The Risk Our Society Takes by Depending on the Use of Fossil Fuels

Topics: Peak oil, Fossil fuel, Natural gas Pages: 6 (2006 words) Published: April 11, 2007
What most people in our society lack to notice is how our country's continuous use of fossil fuels is endangering to nature and the wildlife it inhabits as well as the environment that we live in. Our society seems to think that fossil fuels we use in excess today will last forever but actuality will one day be depleted to unrepairable measures, which is why we need a cleaner more environmentally friendly substitute. With that said my paper is going to underline how our society would be able to transfer from fossil fuels to cleaner energies which are beneficial to our earth and existence.

There is a great understandable hunger for energy in the world. Increases uses of energy are strongly correlated with the gross domestic product (fossil fuels); though if the principal sources of energy are fossil fuels. Then we are faced with a dilemma; burning the fuels contributes to the greenhouse effect and thus to the warming of the Earth, causing some serious environmental consequences.

While there are many forms of energy we are familiar with: mechanical, chemical, nuclear, light, thermal energy, heat, just to name a few and there are many sources for all forms of energy but people found it more convenient to exploit a relative few which would be fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) provides the United States with about 90 percent of the energy we use.

Before the use of fossil fuels, population created an increase in uses for wood as there main source of energy. This caused the rate of wood's use to out strip its rate of growth, with the consequent of forests. A larger part of Europe and the United States have been deforested as a result of this.

The most serious indictment of fossil fuels is the harm they do to the environment. Carbon Dioxide along the sulfur, nitrogen, compounds, and other hydrocarbons, some of which are carcinogenic (cancer causing) are incorporated into these fuels. When the fuels are burned these substances are released into the atmosphere. The sulfur and nitrogen compounds have been known to precipitate in rain and spoil many of the streams and lakes in the United States and Europe. Now I want to move into a close comparison between fossil fuels and clean energies, and determine if either of the sides has any benefits or disadvantages. It is easy to understand the popularity of fossil fuels. These are energy sources which are compact, making them relatively ease to transport. Nature has already taken the giant step in creating the products. There is little manufacturing cost for oil, only the cost of pumping it from the ground, transporting it to its ultimate destination and separating it into kerosene, gasoline, as so forth. Consumer cost has been so low that there has been a tendency to overlook the disadvantage so f these fuels, to regard them as cheap, clean, or safe.

Recently, questions have been raised about these fossil fuels. The first consideration is that these are a limited resource. While it is probably true that the processes that created these fuels are still occurring the consumption far, far outpaces the production as it did with the wood generation. After all, it took hundreds of millions of years to create the stockpile that we enjoy today. As the fuels disappear the prices will rise inevitably and the competition for them will become bitter.

For instance, No matter how good non-OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was at finding new oil, the world oil map remains fundamentally unchanged. They find reserves in Africa, in Siberia, and elsewhere. Sooner or later, though, we must come back to the fact that the majority share of the worlds oil supply lies in the Middle East, controlled by OPEC, a gaggle of unfriendly, unstable regimes that already exercise too much control over the world oil prices and will gain even more sway once oil fields outside the OPEC countries have begun running out. This is why it is prudent to use...

Cited: Borowitz, Sidney. Farewell fossil fuels: reviewing America 's energy policy. New York: Plenum, 1998.
Kidd, J. S., and Renee A. Kidd. " 'Clean Energy '." Air Pollution, Science and Society. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2005. Facts On File, Inc. Science Online. . 11/22/06
Roberts, Paul. The end of Oil: on the edge of a perilous new world. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.
Moore, Curtis, and Alan Miller. Green gold: Japan, Germany, the United States, and the race for environmental technology. Boston: Beacon Press, 1994.
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