What Happens When We Run Out of Fossil Fuels?

There are many consequences if we run out of fossil fuels.  Optimistic estimates for how long fossil fuels will last include about 42 years for oil, 59 years for natural gas, and 115 years for coal (Antoniazzo, 2012).  Fossil fuels are used for many things in our daily lives.  For example, they fuel cars, planes, trucks, and other automobiles; they heat houses and other buildings; they are used in the production of “medicines, cosmetics, plastics, synthetic fabrics, and lubricants” (New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, n.d.); shoes, sunglasses, tires, computers, and TVs are all made with the help of fossil fuels (New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, n.d.).  Fossil fuels are also used to create energy used for electricity, heat, and other functions in our own homes.  We would need to quickly and cheaply find a way to replace our source of energy when we can no longer rely on fossil fuels.

Major economic problems will arise when we run out of fossil fuels.  “The prices of all of these things will rise causing a depression” (BigPimpin, 2005).  This has already started to happen, for example, a bottle of soda costs more now than five years ago (BigPimpin, 2005), which could be because of the cost of producing the bottles and also in the production of the beverage.  Oil companies will no longer be necessary, as there will be no more oil, which will lead to less money in our economy (BigPimpin, 2005).  However, investing in converting to alternative, renewable source of energy would be more efficient while we can still use our power made from fossil fuels during the conversion process (BigPimpin, 2005).  While this conversion will be costly to do, the overall consequences make up for that initial sacrifice.

These initial changes can be big or small differences to current times.  We should focus on planning cities and towns so that they will consume as little energy as possible (Kyriakides, 2008).  Along the lines of living arrangements, we should also consider making communities smaller so that travel times and distances will be shorter (Kyriakides, 2008).  This means driving less, or not at all, to the places you would normally go every day.  Public transportation can help with this (Kyriakides, 2008).  Many places all over the world have based more cities around public transportation, such as buses, subways, and railways.  Carpooling reduces the amount of cars on streets, and therefore reduces the amount of fossil fuels being used.  Designing appliances so that they use less energy is also an important step.  Many companies have already started on making more energy efficient items, but more companies will have to join in on this initiative faster for this change to be truly effective (Kyriakides, 2008).  However, the most important energy saving change is to invest in the research and implementation of the use of renewable sources of energy (Kyriakides, 2008).

 

Works Cited

Antoniazzo, Erika. (2012). When will we run out of fossil fuels? Retrieved from: http://www.eco-info.net/fossil-fuel-depletion.html

BigPimpin. (2005). When and what happens when oil runs out: The answer. Retrieved from: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread151333/pg1

Kyriakides, Robert. (2008). Fighting nature- what will happen when the fossil fuel and uranium runs out? Retrieved from: http://robertkyriakides.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/fighting-nature-what-will-happen-when-the-fossil-fuel-and-uranium-runs-out/

New Mexico Oil & Gas Association. (n.d.). What are fossil fuels used for? Retrieved from: http://www.nmoga.org/what-are-fossil-fuels-used-for


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Three Energy Efficient Ways To Clean Up An Oil Spill Works Cited

Works Cited

 

Hernandez, JL. (April 22, 2013). 11 Safe, Eco-Friendly Ways To Clean Up America’s Next Oil Spill. Retrieved From: http://www.takepart.com/photos/oil-spill-cleanup-alternatives-to-corexit/yet-another-bee-wonder[H1] 

 

Toscano, Paul and Bukszpan, Daniel (June 9, 2010). 17 Ways To Clean Up The Spill.

CNBC.com. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/37593652/page/1

 

The Free Dictionary. (No Date). Bioremediation. Retrieved From: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bioremediation

 

 

Allie Glick

Mrs. Wienckowski

S4L

12/18/13

    There are many different types of alternative energy sources out in the world, but these sources are not being used very often. Right now many people and companies are using fossil fuels that are very harmful towards the environment and that are causing pollution problems in the world. Two examples of alternative sources of energy are solar power and wind power energy. Solar power energy is up and coming, and many people are starting to use solar panels more and more as time goes on (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy). This is a very good thing because this kind of energy gives off no pollutions. Another great pro of the solar power energy is the price. It may be up there in price when they are installing the product, but once the solar power panel is installed it will provide you with a free source of energy (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy). You will save more money with the use of the solar panels, rather than if you paid each month to use fossil fuels to power your electric devices, gas, and lights (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy).  

    Another alternative source of energy is Wind Powered energy. Like solar powered energy, wind energy also does not produce and spread pollutants and toxins into the air (Wind Energy Pros and Cons). Wind energy has a huge factor working in its favor; it is completely renewable because we cannot run out of wind (Wind Energy Pros and Cons). With the name “ wind energy” the reader can obviously tell that it is produced from the wind in nature, which makes this alternative source of energy completely green, and environment friendly (Wind Energy Pros and Cons).  Wind is produced all around the world, and because wind energy is becoming so popular, people are realizing how easy it is to harness the energy and use it to their advantage (Wind Energy Pros and Cons).

