Fossil Fuels and Alternative Energy Sources

Introduction

The increase in energy demand and increasing global climate change have called for the need for less dependency on fossil fuels to help curb greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuels can be defined as geology, plant, and animal organic material deposits over a long period. The majorly used fossil fuel is crude extracted in various oil-producing countries and exported globally as a basic energy source. Crude oil is then refined to produce various flammable compounds like diesel, petrol, kerosene, among others having use as fuel for energy production (McLamb, 2011).

Effects of Crude oil on the Environment

The burning of petroleum has various adverse impacts on the environment, creating immediate and long-term global consequences. Oil spill results in enduring and instantaneous environmental damage to some of the effects lasting decades after the incidents. Damaged tankers and pipelines lead to oil spillages, resulting in long offshore pollution which affects organisms’ habitats of those areas. Spillages in these areas lead to the clogging of mangroves and marshes, hence massively affecting the ecosystems. According to Botkin and Keller (2007), the burning of more fossil fuels, especially oil, has generated adverse effects on environmental stability. Air pollution resulting from greenhouse gas emissions, associated with the combustion of fossil fuels, is a global disaster as it leads to climate change and global warming. Irrespective of different factors affecting greenhouse gas emissions, internal combustion engines produce particles consistently contributing to air pollution. In addition, the products of engine combustion include various oxides of carbon, which in its turn contribute to the ozone layer depletion component of fossil fuel combustion.

Fossil fuels have a significant role in fuel provision as most factories and engines use at least one product of fossil fuel for running parts of its components. The process of crude oil distribution through waterways using tankers has led to the pollution of waters because of accidents and spillages (Botkin & Keller, 2007). Related oil spillages on land had a massive negative impact on terrestrial organisms, including birds and soil biota. Spillages in water lead to interruption of breeding and feeding of aquatic organisms, clogging their breathing systems, and leading to massive deaths. Devising a more environmentally safe fuel resource can be a better solution for the environmental impacts associated with the use of fossil fuels (McLamb, 2011).

Alternative regional energy source apart from crude oil

The alternatives to fossils have positive significance to environmental conservation and pollution reduction, as they lead to a massive decrease in the toxins released into the ecosystems (Botkin & Keller, 2007). For example, hydroelectric power is applicable for the industrial running of machines and factories’ operations, instead of using fossil fuels. The energy generated from hydroelectric power is renewable and the process of power generation using this method has no massive negative impacts on natural systems. A stable supply of hydro-generated electricity would provide energy for lighting, cooking, and warming of houses, hence reducing the reliance on fossil fuels (McLamb, 2011).

Reasons for purchasing from alternative resources

Advances in the energy field are made consistently over the years and there is a need to value natural environmental resources that human life is dependent on. Continuous use of non-renewable resources puts pressure on environmental resources and has proven to be unsustainable. There is a need to embrace green energy with fewer negative impacts on the environment and having the component of providing a continuous supply (McLamb, 2011). By using alternative energy sources, different from the highly polluting fossil fuels, I would be contributing to the maintenance of the healthy state of the earth.

References

Botkin, D. & Keller, E. (2007). Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet. Wiley and Sons Pulblisher, pages, 768-769.

McLamb, E. (2011). Review of environmental, economic, and policy aspects of biofuels. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper; 2011:4341.