Fossil Fuels: Our Society's Dependency

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Fossil Fuels: Our Society's Dependency

Natural Resources Report
by Sean Falconer
Chemistry 122
Mr. Hart 1997-02-07

Our society has become dependent on fossil fuels for energy. That seems fine for now considering the fact that everyone is generally happy in the present situation. Fossil fuels are relatively inexpensive and seem to be doing the trick right now. Using fossil fuels arise such issues as global warming, rising costs of scarce resources, and shortages of raw materials. None of these problems will draw full attention until the demand is needed, it's the old supply and demand scenario. Although my opinion may seem pessimistic if you look at past events it points to the supply and demand scenario.

During World War II rubber supplies were cut off to the western world and we began to work on a compound that was a synthetic rubber. We succeeded in supplying the demand and now that same synthetic compound is used today. My theory is that the same thing will happen with such things as plastic, which is made from fossil fuels. Someone will either come up with a synthetic plastic or come up with something to substitute for plastic. The person who comes up with the solution will become and instant millionaire and everyone will be happy. There is one draw back of this way of solving problems, I mean sure it's great to wait until the demand but we should still learn from our mistakes. We should learn to plan ahead and see what the consequences could possibly be.

We still have other demands to meet, there are three major demands of fossil fuels and they are heating, transportation, and industry. Although transportation is taken care of, we may not like the thought of a solar car or an electric car but there are solutions out there. Frankly the oil companies don't want to lose their monopoly in the transportation industry and that brings us into the whole economy issue. If we run out of fossil fuels what will happen to the economy?...
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