    Even though both of these alternative sources of energy have many factors that work in their favor, and both have outstanding reasons for switching from fossil fuels to alternative sources, they too have some negative affects on their side. Wind energy may be easy to harness, but there are many problems that come along with it. Wind turbines are the main problem, as they are a threat to birds that may accidently fly into their blades that are turning round and round to capture the wind and convert it to energy (Wind Energy Pros and Cons). Not only are they a threat to some wildlife, they also have been reported to have loud noises that bother many people that live in a close radius to the site of the wind turbine (Wind Energy Pros and Cons). Like Wind energy, Solar power energy also has some negative effects. A major problem is weather. weather can affect the solar panels that are installed on the top of a house. Also along with that air pollution can affect the way that solar energy captures and converts their collected sources into energy (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy). Lastly solar, panels are not always the most efficient way to collect green no pollutant sources of energy; because they can only collect and generate energy during the day. They need the sun and the energy that the sun produces to generate the energy we use today (Pros & Cons of Solar Energy). 

 

 

Wind Energy Pros and Cons. (n.d.). Energy Informative. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from                    http://energyinformative.org/wind-energy-pros-and-cons/ .

 

Pros & Cons of Solar Energy. (n.d.). Home. Retrieved December 18, 2013, from                                        http://www.clean-energy-ideas.com/solar/solar-energy/pros-and-cons-of-solar-energy .

Research Question

Three Energy Efficient Ways To Clean Up An Oil Spill

 

            When the BP oil spill happened in June of 2010, BP received nearly 10,000 suggestions on how to clean up the spill. Within these 10,000 ideas, BP was considering around 700 of them. However, not all of them were energy efficient. For example, controlled burns impacted the air because of the amount of smoke the burns released (Toscano & Bukszpan, 2010). Now, three years later, researchers have found that there are more energy efficient ways to clean up oil spills.

One energy efficient way to clean up an oil spill is the oil-eating mushroom. This mushroom is an organic absorbent. It cleans up oil spills naturally by absorbing the toxins in the environment. The process is called “bioremediation” (Hernandez, JL). Bioremediation is “the use of biological agents, such as bacteria or plants, to remove or neutralize contaminants, as in polluted soil or water.” (The Free Dictionary, ND). This method is a cheap and an all natural way to clean up oil spills.

Another energy efficient way to clean up oil is using peat moss. Peat moss is a sponge like cushion that does not let water in. It forms in upland watercourses and it is natural soil erosion. When it is used for an oil spill cleanup, it only collects oil. The oil then sits on the surface in clumps, which makes it easy for people to skim the moss and oil out of the water (Hernandez, 2013).

Lastly, another energy efficient way to clean up oil spills is beeswax. Beeswax contains hydrocarbons that essentially “eat” the oil. When the beeswax has consumed the max amount it can eat, it explodes. It then releases carbon dioxide, water, and enzymes, which are all good for sea life. This is a natural and biodegradable product (Hernandez, 2013).

All three of these methods could have been used with the BP oils spill. Each of them are natural and cheap was is a to clean up the oil without harming the environment.

 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrofracking

In America, citizens, industries, and the United States government try so dearly to find alternative ways to conserve natural fuels. Although searching and testing for alternate methods for preserving energy and fossil fuels is difficult and expensive, industries try to use our natural resources in the most delicate and conservative way possible. However some of these different approaches for using less and clean fossil fuels is damaging the earth as much as they are trying to save it. For example, hydrofracking is used to extract natural gases from the ground by using millions of gallons of water to wash out the gas from the ground and onto the earth’s surface thousands of feet down under the crest (Hoffman, 2013). From the high pressured water and chemicals shooting down upon the rocks underground, the rocks shift causing natural gas to shoot on to the surface which gas industries use. Although using this energy saving and efficient techniques of extracting natural gas form the ground seems safe, there are many negative outcomes (Overholt, 2013).
Hydrofracking has been used all across America, from New York to Ohio. It is an easy and fast way to extract natural gas and oil from the rocks underneath the earth’s crust. For instants, hydrofracking provides many people with well-paying and sustainable jobs. Hydrofracking also known as hydraulic fracturing is cheap to do, without having to trade with foreigners for oil; we can obtain it on our own soil. Attaining natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels compared to toxic and dirtier fossil fuels. Fracking not only drills to find natural gas, but they also replenish and reestablish clean drinking wells. Many prospectors say that hydrofracking is draining the world’s water supply, or harmful to the environment, even when some of those rumors are not always true. We need natural gases to survive, and until we find a substitute for not using fossil fuels, hydrofracking is the safest and fastest way to acquire what we Americans use on the daily (Overholt, 2013).
There are many dangerous risks factors to hydrofracking, even though fracking helps Americans acquire natural gases. It is damaging our earth in the long run. Many researchers believe and have studied, that hyrdrofracking negatively affects our earth. Some of the reasons are from polluting our air with toxic methane, a key component in natural gas, and contaminating our water with chemicals the workers use to drill. Hydrofracking also causes soil and oil spill contaminations and even earthquakes from deep wells. With chemicals and water flushing down into the earth’s layers, these chemicals are contaminating the water underground that goes into our wells, water supplies, and lakes (Hoffman, 2013). In fact, the methane produced by the natural gas spreads through our air and can change our climate, as well as pollute it, and expose humans to the toxic chemicals. Not to mention it is dangerous to work around, with spontaneous gas explosions, workers risk their lives every day (Hoffman, 2013).
All in all, hydrofracking has its positives and negatives, but we will not benefit our earth and living environment if we just point out the bad in everything. As Americans, we must spend money and research into trying to find alternate and healthy ways to live, because obviously our normal technics of using fossil fuels are not working out.

Bibliography

Hoffman, Joe. (2013, September 16). Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana. Retrieved from: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/health/case_studies/hydrofracking_w.html
Overholt, Mark (2013, October 22). The Pros Of Hydrofracking. Retrieved from: http://www.tigergeneral.com/advantages-of-hydrofracking/