Fossil Fuels Essay

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The Crisis with Fossil Fuels

Have you ever thought about where your electricity comes from? What the petroleum your car runs on is made of? What produces all the energy you see? Coal, oil, and natural gas make up the list of major fossil fuels. Almost all energy produced in the United States comes from burning these highly important fuels. That energy powers almost all of our electricity and all of our transportation. We as the people of this very planet are currently in a crisis because fossil fuels are non-renewable; once they are gone, they are gone. There is no chance of recreating them for more use. To be able to rest easy about losing these fossil fuels, alternative fuel sources need to be found that can substitute efficiently and effectively. “Fossil fuels are very important they give us energy for many things.” (Storad 11) So how exactly are these special fossil fuels formed? Fossil fuels take millions of years to make, but burn and disappear in seconds. Once they are used, they can’t be reused. Though it this crisis seems inevitable people including I, have irretrievably damaged the planet by extracting and burning these fuels. Fossil fuels are called so, because they have been derived from fossils, which were formed millions of years ago during the time of the dinosaurs. They are fossilized organic remains that over millions of years have been converted to oil, gas, and coal. Because their formation takes so long, these sources are also called non-renewable. These fuels are made up of decomposed (to separate into constituent parts or elements or into simpler compounds Merriam-Webster) plant and animal matter. When plants, dinosaurs, and other ancient creatures died, they decomposed and were buried, one layer on top of another layer each under the ground. Their decomposed remains gradually changed over the years. Coal is found on land and is a solid while oil is found in the seas as a liquid. Natural gas is found during the production of oil and is mostly used for heating. Fossil fuels are non renewable energies people use for their cars, machines, heater, most appliances, electricity etc. and causes greenhouse gases. Therefore, even though fossil fuels are needed and depended on, they also destroy the Earth. Burning any kind of fossil fuel, means pollution of some sort. –The use of fossil fuels in this high rate is causing substantial amounts of harmful effects on the Earth. Many people think about the animals of the sea because the way we use the fuel is harming fresh water supply causing people to really worry about the fish, but take a larger look at the economically-important living systems that are depleting like forests. Let my research also add, fossil fuels are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. This has led to global warming (greenhouse effect- “The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon that is responsible for the relatively high temperature maintained on Earth's surface and in its atmosphere. The name comes from the process by which greenhouses are thought to collect and hold heat” UXL Encyclopedia of Science) and the depletion of resources. At present, the worldwide burning of coal, oil, and natural gas releases billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. Even if the fuel is low in sulfur, the atmosphere contains nitrogen, which combines with oxygen at the high burning temperatures found in boilers or car engines. This yields nitrogen oxides, which like sulfur dioxide, dissolves in rain to form nitric acid. Some of these include air and water pollution and accumulation of solid wastes. This type of accumulation has a devastating impact on the environment. It also increases the risk of toxic runoff which can poison surface and ground water sources for many miles. Toxic runoff also endangers surrounding marine life, wildlife, and vegetation. To reduce our society’s dependence on fossil fuels, we can use some alternative renewable sources of energy...
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