The Article ‘Here Comes the Sun’ is an opinion writing that highlights the need for solar energy exploration and the reduction of fracking in natural gas exploration which has environmental and ethical effects. The main argument is that solar exploration has fewer effects and is free; its only costs are the low production costs while hydraulic fracturing has negative impacts on underground water and the infrastructure of the state. The author of the article, Paul Krugman, has been an op-ed columnist for the New York Times since 1999 and is an Economics and International Affairs professor at Princeton University. He received a Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008. The author is, therefore, a person of influence in society and is very knowledgeable. His opinion on energy exploration by the United States is informed and significant.
Solar energy exploration is the best option to hydraulic fracturing as solutions of the negative effects of the fracturing are innovated and implemented.
Paul Krugman’s article is on energy exploration in the United States. Firstly, he discusses that hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the new technology that is used in the exploration of shale gas. It involves the injection of high-pressure fluid into underground rocks to allow the release of fossil fuels. The water is laced with additives and penetrates the rocks for up to 3 kilometers at depths as low as 2 kilometers. The technology is very effective because after a few days, even three to five days, of hydraulic fracturing of a well, we are assured of energy production for almost forty years. The entire process may take up to about 100 days; eight weeks of drilling, five weeks of rigging, casing and cementing and two to five days of fracturing (Howarth et al, 2011).The author also discusses the negative effects of the fracturing. It is reported that the exploration of shale gas leads to the emission of radioactive gases and toxic wastewater that contaminates the underground water and consequently drinking water. The industrial process involves a massive movement of underground rocks which affects the infrastructure. It may damage roads and affect buildings in extreme cases.
The worst part is that few people, especially the legislators, seem concerned about the effects and are supporting it on grounds that the damage is part of the internal costs of the production. He also discusses a cheaper alternative source of energy; solar energy. This renewable energy is one of the best alternatives to the fracturing. He discusses the failure of Solyndra which is one of the excuses used by the Republicans to brush off the use of renewable energy. The failure was however due to the dropping costs of solar energy production and Solyndra’s inability to handle the competition. Solar installations have increased due to the lower costs and it is feared that they will become the main source of energy.
The costs of solar are also decreasing at 7% annually. He predicts that in a few years’ time, solar energy will have become …