Fossil Fuel Dependency and Americans

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 229
  • Published : October 11, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Fossil Fuel Dependency and Americans
One of the major underlying problems Americans are faced with today is what to do about the dependency on fossil fuels.   Petroleum dependence is a big problem for the United States because the supply will be depleted soon if consumers continue to use it at the rate they use it now. If consumers want to keep their engines running and lights on, there must be a drastic change in the sources of energy supply. An issue the whole world faces today is the reliance on fossil fuels as an energy source. These fossil fuels include coal, natural gas, and most importantly, petroleum. While petroleum and coal are in fact biologically based, they are using condensed, stored energy that has been building up over millions of years. This energy is not considered renewable because of the time it takes for the energy to build up. Once it is gone, it will be millions of years before this condensed energy is in supply again (Braude 2005). Most renewable sources are products of solar energy, photosynthesis being the solar process that powers plant-based renewable power. The problem with fossil fuels is that they do not use active photosynthetic energy, which is renewable or endless. It is said that petroleum is going to run out soon if consumers continue to use it at the rate they are. It would be more accurate to say that petroleum is going to become harder to find.   Currently, 95% of the U.S. transportation demand comes from petroleum; whereas only 3% comes from renewable supply sources (Envirolink 2011). The solution to this problem is for the United States to reduce its dependence on petroleum by becoming more dependent on renewable energy sources. When the first Industrial Revolution came about in the late18th century, it started in the United Kingdom, and then spread through Europe, North America, and eventually everywhere. Nobody could have known the unseen consequences that the new found technology would cause. The Industrial Revolution allowed us to change the way manufacturing, agriculture, mining, transportation and technology were all handled. When the replacement of organic fuels (that were based on wood), changed to the use of fossil fuels (based on coal) during the second Industrial Revolution, no one could have known the devastating effects it would have later. What they did not know was that with the continual use of fossil fuels we would endanger nature, the wildlife that lives in it, and our environment that we live in as well. They also failed to think that we would ever run out and now that our society is built around the use of fossil fuels, we need to come together to devise a plan that will keep our engines running, and the lights on for our children and our grandchildren. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource that can take millions of years to form, and the reserves are being used faster than new ones are having time to formulate. Fossil fuels that we mainly rely on would include; coal, natural gas, and most importantly, petroleum. With that said, this paper is going to talk about how our society would be able to transfer from fossil fuels to cleaner resource energies which are beneficial to our earth, and our existence. “Our food industry is a major factor into the usage of fossil fuels. We use a tremendous amount of fossil fuels each year contributing to 10% of the energy used” (Donner & Rodriquez, 2011). For the amount of energy used, we do not get very much back. Transporting foods, fueling machinery, and chemicals are the main causes for the used energy. Pesticides and artificial fertilizers are synthesized from atmospheric natural gas, and nitrogen, which use a large amount of energy to complete the process. Other energies that are used up are due to the production system allocated to processing and packaging food, as well as home refrigeration and cooking. Food transportation is another top contributor to the amount of energy used in the food business. The way...
tracking img