Benefit or Harm

Benefit or Harm

Informal Logic PHI103

April 6, 2020


           The topic that is being addressed in the final paper is Economics. The specific question that is “would shifting to alternative sources of energy such as wind or solar be likely to benefit or harm the economy in the long run?” In economics, an essential factor to note is one of their fundamental problems, and the reason for most of the conflict is scarcity. “Scarcity refers to the basic economic problem, the gap between limited – that is, scarce – resources and theoretically limitless wants” (Chappelow, 2019). We all have unlimited wants for energy, even if you don’t readily know you are using power. Sources from the National Geographic state, “People generate more electricity from coal than any other fossil fuel. One popular use of this form of non-renewable energy is heating homes” (2019). Scarcity of resources we currently use is impacting the economy, looking at the subject objectively, are these renewable resources beneficial or harmful to our economy?

Argument One

The scholarly resource I chose for the first argument found on the Ashford student library source. I searched for solar energy benefits and was combing through the articles searching for economic benefits. I came across an article for ‘economic, energy, and environmental benefits of concentrated solar power in California. This article, written by Stoddard, L.E., was very well thought out and planned. There are three pages to the table of contents, explicitly laying out charts and graphs of the research completed in California. This article is an online journal dedicated to energy conservation and economic stimulation. This article has statistical sources and many credible resources.

There are many studies in the article, and the best way to summarize them all is that a group of environmentalists put together a survey that encompasses economic value the state of California was able to return and analysis on environmental aspects of concentrating solar power. The main points to review are the indirect impacts of over 470 million dollars in state output and 51 million direct pay wages to be earned from job security. This summary shows that harnessing and migrating to solar energy is not only feasible but also economically stimulating.

“Constructing one 100 MW CSP plant has a direct impact on Gross State Output of over $150 million and an indirect impact of over $470 million” (Stobbard, 2006).

“About 455 job-years of direct employment are created during the construction of the facility, which equates to over $51 million in direct earnings” (Stobbard, 2006).

Conclusion: Therefore, solar plants are generating positive economic impact in the way of output energy and employment stability.

               The quality of the reasoning in the resource is outstandingly professional. This article directly supports the first argument to shed light that moving to renewable resources will be beneficial to the economy. The report’s documentation page notes the significance of the article and organizational sponsorships. This article is credible and reliable to use as a source. 

Argument Two

           The other scholarly resource was tough to find. There is not much out there scientifically that clearly defines the harmfulness for renewable energy, such as wind or solar, on the economy. I would have to say that 99.99% of the research done to prove WHY we need to move to renewable resources. The only information I was able to understand was that if we were to surge the market for energy. At the same time, we transition to renewable; we could see power outages because of the increased demand. The cons of moving to renewable resources from Detroit Free Press discusses the environmental challenges of using wind or solar.

When the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun is not shining, the two sources are rendered inoperable.

Dedicate massive geographical footprints for the structure of wind turbines and solar girds to generate a significant amount of energy.

Conclusion: Therefore, solar and wind energy sources are not enough to stabilize a whole world and would require more renewable energy to generate enough to sustain life.

           The credibility of this source is limited, as this is a journalistic approach to the energy question. There are no sources listed on the page; no is the author indicated as an expert on the situation. This argument would be deemed as a fallacy because it doesn’t help to prove its conclusion from its premises. 

Non-Scholarly vs. Scholarly Sources

           Differences in the quality of the reasoning of these sources are not significant for my topic. I understand in most instances that scholarly resources are the more profound and published article of work, but in this case, I can find more on the subject and have credible source just using google. The fact alone that I could not find a single article representing the opposing argument using Ashford should express that. The targeted audience for this paper are students introducing them to the economic pro and cons of renewable resources. 


     This activity has helped me utilize the Ashford writing center more. I plan to use scholarly and non-scholarly resources in my upcoming papers. It helped me see differences between a google article and an article supported by Ashford library. In the future, I would like to start my research using Ashford library, then branch out using other search engines. I want to focus my sources on credible sources that have their authors published in their field of work to provide a sense of appeal to authority. 


Stoddard, L. E., Abiecunas, J., & O’Connell, R. (2006). Economic, energy, and environmental benefits of concentrating solar power in California, May 2005-April 2006 [electronic resource] / L. Stoddard, J. Abiecunas, and R. O’Connell. Golden, Colo.: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2006.

Witsil, Frank. (October 10, 2015). Pros, Cons of Renewable Energy Sources.

Jim Chappelow. (June 25, 2019). Scarcity.

Resource Library. (2019). Encyclopedia Entry-Non-renewable energy