All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Fossil Fuels Are a Dead End
A few years ago disaster struck the world, a depressing veracity; fossil fuels are coming to an end. Fossil fuels are slowly becoming obsolete, they are coming closer to scarcity, and when these sources run out, there will be nothing that is left, which is why we must act in response and turn to alternative fuel sources that are in abundance and will not run out. The cost of fossil fuels is increasing, the cost of these fuels will continue to rise as the demand increases and the supply decreases. Oil, natural gas, and coal are all foreseen to become radically scarce within the next decade, and no technology can impede it from occurring (Nelder). We must prevent global warming by using less energy produced by fossil fuels and make way to clean, renewable sources.
Fossil fuels formed several hundred million years ago, today three major forms of fossil fuels exist; coal, natural gas, and oil. Coal was formed as the remains of plants that lived in swamps hundreds of millions of years ago where covered with sediment, and as ocean levels rose, layers of sediment condensed the plant remains, and heat and pressure within the earth’s crust caused coal to form. The majority of coal in the United States formed concerning 300 million to 250 million year ago. Millions of years ago at the bottom of the ocean lay tiny marine organisms, as these organisms decayed and their remains where buried by sediments, they were heated until they became complex energy-rich carbon molecules, through time, these molecules then migrated into the porous rock formations that now contain them which are used to create Oil and natural gas. In the United States the most oil and natural gas found in Alaska, Texas, California, and the Gulf of Mexico (Arms 438).
The oil spills have been a grave impact to the world, the leakage of petroleum or petroleum products have injured or killed thousands of marine animals. The damaged caused to wildlife was extensive and relentless, despite the damages caused to wildlife the costly and heroic cleanup efforts have been an impact to the people as well (Raven 390). Coal, also known as Dirty Fossil Fuel is the most accountable for carbon dioxide emissions, exceeding even petroleum. Nonetheless, coal runs most of the power plants in the world that generate electricity. Today, coal is responsible for 40 per cent of worldwide electricity production. In china, a coal plant is built every week, the heat created goes back into the atmosphere as waste energy contributing to global warming (“Fossil Fuels”).
Natural Gas is the least polluting of all three fossil fuels in terms of carbon dioxide, yet, since it does contain carbon atoms in its molecules, natural gas is nevertheless a contribution to the increase in green house gas density, contributing to global warming. However, the burning of natural gas can release between 40 to 50% less carbon dioxide than coal and 25 to 30% less carbon dioxide than oil. (Saini). Given the fact that Coal depends on the world’s electricity, it is a commonly used fossil fuel. Clearly it is also the fossil fuel creating the most damage to the environment, because of the conspicuous effects coal is causing to the earth there have been some improvements in the use of coal for electricity, it comprises washing the minerals and impurities from coal by a chemical which lessens sulfur dioxide, also used for carbon capture and storage devices to detain the carbon dioxide from the flue gas (“Fossil Fuels”).
In terms of reducing our oil dependency, plenty of options are clearly available for us to act on. Heating and cooling is one of the many ways this nonrenewable source is utilized often by Americans, make a small sacrifice and use warmer clothes or start your fireplace or at least limit yourself to the use of heating. Just like these, there are other small but worth-doing options to help our dependency in oil, some which are; riding a bike, organically gardening, eating organic fruits and vegetables, buying natural-fiber-made-clothes, switch to natural detergents and cleaners, even using natural makeup (Gorzelanczyk).
Despite that natural gas is also one of the contributors to generating electricity, it is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, still it is nonrenewable and we must accede to reducing our consumption of it (“Electricity from: Natural Gas”). Even by beginning to do small actions to reduce our electricity consumption, in the end the amount of energy we would have saved will be astounding, as we all know, from small beginnings come great endings. From turning off the idle lights in our house to bathing faster, we are contributing to reducing our electricity intake.
In order to reduce global warming there is only one solution; to detain the use of fossil fuels, evidently the world cannot survive without these nonrenewable energy sources, however we don’t necessarily need to permanently stop the use of fossil fuels we basically need to reduce our intake of fossil fuels and generate new technologies that are more resourceful and increase our capacity to rely on renewable sources instead of fossil fuels. To increase our energy intake it is going to require energy conservation. Nuclear energy, solar energy, wind power, biomass fuel, hydroelectricity, and geothermal energy are all alternatives to help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
A major contributing factor to global warming is transportation; the use of petroleum for transportation is massive, and we should look at some intellectual probabilities such as electric vehicles fueled by nuclear energy, the fuel created with nuclear power is held to be clean and plentiful, however many nuclear plants where cancelled because of the luxurious expenses (Arms 444). Despite the hefty price tag, this source of energy should be more commonly used given the fact it is harmless to the environment and a one way ticket to the reduction of global warming.
Another renewable energy source replacing fossil fuels is solar energy; it can be used indirectly to generate electricity in solar cells, allowing humans to access electricity without releasing damaging gases into the atmosphere. The world will most likely geologically change but the sun will more than likely remain as is, energy from the light of the sun can be gathered by collectors and used to heat water, a building, even transportation. (Arms 456-460). However, solar energy is only available when there is sun, we would have to store energy during the day to have light at night, as for countries with a less chance of sunlight, solar power is not an alternative option. One major disadvantage of using solar power is the early cost; the panels as well as the installation carry a sturdy price tag (“Solar Energy Pros and Cons Report”).
Wind power and hydroelectricity can be very functional. Today, the fastest-growing energy source in the world is wind power. It is estimated by scientist that the windiest spots on earth could generate more than ten times the energy used worldwide (Arms 461). Still, not every location has wind and those that occasionally do, rarely get any. Price isn’t really a problem, since wind energy is the cheapest form of new electricity generation available today. Hydroelectric dams might be expensive to build but they are rather reasonably priced to operate (Arms 263).
Hydroelectricity seems to me as the best reliable energy source there is, it is certainly the best energy source around, it is more stable and consistent, the disadvantages are hardly any, the scarcity of water is the main disadvantage but for places with an abundant quantity of water it can be ultimately useful and assertively successful. Water besides inclined terrain is the main necessity for having hydroelectric power, in this case to produce electricity you must require an adequate amount of water. Water most likely will never become scarce, the world is composed of 75% water and as the glaciers melt more water is to come, and hydroelectric energy is our best choice for replacing nonrenewable fossil fuels (“Why Fossil Fuels are a Dead End”).
Fossil fuels exist in limited amounts, and when they are all used there will be none left. We can’t do anything to prevent it from happening, just as we can’t prevent global warming from damaging the world. Yet, there is still hope for a better world and future, there are some renewable energy sources that are harmless to the environment and can be used to power the world. If we act smart and begin to utilize the energy we use more efficiently, we could reduce the world’s energy needs, putting us far down the path to saving the climate.