Essay on Man’s Use of the Sources of Nature

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Fire was most probably the first breakthrough by man in the realm of nature. It had the potentiality of generating heat that has been put to several uses since the very beginning of the existence of human being on the planet.

The ancient man considered the sun as the source of heat and worshipped it as a God. It rather symbolized one of the essential potentiality of nature that man has equated with the Almighty. It was from sun itself that the ancient scientist secured heat through big mirrors. The concentration of heat through mirrors has again become important in the modern age. We have solar energy and solar cookers on the same basis.

Man required energy for working out projects, and for his safety from the animal world. Fire wood was his first source of energy. Trees remained a perpetual source of heat and energy for several millenniums.

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In the beginning land was his abode. But it also provided him with forests, the source of wood. Land also provided man with a number of metals.

Iron proved a boon to him. It was, and is still, the metal that has helped man for both destructive and productive purposes. Iron is required from the basic ammunition like sword to the most sophisticated arms and ammunitions. It is with the help of iron that man could dig earth to dome across coal, another source of heat and energy. Digging deep he procured oil from the bosom of the earth.

Decades back it was the last word for the creation of energy. Although it proved a boon in the field of transport—in railways, ships ant- aeroplanes—coal remained the main source of energy in the shape of electricity generated at thermal power stations.

With the heating of water with coal man produced steam that moved the locomotives and ships for a very long time. It was crude oil that replaced coal in transport network on the land and the seas. Petrol, the purified crude proved a boon for the road transport. More refined one was utilized in air transport. It is with the sources of nature that man controlled land, water (seas and rivers) and the sky.

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During millenniums of the growth of human civilization man came across a number of metals known to almost everyone. But the discovery of uranium, plutonium and allied metals that are radioactive remained confined to the scientist. It is these radioactive substances that man took help of in having X-ray and a number of other implements that have laid bare almost all the parts of human body before the physician.

On the other hand the radioactive metals were used by man in generating energy through fission. Nuclear energy is most probably the last major gift from nature to man.

Man, of course, has abused almost all the sources of nature. So has it the nuclear power. Nuclear bombs have put a black spot on the intentions of man. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombardment they have never been used. But they are being produced, tested and stored by a number of progressive countries. Some backward countries like Pakistan have also laid their hand on this devil to promote their interests. Leaving apart the malicious intentions man has used nuclear energy as a substitute for all former sources. But he has been wise enough to abandon nuclear projects and revert to firewood culture that keeps pollution away.

Efforts of scientists to retrieve energy from wind through wind mills are praise worthy. They have been making serious efforts to use sea waves and the sun the perennial sources of energy in the bowl of nature. Man may not stop here too. He may use and exploit the sources of nature further both at the micro and macro level.

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