Disappearing Old Growth Forest in Sweden-Photography by Björn Olin. 

     Renewable Energy Technologies

Renewable energy technologies better satisfy the third criteria of less negative externalities. Almost every phase of the process that converts conventional fuels into electricity including mining, cooling, waste stream management, and airborne emissions is extremely damaging to the environment. Fossil fuel and nuclear power plants are the nation's second largest user of water, consuming around 48.2 trillion gallons of water per year to produce steam to turn turbines. Drawing water into a plant often kills fish and other aquatic organisms, and the extensive array of cooling towers, ponds, and underwater vents used by most plants to discharge excess heat have been documented to severely damage aquatic environments by diminishing plankton and inducing eutrophication.