Coal, oil, and natural gasses are all types of fossil fuels. The world has relied on their cheap power for years, but they all are huge sources of pollution. “...Nearly two billion tons of it each year from U.S. coal plants. Within the next two decades that amount could rise by a third.” (Appenzeller 2). We need power, but should we continue using these fuels?
Fossil fuels are made when dead organisms are crushed by layers and layers of rock and earth. Over time, the organisms are eventually converted to heavy oil, crude oil, and/or natural gas. Coal is made the same way, but with plants instead of animals.
Although fossil fuels power machines and vehicles, they are extremely harsh towards the environment. Coal causes health problems, destroys the environment, and releases more carbon dioxide than any other fossil fuel. Oil and gas cause smog and contribute to global warming. Drilling itself is a major threat to ecosystems, and the animals living in them.
“The clear and present danger of climate change means we cannot burn our way to prosperity. We already rely too heavily on fossil fuels. We need to find a new, sustainable path to the future we want. We need a clean industrial revolution.”
According to a survey taken at Coleytown Middle School, 44% of respondents think people should stop using fossil fuels. Another 44% said they do not even care, and 11% said people should keep using them. Of people who took the survey, 61% said they knew the effects of fossil fuels, 27% said they did not, and 11% of people are not really sure.
The world needs a new source of clean, efficient energy. Politician and diplomat, Ban Ki-Moon, agrees. “The clear and present danger of climate change means we cannot burn our way to prosperity. We already rely too heavily on fossil fuels. We need to find a new, sustainable path to the future we want. We need a clean industrial revolution.”
The survey also asked people if they knew anyone who drove a vehicle that did not use fossil fuels. Half the people said they do know someone who drives an alternative energy car. If they did know someone who drove an alternative energy car, it was most likely electric. This response shows that humanity is making an effort on reducing pollution.
The effects fossil fuels have on the world are getting worse and worse, and humanity is not working hard enough to stop it. If more people started using cleaner energies such as solar power, wind, and hydroelectric, the world can reduce pollution. By taking small steps like these, fossil fuels can be replaced.