The End Of Fossil Fuels Essay, Research Paper
Ever since the industrial revolution the earth s energy needs have mainly depended on the use of the burning of fossil fuels, and why not? Fossil fuels take care of 87% of the world s energy needs including electricity, heating, transportation, and have enabled the evolution of large modern cities and a modern infrastructure to ship people and goods all over the planet. It is also cheap and convenient for companies to acquire fossil fuels. (Palfreman) There are many drawbacks to the use of fossil fuels and one of them being the polluting that it does to our planet. There have been many alternatives to the way that we acquire our energy, and each one has been considered by the different scientists and politics that study this issue that the world faces. These people all seem to be on the same side, and that is to find a different energy source that can replace fossil fuel, but they all hold different facts and opinions that will determine what would best suit the people and Earth.
The groups of people that tend to take side of the continuing of the burning of fossil fuels are the oil companies and the economist. Oil companies obviously want nothing to do with the start of alternative fuels even though they are better for the environment and fossil fuels are running low. Economists though see the facts and the logic in the switching to alternative fuels. The world now uses 10 terawatts (trillion watts) per year and by the year 2050 it is expected to have doubled to 20 terawatts, and by 2100 to 40 terawatts. (Palfreman) With this rapid increase in population and need for energy, fossil fuels are very hard to factor out of the equation. Nuclear energy is well established with 440 plants that produce 17% of the world’s electricity with no carbon dioxide or other air pollutants. But public concerns about safety issues currently prevent a major expansion in this source (Palfreman). This and other insufficient methods will not take care of the economies energy needs.
Another problem that is holding back the breakthrough in alternative fuels is the funding and motivation tied into it. The motivation to get citizens in the United States to go out and buy the alternatively fueled vehicles is extremely difficult. One attempt was to fund a program that gave back rebates to citizens that bought vehicles that used alternative fuels and actually use it. The program went haywire and it was halted when the politicians figured out that the funding would not be enough to pay back the rebates when the time came. Although fewer than half of the 22,000 motorists from the program have actually filed their notice, the attempt had failed. (McCloy, D10)
On the flip side of the issue, scientists have done the most in informing the public on the effects of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that humans have let into the atmosphere. Scientist, as well as biologists, seems to push the use of alternative fuels because they see the effects of what fossil fuels are doing to the earth s atmosphere. Testing done in Maina Loa in Hawaii show that since 1957, the time period of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide has risen by a third. Each year 7 billion tons of carbon (eventually turning into 20 billion tons of CO2) are given out by cars, factories, and other energy making devices. Although half is absorbed by ocean and the biosphere, much of it is trapped in the earth s atmosphere causing an increase in greenhouse gases, which causes and increase in temperature. (Palfreman) These staggering facts are the reason why people are in a hustle to obtain different ways to accompany our energy needs. A short fix some scientist say are to switch from the higher carbon sources like coal to the lower carbon sources like natural gases. (Palfreman)
Although the scientist and biologists have brought the facts to the table and have been coming up with different solutions to the problem, the citizens are where the process must start. There are an endless amount of organizations that are trying to inform people of there causes and raise funds to back the different goals and objectives that they aim to perform. Mindy Hutensky, a representative of the organization Clean Cities: A Greener Alternative, emails, We promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles and their infrastructure in our region, and we work closely with public and private fleets who use and are interested in using alternative fuels. This program is just one of many in the United States trying to promote the use of alternative fuels.
For a person that is for alternative fuels, there are many arguments that could back up their opinions. Gas prices are rising because of the lack of supply of fossil fuels and also the conservation of it. The pollution is a large factor with the effects of carbon dioxide causing global warming and the greenhouse effect. Fossil fuels are running out too so there needs to be a long-term solution in our future. Also, there are many different types of alternative fuels like: hydroelectric, propane, nuclear, solar, and electrical.
Why would someone want to go with an electric or natural gassed vehicle? Well electric vehicles (Evs) are 97% cleaner than gas-powered cars, including emissions from an electric power plant. Electric vehicles require less maintenance than gas-powered cars. They are quiet which minimizes sound pollution, and they will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (Alternative Fuels) With the naturally gassed vehicles the gasses are cheaper than gasoline and diesel fuel. Natural gas is listed 65.9 cents per gge, and propane is only 52.9 cents. In many areas, alternative fuels are sales tax free. As a comparison, average prices for gasoline are around $1.15 per gallon for 87 octane gasoline and up to $1.40 per gallon for 92 octane gasoline, and diesel fuel is $1.23/gallon. ( Alt. Fuel cheaper) So, in the long run, investing in a vehicle with the option for natural gas or propane might pay off.
If we lived in a perfect world then the solution to this controversy would come easy, but we don t so there is going to have to be some compromising and cooperation by the oil companies, politics, and the citizens. Some possible solutions could be done with some government interference. I don t know a lot about how politics work but maybe the government can not allow the oil companies to buy out the companies that make the alternative vehicles and this could allow the process of getting these cars more commonly on the road much quicker. Another way to go about the problem is to set more money aside to scientists and biologists to do more studying on the different ways that energy can be made and just hope that they find a way before the atmosphere is too bad or we run out of fossil fuels.
In conclusion, the Earth has been home to many different life forms ranging from dinosaurs, to plants, and to humans. Before the burning of these fossil fuels, Earth s air was clean and the planet was in perfect shape. Humans brought this problem about and should try and take the responsibility to fix it. If us humans want to stick around this planet called Earth, changes are going to have to be made sometime soon.