Fossil fuels are the major source of energy throughout the world in powering everything from vehicles to household lighting. They are naturally produced from the decomposition of dead plants and animals that existed on the planets hundreds of millions of years ago, which means that the volume of each of these fuels is finite, and once they are all used up, we would have to find alternatives to cater to our energy needs.
Over the years, the use of fossil fuels has been the subject of heated debates around the world, particularly pertaining to its appropriateness, safety and usage control, among many other aspects. To form our own opinion about this matter, it is important to look at its pros and cons, first.
List of Pros of Fossil Fuels
1. They are easier to find.
Occurring all over the world, fossil fuels are quite easy to find. They are sourced from the very deep regions of the planet, which means that when they are got out of the ground or sea, they guarantee a lot of energy, especially for the area they are being sourced. All these things mean that all countries and regions should be able to have access to at least any type of fossil fuel.
2. They are still available in plenty.
Humans have been relying on fossil fuels for many decades now, and everything is in place and ready for us to gather and use such energy resources. For example, there are already plenty of companies gathering oil and coal across the world, using all the pieces of equipment that have been specially designed for extraction. This is why opponents argue that it is best to use fossil fuels, given the time, money and effort already invested in them.
3. They can be easily transported.
While it is still impossible to transport renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydro and wind, transporting fossil fuels is actually very easy. In fact, it has been made very safe and easy by the creation of pipes, which are easily laid underground to transport oil or gas. Though these pipes are relatively expensive to set up in the first place, they serve as an effective and cheap means of transporting these essential fuels once they are completed.
4. They are highly efficient.
Generally, fossil fuels are extremely more efficient than newer energy sources, which mean that they can generate huge amounts of energy in just small amounts. So far, the most effective fuel for vehicles has always been petroleum, with no renewable energies coming close to the same level of power it produces.
5. Their plants and facilities are easy to set up.
Fossil fuel generation plants can be set up anywhere in the world, as long as they can get sufficient amounts of fuel to operate. In fact, these facilities are able to produce huge amounts of energy at a single location.
6. They have generated a substantial amount of jobs.
It has been known that the fossil fuel industry has been generating hundreds of thousands of jobs per year, and to abandon the use of fossil fuels would lead to high levels of unemployment that would seriously affect the world economy.
List of Cons of Fossil Fuels
1. They need truckloads of reserves.
Power stations are where some fossil fuels are burned to generate energy, but for these facilities keep operating, huge amounts of fuel are required to be brought in each day. Trainloads and truckloads of fuel must be shipped into power stations on a regular basis to keep up the level of energy that is required by consumers, such as houses, shops, hospitals, etc. that depend on the power from these power stations. This also means that these facilities should be constructed very close to large deposits of coal or other energy sources, or else shipping in great distances are needed, requiring more power that would end up damaging the planet even more.
2. They greatly contribute to environmental degradation.
One huge argument against the use of fossil fuels is, of course, the pollution that it can cause. This problem is directly caused by burning fossil fuels all throughout the world, releasing carbon dioxide into the air, which is also directly linked to global warming.
3. They are a finite energy source.
As previously implied, fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, unlike solar, hydro and wind, and cannot be renewed. This means that the amount of these energy sources found beneath the Earth is all that we are ever going to get, and if the coal, gas and petroleum reserves are depleted, there would be nothing more left, unless we wait for another hundreds of millions of years for them to be created. Thus, we will no longer be able to use our machines, such as cars, unless we find suitable methods to run them with alternatives that would work as efficiently as fossil fuels.
4. They come with public health issues.
Fossil fuels can cause pollution and can cause serious environmental concerns, which means that they are indeed hazardous to human health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of premature deaths that occur each year are linked to air pollution, and people who are living in areas with a large amount of traffic are at a higher risk. Aside from this, power plants are also endangering the lives of their workers, especially in coal mines and oil drilling stations, which have been claiming hundreds of lives every year.
5. Their costs are rising.
A few countries in the Middle East have been holding surplus amounts of fossil fuels, even responsible for almost half of oil production in the world. And as these countries are prone to war, strikes and other unfavorable events that can cause fluctuations in oil prices, there is always the tendency that consumers from other countries from rising oil costs, as Middle East countries go into turmoil.
6. They can cause oil spill.
It is known that fossil fuels have damaged the environment through accidental oil spills. As you can see, these disasters would not only affect the seas but also the land, especially the animals that live in them. Though oil spills are not often, they can kill thousands of animals if they occur.
Based on the pros and cons listed above, what do you think about the use of fossil fuels?
Crystal Ayres is a proud veteran, wife and mother. Our goal at Green Garage is to publish the most in depth content on the internet for every topic we write about. If you would like to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.