Fossil fuels are the most commonly used form of energy in this country. They're used in cars, planes, and many other things. But what if I told you that the most commonly used might just be the most harmful?
How common is it?
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, petrol, natural gas, and coal are the most heavily consumed forms of energy (as seen above). These three are known as the three types of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels, as shown above, take up an estimated 81% of the energy we use.
What's So Bad About It?
Fossil fuels are what's known as a "non-renewable resource", which means it can and will eventually run out. It is made from (take your best guess) fossils, which are formed over about 10,000 years. This means at a certain point, there's no more coal for us if we run low, because you can't just magically create a fossil. Aside from that, there's also the added risk of harmful greenhouse gases being emitted when you burn these fuels to create power. These gases can essentially destroy the atmosphere bit by bit and contribute to global warming.
Why Should I Care?
First off is the problem of water pollution. In 1991 the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program found that five percent of the lakes in New England were acidic and two percent could no longer support trout. That means no more fishies to eat. Also, the water wouldn't be too safe to drink either. Then, there's land pollution. In 2008 the containment area at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee ruptured, releasing 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge which damaged houses in the surrounding areas and released harmful ash into the air. Finally, there's oil spills. The all-too well known oil spill known as the Deepwater Horizon spill that occurred in 2010 ruined the Gulf of Mexico environment and killed 11 people.