The Negative Effects of Fossil Fuel Usage
The health of the environment is our livelihood. When the environment is not in good health it could lead to health problems on a personal level. One of the major environmental problems is air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels.
Levels of carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuels into the atmosphere in 1991 was an estimated “5.6 billion tons per year” (Tesar, 28). If we keep running down the path we are on using fossil fuels like no tomorrow there is some worry among scientists, “Some scientists estimate that the number will jump to as much as 30 billion tons per year within the next few decades” (28).
Concern for the environment is not a recent phenomena. Rachel Carson (1907- 1964), was an “American marine biologist and the author of widely read books on ecological themes” (Bram, 326). One of her more outstanding quotes on the environment is, “The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea…this pollution is for the most part irrecoverable” (Peter, 171).
I agree with Rachel Carson that earth, air, and water pollution is for the most part irrecoverable. Some institutions working today to clean up the environment do help some, but as I see it they are not showing results. There efforts are a feeble attempt because pollution levels keep rising and they could never keep up. According to Hayes
the former director of the Solar Research Institute under President Jimmy Carter of Earth Island Journal, “In 1993, President Clinton pledged to reduce US CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. Instead, the nation’s CO2 emissions are now projected to rise at least 13 percent by the end of the century. In 1996 alone, US emissions shot up 3.5 percent” (Hayes, 1).
It is apparent that the only way to bring pollution under control is to stop using fossil fuels altogether. However, this will not be an easy task, according to Coombs there is an estimated, “Eight trillion tons of coal in the world” (Coombs, 19). With that amount of coal it is reasonable to assume that we will have and inexpensive source of energy for many years to come. People are willing to jump on the environmental bandwagon because it is politically correct, but because we live in a capitalistic society that is driven by the almighty dollar people are resistant to change.
Solar power is the energy of the future. Gary Chandler and alternative energy advocate states, “Although the sun is 93 million miles from Earth, it provides a free and plentiful source of clean fuel for renewable energy production” (Chandler, 1). We must embrace it completely because as long as the sun shines we will exist. According to Stephen Hawking, professor at Cambridge University in England, estimates that, “Our sun probably has got enough fuel for another five thousand million years or so” (Hawking, 83). So with this knowledge and the...