The Dangers of Fossil Fuels

Topics: Renewable energy, Petroleum, Fossil fuel Pages: 3 (1050 words) Published: August 26, 2013
In recent decades, we have seen a remarkable advancement in science and technology. Owing to this, many wonder why the primary sources of consumer energy remain non-renewable fuels; petroleum (36%), coal (27%) and gas (23%) [International Energy Agency, 2013]. The issue with this is, “fossil fuels” which took millions of years to form are running out at an unprecedented rate, and there is no consensual view as to what will replace them. There are many reasons why the general population should be concerned about such an event affecting them. Firstly, through global development and population growth society has become overly dependent on energy from exogenous sources like fossil fuels. Secondly, the easier fuels to obtain have been mostly depleted hence companies are resorting to costly and hazardous extraction methods.  Finally, the profitability of fossil fuel extraction is fast decreasing and this is inciting countries to use alternative sources such as hydro-electric.

Sustained global growth has left the world in a perilous position. In 1850 when the capacity of resources such as oil and coal were first predicted, they were deemed to last for centuries. One factor these predictions failed to consider was sudden exponential population growth, a function of both technological advances and medical breakthroughs. Fossil fuels were the means by which this was made possible as their discovery led to more developed societies; incentivising human growth. Today, the next wave of developing nations like China demand more fuel for their growing populations and are competing with high-development countries for a bigger portion of the rapidly shrinking resource.

The migration from a forager society to an agricultural society was a key event in the context of energy. The people at this stage in history knew using all their energy hunting and gathering prevented them from doing activities they would otherwise want to do. Eventually, though communal agriculture,  they...
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