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Legal, ethical, and environmental consequences


We need to be aware of a variety of legal, ethical, and environmental issues

related to the generation, conversion and transmission of energy.

This issue relates to individual homes as well as on a global scale. Some

examples are: disposing of batteries, global warming, inefficient incandescent
light bulbs.

Every kind of generation, conversion, and transmission has some legal,

ethical, and environmental issue related to it.

Even alternative energy sources can have negative environmental effects.

Wind farms in western Canada are affecting: wildlife (rare species of bats,
birds), humans (low frequency noise damage), and aesthetics. Ice buildup on
blades during winter months can fly off and cause property damage or injury.
Communities can be displaced and natural vegetation can be destroyed.

Hydroelectric reservoirs cause rotting vegetation which produces significant

amounts of green house gases. In some cases the destruction of sacred
native lands have caused disputes with native cultures (Three Gorges Dam,
China, James Bay Project, Quebec).

Geothermal energy can cause noise pollution, dissolved solids in steam

quickly erode pipes, natural steams contain many green house gases, not
easily transported

Student Activity (add to site):

Chose 1 of the following activities to complete:
1. Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper from the perspective of a cabin
owner in Come By Chance who has to abandon his cabin and hunting areas due the
construction of a new oil refinery.
2. In Letter format to whom it concerns, Complete the following statement: I do not
agree with building hydro electric transmission lines through a national park area
3. List some of the environmental, ethical and legal impacts of energy creation,
conversion, transmission and consumption.

1. Dear editor of the local newspaper,

I feel it is wrong that I must leave my cabin in Come By
Chance seeing I built this cabin from scratch. This cabin is a
family cabin for my whole family to come out and enjoy
there summers and to be together. I also highly disagree
with having to abandon my hunting grounds seeing hunting
is a family tradition and Id like to share it with my kids.
Hunting also allows us to have moose on the dinner table for
By making an oil refinery here you are not only taking
the land from me but you are taking the land from the
animals, this oil refinery will destroy habitats, taking away
homes from the animals. Animals need four things to
survive, food, water, shelter, and space. Take one need away
from the animals and they are left to suffer.
The refining process done in these oil refineries
releases a number of different chemicals into the air,
polluting the air. Also there are odors normally presence from
a refinery. Besides all the air pollution there are also
wastewater concerns, risks of industrial accidents such as a
fire and explosion, and noise health effects due to industrial
The man you took the cabin from.