26 Mar 2014

Calamities of fossil fuels

Tak Keung Yiu writes:*

Fossil fuels are the most important resources in the world. However, they are also one of the major contributors to environmental pollution. Fossil fuels consist of non-renewable resources, which mean that they take a long time to be formed and are likely to be depleted before this occurs again. While predictions of the depletion of fossil fuel is subject to change as new sources are discovered, it is already widely accepted that, one day, they will be gone. The global consumption of fossil fuels has increased over the past century, meaning that prices have increased as well. As prices increase, more unconventional fossil fuels suddenly become viable alternatives.

The burning of fossil fuels emits nitrogen oxide emissions. This is a result of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air combining at high temperatures due to combustion. It has become a major environmental problem. Nitrogen oxides are mainly a by-product of human activities, such as transportation and industry. These gases also cause acid rain which affects the health of forests and lower the pH levels of waterways. This contributes to decreased health in plants and animals that rely on these other natural resources.

It is a growing concern in many countries. China is one such country where increased industry has led to increased pollution. Tiny particles in the air lead to damage in human lung and cardiovascular tissues, contributing to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and asthma.

People must invest into renewable resources in order to lower the use of non-renewable resources. This will also help lower prices and reduce pollution from using Fossil fuels. Technologies should be improved to increase energy efficiency and pollution controls.

Bottom Line: Pollution from burning Fossil fuels can be alleviated by use renewable resources and improve the Technologies to increase energy efficiency.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.