Fossil fuels are organic material such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They have been the most used energy source since the industrial boom in the early eighteenth century. For the past two centuries, fossil fuels have dominated the energy business, providing for nearly all of the worlds energy; however, they are a limited resource that can cause irreversible harm to the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] states that fossil fuels were “responsible for 79 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2010”. Greenhouse gases are gases that get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and surround the sun as well as greatly heating up the planet.
Renewable energy comes into play because according to several scientists, easily retracted fossil fuels will be used up during the 21st century. (Lerner) Renewable energy is energy that can be harnessed without causing damages to air or water pollution, human health, global warming, and water and land use which is Vice Versa for Fossil Fuels. Alternative energy should be our main goal going forward, reminding us that we can’t always depend on the things we do now. Fossil Fuels are nonrenewable energy sources that include: coal, petroleum, and natural gas. They provide more than 85% of the world’s energy including 80% of U.S.’s energy use.
Since the Industrial Revolution the majority of electricity generating plants are powered by non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal and more recently natural gas. Fossil fuel plants release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causing global warming. With the threat of global warming being very real, many nations are turning to a... ... middle of paper ... ....: American Wind Energy Association, n.d. What Does Wind Power Mean for America? Web. 01 Dec. 2013 Delucchi, Mark A., and Mark Z. Jacobson.
According to Eco Info in 2009, at the rate we are using fossil fuels at; we have an estimate of 46 years of oil, 63 years of natural gas and 119 years of coal. However if every Canadian home and every home across the world had solar panels they wouldn’t need to use fossil fuels to power their homes. Everyday solar panel technology is becoming much more efficient. “Every minute the sun bathes the Earth in as much energy as the world consumes in an entire year.” — (US Department of Energy web site, 2010). Now by harnessing this amount of energy the worldwide energy crisis will be solved.
1) The environmental impacts from the consumption of fossil fuels - 545 words The use of non-renewable resources is rampant in our modern society the world over. These fossil fuels, petroleum, oil, gas and coal, are refined and processed into useable forms that are then used to fuel automobiles and airplanes, power electricity plants, and even heat our water and homes, (nm... ... middle of paper ... ...environmental impacts from the consumption of fossil fuels. A reduction in fossil fuel use and lowering of carbon levels, or at the least an agreement between countries on these reductions crucially needs to occur in the next decade with the potential for irreversible climate change in the next century evident. The reduction in using fossil fuels to power vehicles and generate electricity will not only help reduce climate change it will also reduce the cost of medicines, cosmetics, plastics, synthetic fabrics, and lubricants, which are also made from oil (nmoga) , by reducing the demand for fossil fuels. To assist in responding to climate change there are specific opportunities for the engineering sector to increase energy efficiency of designed systems by creation of new technologies and processes and the retrofitting of existing technology to increase efficiency.
Increased energy demands are expected to grow at least fifty percent by 2050 while crude oil means are rapidly diminishing without a feasible replacement. Shifting global dependency away from fossil fuels is a step closer in the management of greenhouse emissions. The U.S department of Energy has set a goal to have thirty percent of its liquid petroleum replaced by biofuels with the intent of encouraging a moveme... ... middle of paper ... ...ustainable energy. The environmental impacts are more attractive to the ones that petroleum refinement expels into the atmosphere. Biofuels are exceptional for petroleum replacement since the biomass that creates biofuel is removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Global warming is a significant problem which results in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. These problems drive researchers and societies to search alternative energy such as switching to renewable energy or carbon-free energy to replace fossil fuels. For example Nakata et al., (2011:465) show ‘low-carbon society’ that is designed to use less fossil fuel. According to Verbruggen et al., (2010:852) define renewable energy ‘is obtained from the continuing or repetitive currents of energy occurring in the natural environment’ such as wind and biomass. Many countries accept carbon-free energy as alternative energy, and are trying to develop and apply new technologies that will enable them to use renewable energy sources in the most efficient way.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter claimed, “We are now running out of oil.” Despite these predictions, the U.S. has produced over 200 billion barrels of oil since the early 1900’s. (The Futurist, 1997) Coal is by far the most abundant of fossil fuels, and will be available for much longer than oil. Having been harvested and burned since the 13th century, a massive infrastructure has been formed to quickly and efficiently mine, deliver, and burn coal. Coal is also the cheapest of fossil fuels (The Futurist, 1997) Because fossil fuels will still be around years from now, and there is no immediate threat to our current lifestyle, does that mean we, as humans, will continue to rely on fossil fuels in the future? If we decline to change our values and ideas, the answer is yes.