Fossil fuels cause major environmental problems that had previously not been recognized. We now know that using it has dire consequences for the planet.
Why fossil fuels are harmful:
It has also become more difficult to find fossil fuels which has led to more drilling into the earth which, in turn, has caused even further damage. One of the most adverse consequence has been the contribution of fossil fuels to greenhouse gases. When these specific fuels are combusted, they release large quantities of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The problem with this is that it accumulates in the atmosphere and becomes trapped. This greenhouse effect then leads to global warming, which has a negative impact on climate and all forms of life.
Will we stop using fossil fuels?
In light of the glaring evidence showing the harmful effects of fossil fuels, one would assume that discontinuing the use of it would be an attainable goal. The fact that alternative sources of energy, such as solar power and wind energy, have become more economical to implement would suggest we were moving away from our dependence on fossil fuels. However, some researchers suggest that using fossil fuels has become even cheaper and easier to obtain which, they believe, means that we are unlikely to stop using them anytime soon. In fact, the extraction and use of this supply actually increased from 2005 to 2014. This is partly due to improved technology which has led to better ways of extracting such fossil fuels.
It is all about costs
The sad reality is that, until alternative fuels become cheaper, fossil ones will be exploited and are likely to dominate. The costs of alternative and renewable forms of energy such as water, wind and solar has certainly decreased over the years. Unfortunately, people often think of their wallet first. In fact, where it is more cost effective to use solar power, one sees the use of solar panels. This is a trend that is being observed in countries such as South Africa and South America where some individual homeowners have installed one or two solar panels to offset the high cost of electricity. The difficulty is that the initial cost of installing solar panel can be expensive and many people still cannot afford the startup cost. However, over time it saves a considerable amount of money.
What can be done?
Scientists have suggested that, until there is a carbon tax involved in the use of fossil fuels, they will continue to be used despite the danger to our planet and the life upon it. Until it becomes economically viable, the complete elimination of fossil fuel use is unlikely to become a reality. It is not all doom and gloom though, as there certainly has been an increase in renewable sources of energy around the world. Hopefully, as technology improves and the price comes down there will be less and less use of fossil fuels, until one day, the world stops using fossil fuels.