Fossil Fuels & Their Impact on the Environment
Impact of Fossil Fuels on Environment
Fossil fuels are formed by anaerobic decomposition of organisms over a period of millions of years. When burnt, they produce significant amounts of energy per unit weight and cannot be reused to supply energy. They are thus nonrenewable resources. The applications of fossil fuels range from use in motor vehicles, trains and industries to household consumption in stoves and lamps. Their huge popularity means that any hindrance in their use or harmful effects caused by them is bound to affect the masses significantly.
Traditionally, developing nations had a minute share in the world’s fossil fuel resources, however with an increase in industrialization and urbanization the need for fossil fuels as an energy source becomes essential. India serves as an ideal example. To cater to the increased demand of oil and gas from industries the government is increasing its import of fossil fuels from the Middle East. However often it is the upper class and transnational corporations that benefit most from this import. More than 70% of India’s population resides in rural areas and are deprived of basic necessities including health care, education and proper housing. Many feel that more money should be allocated to improving and providing the basic necessities to the people instead of laying down pipe lines to provide fuels to factories and business’s owned by the minority elite class. For instance in Singrauli, where one of the world’s largest power plants is allocated, the nearby poor neighborhoods do not have access to the power, which is transferred through grids to foreign factories.
Secondly, in India about 70% of the electricity produced is through the burning of coal and most often in places where mining is done, little regard is paid to the nearby living human populations. They are exposed to harmful gases and their environment is polluted, adversely affecting the health of the people. The atmosphere is severely affected by increased production of CO2 causing global warming and bringing with it destructive changes in weather. The cyclones in Orissa in 1999 serve as an ideal example. The incident took over 10,000 lives and made many more homeless (Shalizi, 2007).
Thus protest against the use of oil and gas was inevitable. LH Manjunath from Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development (SKDRDP) in an interview urged the Indian government to refrain from spending millions on subsidies on fossil fuels and focus on increasing alternative and environment friendly sources of energy. Manjunath further said that large scale changes on global level are needed to protect the environment from the dangers of fossil fuel combustion. He complained that presently, little subsidies are available for development of solar energy in India (Ford, 2012).
Combustion of coal and oil leaves a significant amount of solid waste and harmful gases, which disperse into the environment. Primary pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and sulfur and carbon monoxide are direct products of burning of fossil fuels. They react with one another and with other constituents of the atmosphere to form secondary pollutants. Unlike the primary pollutants, secondary pollutants affect regions of continental size, typically causing troposphere ozone, acid rain and regional haze. Furthermore, increase in carbon dioxide level is a direct consequence of burning of fossil fuels, causing increased greenhouse effect and thus global warming. Currently about 25Gt/year of CO2 is emitted by fossil fuel combustion. Consequences of global warming include increased sea levels and melting of polar ice caps resulting in increased incidences of flood, cyclones and other destructive climatic affects. When air pollutants exceed certain concentrations, they cause acute or chronic diseases in humans, plants and animal. Acid rain caused mainly by primary pollutants corrodes buildings, monuments and makes previously arable soil unable to grow crops by decreasing its PH, thus making large portions of land useless. Furthermore, it is predicted that by the end of the 21st century, the temperature will have risen by 2oC as a result of global warming (Giere, 2004).
Increased use of oil and gas indicates greater industrialization in a country. However, it adversely affects the lives of its inhabitants. In a study conducted in 1972 by Cohen et al. It was concluded that there were significant correlations between the rate of asthma attack and temperature. It was also found that pollution levels directly affected the rate of asthma attacks. In another study in 2009, the National Research Council found that damage to the health of citizens as a direct result of burning of fossil fuels cost the United States government $120 billion annually. It was further stated by the Clean Air Task Force that around 13,000 people died annually as a consequence of pollution from burning of fossil fuels (Blackburne, 2012).
Marshall McLuhan’s four laws of media can be applied to the use of fossil fuels to further understand their impact on the environment and the human population. The effects of fossil fuels are divided into four categories and studied separately.
Firstly, what does the use of fossil fuels enhance? The use of fossil fuel has prominently increased three things, namely pollution, ease and speed of transportation and industrialization. The burning of fossil fuels has significantly increased air pollution. Coal and petroleum contain several aromatic compounds including benzothiophenes and dibenzothiophenes, the combustion products of which contain oxides of nitrogen, sulfur and carbon dioxide. Heavy metal compounds such as lead and mercury are also produced. Air pollution causes increase in lung diseases, allergies and cardiovascular diseases (Gupta, 2010).
Increased production of CO2 has shown marked increase in temperature due to global warming. A study conducted in 2007 showed that in the past 50 years temperature has increased approximately by 0.13oC per decade. Furthermore, a study conducted by IPCC showed that from 1961 to 2003, the average sea levels rose by 1.8mm per year as a result of global warming. Also, the concentrations of green house gases, which contain methane, carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, have prominently increased since the industrial revolution (Osborne, 2007).
Now coming towards the impact of fossil fuels on industrialization and ease of transportation, there can be no doubt that energy obtained from fossil fuels has changed the face of both the fields. The use of fossil fuels in the internal combustion engine as a means of providing energy to motor vehicles has not only increased the efficiency and speed of vehicles but played a revolutionary role in making automobiles smaller, faster and more powerful. It has opened up new means of transportation, from motor bikes to airplanes to large luxury ships.
