Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The Dangers of Fossil Fuels
In recent decades, we have seen a remarkable advancement in science and technology. Owing to this, many wonder why the primary sources of consumer energy remain non-renewable fuels; petroleum (36%), coal (27%) and gas (23%) [International Energy Agency, 2013]. The issue with this is, Ã¢â¬Å"fossil fuelsÃ¢â¬ which took millions of years to form are running out at an unprecedented rate, and there is no consensual view as to what will replace them. There are many reasons why the general population should be concerned about such an event affecting them.Firstly, wrought global development and population growth society has become overly dependent on energy from exogenous sources like fossil fuels. Secondly, the easier fuels to obtain have been mostly depleted hence companies are resorting to costly and hazardous extraction methods. Finally, the profitability of fossil fuel extraction is fast decreasing and this is inciting countries to use alternative sources such as hydro-electric. Sus tained global growth has left the world in a perilous position. In 1850 when the capacity of resources such as oil and coal were first predicted, they were deemed to sat for centuries.One factor these predictions failed to consider was sudden exponential population growth, a function of both technological advances and medical breakthroughs. Fossil fuels were the meaner by which this was made possible as their discovery led to more developed societies; incentives human growth. Today, the next wave of developing nations like China demand more fuel for their growing populations and are competing with high-development countries for a bigger portion of the rapidly shrinking resource. The migration from a forager society to an agricultural society was a key event in the context of energy.The people at this stage in history knew using all their energy hunting and gathering prevented them from doing activities they would otherwise want to do. Eventually, though communal agriculture, they le arnt to conserve their survival energy by forming a society wherein each member provided for one another. The discovery of the heat engine reinvigorated this idea. Work from human labor could be replaced with work from an exogenous source, in this instance fossil fuels. Today society continues exploit this idea to improve quality of life, mostly through transport and warmth.Services, manufacturing, minerals, food and clean water are further benefits of the constant flow of energy people receive. 90% of the energy consumed by the western world comes from non-human sources. (DRP T Morgan, 2013). Without the abundance of energy, the economic-based society humans know would cease to exist. There is scarcely enough energy in the form of fossil fuels for most to live easy and fulfilling lives, but the general populous should concede they deed to adapt sooner rather than later. The easy to obtain fuels like crude oil are depleting quickly.Consequently, companies reap millions of barrels of petrol, rendering these sources unprofitable. With fossil fuels not as abundant or easy to obtain as they used to be, desperate measures in the form of Franking and Deep Sea Drilling are being used. However, these methods are costly and put unnecessary stress on the environment. Governments don't feel obliged to intervene when the struggle for fuel is being eased. People wonder why governments are unconcerned that public funds are being spent n dangerous and costly extraction processes like franking and deep-sea drilling instead of investing it into finding a substitute.The reason is blatant: so citizens are kept happy. The world seems prosperous at this moment in history, but who knows how soon people will regret these senseless decisions. Much energy is needed to build and run the equipment, extraction devices and vehicles we need to obtain oil, natural gas and coal. Since the industrial revolution, ERROR (energy returned on energy invested) has been extremely high. For example, when oil was discovered companies got over 100 units of energy back for every 1 unit used during extraction (Charles Hall, 2010).This made extraction a profitable industry though as I noted previously, fuel reserves dried out and became harder to find. TAP Research (2013) found the global average ERROR last year had fallen to 15:1 . The effects of this trend have been seen everywhere, for instance rising petrol prices. In fifteen years, the cost of petroleum in New Zealand has tripled from 80 cents a litter to 220 cents a litter. Alternate fuels transport is presently so inconvenient that this trend seems destined to continue.The world may witness an energy cliff in the near future when the amount of energy consumed during extraction actually surpasses the amount the economy gets in return. Suddenly, renewable sources by default will become the favorable option, because they are economical enough to exploit. Future motorists will be forced to drive electric vehicles like the Ionians Leaf, even if according to specifications they cost $70 000, have a range of 100 kilometers and take n absurd 20 hours to charge on house current.Energy is one of the most important things in modern life; it fuels transport, businesses, schools, heats houses and gives us light. Without it people are confined to being hunter-gatherers. It is hard for one to conceive living like this, but this type of living may become standard if the energy surplus is wiped. Moving on from fossil fuels presents itself as a colossal challenge, one the next generation has to accept. In New Zealand, a high proportion of their energy consumed comes from hydro, ego- Herman and wind sources, so they could stand as the world leaders of a global renewable energy revolution.There is much potential for sources of clean energy like solar and wind power to outlast fossil fuels, and it would be great to see more money invested in these types of renewable energy sources. One hopes people will be informed in the f uture of the consequences of utilizing fossil fuels so they can make sensible decisions around their use. World governments can't ignore the issue forever, and every time someone speaks up makes it more likely for them to towards a brighter future.