The use of Fossil Fuels Belongs in the Past
Fossil fuels are natural fuels that are formed when remains of dead organisms pass through episodes of natural processes such as decomposition and disintegration that take millions of years. They include coal, oil, and natural gas and they are categorized as fuels due to their ability to release energy when they undergo combustion. Fossil fuels are considered to be non-renewable sources of energy because they take millions of years to form and the known viable reserves are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made. Despite this, fossil fuels are currently the world’s primary energy source making up a combined 85% of the market, leaving 8% for nuclear, and only roughly 7% for renewable energy (García-Olivares). The burning of fossil fuels also raises a number of environmental concerns as it produces a large amount carbon dioxide, which has greatly contributed to global warming. All above considered, we, as a collective people living on Earth, should make it our personal responsibility to reduce the amount of fossil fuels and excess waste we emit into the environment.
Although we can easily point out the negatives of fossil fuels, we cannot neglect to acknowledge their several advantages, which include their high availability and accessibility. Coal for example, is currently the most prominent source of electricity and is considered, along with oil, as one of the most abundant energy sources (Foster/Elzinga). As for oil, it is also easily transported and relatively cheap compared to other energy sources. Also, both coal and oil have the sufficiency to produce great amounts of energy and have a high calorific value making them very effective. Furthermore, coal and oil can also both be imported and exported fairly easily internationally, which is good for enhancing trade and economic well-being.
However, even though fossil fuels are used constantly, they cause harmful effects on our environment. For starters, the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to pollution globally. They contribute largely to global warming as they release mass amounts of carbon dioxide, also contributing to the greenhouse effect. Global warming causes drastic changes to our environment including the melting of ice caps, the rising of sea level, and the overall increase in the temperature of the Earth’s climate system which affects many ecosystems and organisms. The burning of fossil fuels can also result in the creation of acid rain. This is caused by sulphur dioxide being emitted from coal burning. Acid rain has continuous negative effects on the environment such as polluting fresh water and killing organisms.
Moreover, oil may cause oil spills when it is leaked from trucks, trains, or ships transporting it. These spills can cause a great deal of damage to animals as they contain toxic substances. For example, oil spills that occur in the ocean can ca...