Fossil fuels are burned to generate steam to generate electricity that now powers numerous transportation systems, industries and commercial goods factories. Indeed energy obtained from coal was the driving force behind the industrial revolution that began in Europe. It was not until the 19th century that the use of fossil fuels as an energy source made it possible to build large steamers and factories, requiring less man power, increasing economy and standard of life of people of the country (Hester, 2003).
The second of Marshall McLuhan’s law asks; what was the technology or method that has now become obsolete owing to the popular use of oil and gas as energy sources. Conventionally, it was firewood that was burned to supply energy to cook food, keep homes warm and fuel ships. Indeed some communities such as the ancient Egyptians even built their homes and buildings to capture and utilize the solar energy from the sun. In ancient times pits from fruits was often used as a source of fuel when firewood was scare. Vegetable oil was obtained from olive, radishes and sunflowers and Indian oil was skimmed off melted butter. Both of these oils were used as fuel in lamps (Garbini, 1966).
In fact even today in many developing nations where access to fossil fuels is little or people are unable to afford it due to rising prices biomass, which is a mixture of firewood and agricultural residues, is still used instead of oil or gas. A study shows that in 1978 energy obtained from burning of firewood was more than 20% of the total energy consumption. In poor countries such as Africa almost all of the energy obtained is from firewood. Overall in developing countries the use of firewood as fuel is rapidly decreasing as fossil fuels come in to replace them as an energy source (de Montalember, 1983).
The third law of media by Marshall McLuhan inquires about the technology or method that has been retrieved by the use of fossil fuels as an energy source. A very large portion of fossil fuels in the modern world is used to produce steam. This steam is then used to rotate turbines placed between large magnets and electricity is generated. This strikes a close comparison to the water wheels that were used in ancient times to convert kinetic energy of water into mechanical energy of the wheels.
The Romans used these water wheels to dewater underground mines. Part of such waterwheels can be found at archeological sites. A waterwheel was found in 1930 in an ancient gold mine, deep into the ground. The waterwheel has been found to date as far back as 90 AD. Similarly, Chinese used these water wheels to crush their grains in mills and for making cast iron. The Arab countries also used water wheels in numerous applications ranging from steel mills and grist mill to sugar mills. One of the wheels with a diameter as big as 20 meters is found preserved in Syria. A wheel found in Iraq is found to raise as much as 153,000 liters per hour. In ancient times a water wheel served the same purpose that it does now in the use of fossil fuels, that is to convert one form of energy to another. Nowadays chemical energy from fossil fuels is converted to electrical energy with the use of wheels, now called turbines (Lucas, 2006).
Lastly, we address Marshall McLuhan’s final law, that is when pushed to its extreme what will the media reverse into. Since use of fossil fuels is closely related to our day-to-day lives, any change in their use is bound to adversely affect our lifestyle. When reserves of fossil fuels start running out, countries will face shortages in their fuel supply and fuel prices will hike up. Poor countries would not be able to afford them and will have to go back to conventional farming methods. There would be shortage of food. In developed countries restrictions would be placed on the use of fossil fuels. A similar thing happened in America after World War II when gasoline was short and speed limits were set up.
As oil and gas deplete, people in colder countries might have to migrate to warmer countries near the equator. Countries where basic life processes such as farming are carried out by oil and gas as a means of energy, such as North America and Europe, will suffer the most from their depletion than other countries might. Thus new designs for cars, air planes and factories would have to be made to increase the efficiency. Nuclear fission reactors, solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells would come in to replace the role of fossil fuels (Snook, 2008).
Fossil Fuels are non-renewable resources and will deplete sooner than we expect. Thus to protect our future generation, there is an urgent need to think of new and environment friendly solutions.
Blackburne, A (2012 May 2). Why our quality of life is sacrificed by the continued use of fossil fuels. retrieved June 05, 2012, from Blue and green tommorow Web Site: http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/features/why-our-quality-of-life-is-sacrificed-by-the-continued-use-of-fossil-fuels/
De Montalember, M.R & Clement, J (1983). fuel wood supplies in the developing countries. Rome: FAO Forestry Paper.
Ford, L (2012 May 31st). Fossil fuel subsidies must end, says Indian microfinance firm. retrieved June 05, 2012, from guardian Web Site: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/may/31/fossil-fuel-subsidies-india-microfinanc
Garbini, G. (1966). The ancient world. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Giere, R & Stille, P (2004). Energy, Waste and the Enviornment: A Geochemical Perspective. Geological Society.
Gupta, R.B., & Demirbas, A. (2010). Gasoline, diesel, and ethanol biofuels from grasses and plants. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hester, R.E., Harrison, R.M., & Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain). (2003). Sustainability and environmental impact of renewable energy sources. Cambridge, U.K: Royal Society of Chemistry
Lucas, A. (2006). Wind, water, work: Ancient and medieval milling technology. Leiden: Brill.
Osborne, H (2007). Fossil fuel and land use behind CO2 rise. retrieved june 06, 2012, from The Guardian Web Site: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/feb/02/greenpolitics.climatechange
Shalizi, Z. (2007). Energy and emissions: Local and global effects of the rise of China and India. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, Development Research Group, Sustainable Rural and Urban Development Team.
Snook, J. (2008). Ice age extinction: Cause and human consequences. New York: Algora Pub.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.
Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.
Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.
Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.
Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.
Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.
We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.
Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.
You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.
Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.
Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.
You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.
You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.
Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.
We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.
We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.
We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.
Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!
Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality
Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.
We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.
We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.
We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.
We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.