The diagram depicted in figure 15.8 on page 333 of our assigned reading really drives home how the human race relies upon fossil fuels. The assumption one makes when listening to someone speak of fossil fuel consumption is that of using fuels like coal in industry, gasoline for vehicles, and natural gas for home heating. What is often overlooked is the varied objects depicted in figure 15.8 (Withcott & Laposata, 2012). Many, many items that we rely upon for everyday life are petroleum-based. I cannot fathom the idea that we can abandon our reliance on fossil fuels.
Even though renewable energy sources have made some promising gains in recent history, those gains are a double-edged sword and come with a price. â€œThe cost of solar dropped by about two-third from 2009 to 2014 – new drilling and extraction techniques have made fossil fuels cheaper and markedly increased the amount of oil and gas we can tap into,â€ (Dizikes, Feb. 24, 2016). Unless new policies are implemented which regulate the removal of fossil fuels, â€œweâ€™re not going to be leaving fossil fuels in the ground,â€ (Dizikes, 2016). Thus the double-edged sword.
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The progress made in developed countries over the past three centuries have been at the expense of this planetâ€™s coal, oil, and gas reserves. Those in developing counties see how people in the west live and, â€œthey want some of what we have. In addition to higher consumer spending, that also means higher demand for energy, the bulk of which comes from fossil fuels,â€ (Elliot, April 8, 2015). As the planet becomes more and more populated and developed, the demand for fossil fuels will continue to increase and, in my opinion, outpace the production of renewable fuel technology. Sooner, rather than later, those reserves will become depleted. Our use of and dependence upon fossil fuels is a very sobering situation. One in which stock must be taken now to avoid catastrophe when that day comes.
Dizikes, P. (February 24, 2016) Will We Ever Stop Using Fossil Fuels. Retrieved September 4, 2017 from the MIT website: http://news.mit.edu/2016/carbon-tax-stop-using-fos…
Elliot, L. (April 8, 2015) Can the World Economy Survive Without Fossil Fuels. Retrieved September 4, 2017 from The Guardian website: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/08/can-w…
Withcott, J. & Laposata, M. (2012). Essential environment: The science behind the stories (4th ed). Boston: Pearson.
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