FOSSIL FUELS 7
Fossilfuel is one of the most used sources of energy in the current worldthat is continually industrializing. In his article, Roach (2014)argues that the continued use of fossil fuel is affecting the humanlife in diverse ways, not just in the transportation industry. Thecontinued use of fossil fuel is gradually generating more harm thanthe perceived benefits that accrue with the precious commodity. Thispaper will explore the causes, consequences and potential solutionsfor that environmental problem associated with fossil fuel.
Causesof the Problem
Oneof the main problems associated with the use of fossil fuel is globalwarming. The use of fossil fuel leads to the production of gases thathave green house effect. The use of fossil fuel leads to the emissionof harmful gases that pollute the environment in many aspects. One ofthe gases produced is carbon monoxide from fossil fuels that are notcompletely burnt during the process of producing energy (Stern,2007). In addition, some combustion processes produce even morelethal gases that have a greenhouse effect. Due to the greenhouseeffect of these gases, the world has turned to be a warmer place thanit was before the increased use of the fossil fuel. Fossil fuel isresponsible for the increased cases of global warming, in addition toother causes.
Anothercause of the problem is the dominant use of fossil fuel in someindustries that are consistently expanding in the world. One of thepersistent users of fossil fuel in the world is the transportindustry. The high use of fossil fuel is great concern in thetransport industry. As the dominant source of energy, the fossil fuelis a major pollutant to the environment. This shows that there is aneed for an alternative source of energy that will reduce the extentof air pollution. Development of the transport industry translates tofurther use of fossil fuel by modes of freight. The problem isfurther compounded by the lack of initiatives to use alternativesources of energy.
Themain problem with the use of fossil fuel is the fact that there is nocommitment from nations to reduce the use of the energy source. Withno sustained alternative in use, the consistent use of fossil fuelthreatens the future through the dangers it presents. If the worldwould explore the use of green energy sources such as solar energy orhydropower, the problems associated with fossil fuel can be averted.The main cause for the lack of alternatives is the cost involved inthe research for the alternatives as well as the sustainability ofsome of the sources. Solar energy for instance is effective andnon-renewable but it is not sustainable for heavy commercial use.
Theeffects of global warming are presenting serious impacts on climatechange. Because of the global warming, the ice at the poles of theearth is gradually melting, leading to higher volumes of water in theglobal water masses. The melting of the ice has opened new areas ofsea freight for cargo ships as noted by Roach. According to Roach(2014), the problem of climate change has affected the transportindustry. In relation to the use of fossil fuel, the higher the rateof production of the toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, the higherthe level of global warming, and so the extreme changes in climate.
Anotherconsequence of the use of fossilfuels is the emergence of some diseases that result from an increasein the level of harmful gases. The combustion of the fossil fuelsproduces unhealthy gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide,sulfur gases and oxides among other harmful gases (Stern, 2007).These gases enter the human system through normal breathing andgradually affect the respiratory system. While they do not causedeath or immediate harm, exposure to these gases for a long timeleads to respiratory infections or conditions. The gases also affectbody organs and impair the normal working conditions for them.According to The National Academy Press (2014), gas emissions fromindustries are cited as the cause for some of the diseases thataffect people living near industrial centers.
Generalpollution of the environment and the atmosphere is anotherconsequence of fossil fuel. Due to the emissions that industries andtransport vehicles do, the environment around the industries is toxicand affects life. One of the main ecosystems that are affected is theplant and animal life. Animals are affected by the gases produced,thereby affecting the performance of tourism. Marine life is notspared either (Wolf, 2013). Emission of the harmful gases such ascarbon dioxide to the water changes the pH of the marine life and sobiologically affects aquatic life. Moreover, the greenhouse effect iscontinually increasing in the environment. The atmosphere is affectedand unfavorably impacts on wildlife.
Anotherconsequence of the use of fossil fuel is minimal production of theearth, especially in terms of agricultural production. The use offossil fuels leads to production of acidic gases to the environment.The acidic gases mix with rainwater in the atmosphere and falls tothe ground as acidic rain. This affects the natural pH of the ground,by making the soils acidic in nature (Stern, 2007). With the acidicsoil status, some crops that were previously nurtured in basic soilconditions do not produce well because of the changing conditions. Asa consequence, the agricultural output has reduced in the areas thathave been affected by such rains. For instance, there areestimates by the National Academy Press (2014) that 67% of the changein crop production in the world are due to global warming.
Theuse of alternative green sources is the main solutions for theproblems caused by the use of fossil fuel. The green sources ofenergy are sources that are friendly to the environment and does notcause any harm. The alternative of using green sources of energy isfocused on producing the same results as the fossil fuel, while atthe same time alleviating all the negative effects of fossil fuelcombustion (Stern, 2007). One of the main sources of green energy isthe solar and wind powered electricity. These are renewable and donot cause harm. The two are also cost-effective since they onlyrequire the initial investment and little annual maintenance.
Anothersolution for the problems caused by the use of fossil fuel is areduction in the use of the source of energy to sustainable levels.The main problem with the use of fossil fuels is an increase in thelevel of use for the commodity in the urban areas. This causes aconcentrated pollution in the area leading to aggregated effects onhuman life and the ecosystem.  To solve the problem, authoritiesof different towns and municipalities should adopt policies that willdepopulate the cities and towns. As a result, the use of fossil fuelfor both industrial and domestic purposes will be spread all over thecountry (Bajin, et al, 2013). While the spread does not reduce theuse of fossil fuel, it offers a critics balance of the pollution andnegative effects. This alleviates the towns and cities the burden ofconcentrated pollution.
Governmentpolicies will be instrumental dilutions in the reduction of pollutionand the effects of the fossil fuel. Such policies focus on reducingthe amount of fossil fuel applied in industries and in theautomobiles. At the same time, some government policies would bar theuse fossil fuel with some armful components such as Lead metal. Forinstance, some governments have barred the use unleaded petroleum andrelated products. This will reduce the extreme effects of petroleumand the fossil fuels.
Theuse of fossil fuel attracts the environmental problems associatedwith the emissions that the source of energy produces. The use offossil fuel emits gases with greenhouse effects that lead to globalwarming. As a result, climate change comes as a consequence of theuse of fossil fuel products. Poor agricultural output and healtheffects are cited as some of the problems consequences. To avertthese consequences, governments should adopt use of alternative greensources of energy. Moreover, change of policies to decongest citiesand reduce fossil fuels in industries and transport sectors willreduce reliance on fossil fuel. Among other measures, these policieswill greatly reduce the negative effects of fossil fuels and savemother earth from further harm.
Bajin,M. et al, (2013). Globalwarming and allergy in Asia Minor.Retrieved From,<http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/11/pdfs/07-1368.pdf>December6, 2014
Roach,J. (2014). Who`s Driving That Tanker? New Polar Code for SailingEmerges. Retrieved From, <http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/whos-driving-tanker-new-polar-code-sailing-emerges-n186106>December 06, 2014
Stern,N. (2007). TheEconomics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. TheNational Archives, UK: Cambridge University Press
TheNational Academy Press, 2014. ClimateStabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts overDecades to Millennia (2011 ),Retrieved From,<http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12877&page=161>December 6, 2014
Wolff,E.A. (2013). Urban Alternatives: Proceedings of the USERCEnvironment, Resources and Urban Development Workshop. New York:Elsevier