental impact resulting from energy production and consumption is more visible and more pronounced than ever before, as Man tries to satisfy an ever-growing energy demand. In the year 2001, the total world consumption of primary energy amounted to ∼426 billion GJ (EIA 2003), an increase of more than 15% compared to 1992. By assuming a world population of 6.1 billion people in 2001, the per capita energy consumption is approximately 70 GJ. This figure, however, represents a global average only, and pronounced differences exist for various regions. Figure 1 demonstrates, for example, that in North America the per capita consumption of primary energy is four times greater than the global average, and nearly twice that of Western Europe. On the other hand, the per capita consumption in Africa is merely a third of the global average. This extreme geographical disparity in energy consumption is mirrored by the data for CO2

Fig. 1.

World per capita consumption of primary energy for the year 2001. Thick vertical line represents global average; FSU = Former Soviet Union. Data from EIA (2003).

Fig. 1.

World per capita consumption of primary energy for the year 2001. Thick vertical line represents global average; FSU = Former Soviet Union. Data from EIA (2003).

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Energy, Waste and the Environment: a Geochemical Perspective

R. Gieré
R. Gieré
Universität Freiburg, Germany
Search for other works by this author on:
P. Stille
P. Stille
ULP-École et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre-CNRS, Strasbourg, France
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
236
ISBN electronic:
9781862394841
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal