Fossil Fuels Advantages And Disadvantages
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Fossil Fuels 101
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In contrast, accidents in power plants that are operated with fossil fuels will only have local consequences and the contaminated area will be rather low. Compared to other technologies like hydropower, the upfront costs for the construction of fossil power plants are much lower and the safety issues are also less severe. For instance, if the planning and construction of a hydropower plant are not done correctly, chances are that dams break and valleys become flooded, which in turn would lead to the death of many people.
Thus, the safety standards and also the construction costs of those hydropower plants are quite high compared to fossil fuel power plants since the damage from fossil fuel power plants may be much lower in case of an accident. Through pipelines, fossil fuels can be transported over quite long distances in a rather easy, fast and reliable manner. Even though the construction of those pipelines is initially quite costly, in the long run, it definitely pays off to use those pipelines since it is much cheaper compared to shipping fossil fuels over quite long distances to power plants.
The fossil fuel industry can be quite beneficial for the local job creation, especially in areas that otherwise would suffer from significant levels of unemployment. Through the construction and operation of fossil fuel power plants, many jobs can be created and the average income in those regions will likely increase. Consequently, the supply with fossil fuels is crucial in order to be able to continue to live our life like we currently know it, at least until we find a way to transit to fully renewable and green power sources in the future.
One of the most important downsides of energy production with fossil fuels is that it implies the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases, which in turn contributes to the global warming issue. Scientists estimate that if we continue to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, chances are that the average air temperature will increase more than 4 degrees Celsius around 7 degrees Fahrenheit until the end of the century.
This may sound rather harmless to you, however, an increase of 4 degrees Celsius would have horrible environmental effects. Scientists agree that we should decrease our greenhouse gas emissions to a level that we can confine the increase of the average air temperature to 2 degrees Celsius around 3,6 degrees Fahrenheit until the end of the century. In order to reach this ambitious goal, we have to quit the use of fossil fuels and transit to the use of renewable energies quite fast. Fossil fuels like coal have to be mined.
However, through those mining processes, large areas of land have to be used and natural living conditions of many animals and plants are altered in an adverse manner. Moreover, in the mining process , harmful chemicals are used which could lead to serious levels of soil and water pollution if those chemicals are not handled with great care. In addition, those mining processes also involve the use of machines which are also run by fossil fuels, which leads to significant air pollution and also contributes to global warming. The use of fossil fuels also implies the destruction of habitats for a variety of animals and plants.
Through the emission of greenhouse gases and global warming, large areas of land will be flooded in the future, which will destroy the natural living space in those areas. Moreover, many animals and plans are also quite sensitive to changes in their natural living conditions. An increase of global air temperature of a few degrees may cause many species to decrease in population since they may not be able to adapt to these new climatic conditions in a short period of time. An increase in air and water temperature due to the use of fossil fuels will also lead to significant biodiversity loss. Moreover, also many fishes may become endangered or even extinct since an increase in water temperature also implies lower oxygen levels.
Since fishes and other water animals are quite sensitive to the oxygen levels in the water, these water organisms may drop in population or may even become extinct. The use of fossil fuels also implies significant levels of pollution of many different sorts. For instance, the emission of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere leads to serious air pollution and also to the formation of smog. Moreover, our ozone layer may also be depleted due to the excessive emission of harmful gases into our atmosphere. The use of fossil fuels and the implied emissions of harmful gases into our atmosphere also contribute to the formation of acid rain.
Acid rain can have severe adverse effects on the local flora and fauna. Moreover, it can also affect crop yields since plants are usually quite sensitive to the acidity level of the soil and may no longer be able to produce sufficient crop yields once the acidity level is altered too much. The use of fossil fuels can lead to a variety of different serious public health problems. Fossil fuels are both cheap and reliable. Because the technologies which surround fossil fuels are well-established, the consumer cost to use them is quite load.
The energy that is produced by their refinement and combustion is incredibly consistent. Fossil fuels give us a strong base load, reliable energy, and it can be created around the clock. Fossil fuels have become safer over time. An example of technology catching up to the emissions problem of fossil fuels comes through clean coal technologies. The emissions can be captured and condensed, reducing the overall amount that escapes into the atmosphere. Some technologies have come close to eliminating the production of greenhouse gases, condensing them into water that can be safely released back into the environment.
Fossil fuels still have plenty of availability. New fossil fuel resources are being found annually and often in amounts that are beyond any prediction that could be made. In , up to billion barrels of oil was discovered to be in the Australian Outback. Additional development opportunities exist for tar sands oil, shale oil, and natural gas. It may be a finite resource, but there is still the potential of more than a full century of use available with currently known resources. Fossil fuels contribute to the overall welfare of an economy. We use fossil fuels to transport goods and services to one another.
We are productive because of fossil fuels. We can generate renewable energy because of fossil fuels. We drive to the grocery store thanks to fossil fuels. Not only does the purchase of fossil fuels contribute to the national economy, but the use of fossil fuels helps to generate revenues for localized economies. Just about everything we do in life right now is tied, one way or another, to the consumption of a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. It takes a certain amount of time for the fossilization process to occur on our planet. This means fossil fuels are a finite resource. Once they are harvested, they cannot be replaced in the lifetime of anyone living right now according to our current knowledge.
Fossil fuels are non-renewable and unsustainable. Drilling for fossil fuels is a dangerous process. Many forms of alternative energy are not continuous. One of the primary disadvantages of alternative energy is that it is only available when the providing resource is present in the environment. Solar power only works when the sun is shining. Wind power is possible if there is air movement.
Hydropower has the ability to generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gasses. However, it can also cause environmental and social threats, such as damaged wildlife habitat, harmed water quality, obstructed fish migration, and diminished recreational benefits of rivers. Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel. Skip to content Home Essay Why is it important to reduce fossil fuels? Ben Davis April 30, Why is it important to reduce fossil fuels? What happens when we use less fossil fuels? What are advantages and disadvantages of fossil fuels? How does burning less fossil fuels help the environment?
Why is fossil fuel bad for the environment? What is the most environmentally harmful fossil fuel? Do fossil fuels cause global warming? Will we ever run out of oil? Who has the most oil in the world ? How many more years will petrol last? Which fossil fuel will last the longest? Will we ever stop using fossil fuels?