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Earth Science
Conserve the Sources



Conserve the Sources
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.12

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    non-industrialized, reclamation, subsurface, degradation, burning, overuse, comply, runoff, subside, emission, topsoil, finding, additional, converter, nonrenewable, petroleum
     content words:    Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Comprehensive Response Compensation, Liability Act, Endangered Species Act


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Conserve the Sources
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Once upon a time, our coal reserves were abundant and easy to locate. After many years and overuse of coal deposits, our supply will probably disappear after 200 years. As if that wasn't a major concern, scientists believe our oil supply will be half gone during the next 20 years. We are already feeling the effects of a limited oil supply through the high prices we pay in gas. This is why we need to continue searching for new energy sources and to conserve the sources we have on our planet.
 
2     Our demand for fossil fuels and other fuel deposits has had a huge impact on our environment. Mining of minerals has damaged or destroyed ecosystems that were already fragile. Air pollution is the direct effect of burning fossil fuels. The true test for everyone is to find conservation methods that will lessen the damage to our environment.
 
3     Mining for mineral resources has a huge impact on our environment. The process causes air and noise pollution. The run off from mining areas can contaminate local water ways. For example, surface mining uses controlled explosions to remove layers of rocks and soil. The process damages nearby wildlife habitats and in some cases destroys those habitats. Surface mining can also cause erosion and soil degradation. Subsurface mining can also cause environmental damage. The land above subsurface mines can subside or sink since materials have been removed from below. This causes sinkholes that can be dangerous to animals and humans alike. In coal mines there may also be fires that are difficult to extinguish. As a result, these fires are usually left to burn out on their own. You may be surprised to learn that these fires can last for several decades or centuries.

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