Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Billions of people rely on fossil fuels for all aspects of their life, too getting to work or school or the millions of people that take the public transportation to get to work everyday, and the earth only has a finite amount of oil reserves and the overproduction and reliance of fossil fuel have led to Peak Oil, peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters a terminal decline. If the World does not find a solution to peak oil before we run out of oil, they will have an energy crisis on their hands. A notable solution would be to slowly convert the world into solar energy and cars would have to be electric as oil production is declining but the united states use a lot of gas for fuel.
The United States has such a high dependency of Fossil fuels for modern industrial transport, agriculture and industrial systems. Fossil fuel is A hydrocarbon-based fuel, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from living matter of a previous geologic time. Fossil fuels make up 81.5% of total U.S energy consumption and is the top consuming country (Figure 1 below)There are three types of fossil fuel Natural gas, Coal, and petroleum. Globally the significance of peak oil is that we have reached the maximum amount of production and following that is a decline and an energy crisis because of the lack of availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise.
The price of oil and electricity will continue to rise to the point that a lot of people who are earning only a minimum wage cannot anymore afford to pay their energy bills. Eventually, if this happens, not only will the oil and energy prices will increase but the price of the food and even the energy-related commodities will increase as well. Thus, as a result, more and more people will suffer from economic recession and poverty.
Highly industrialized countries depends primarily on their resources to boost their economy. A lot of businesses need these resources to continue to operate. Industries like manufacturers of steel, cars, gasoline stations, can be affected greatly by this phenomenon. Thus, if they cannot provide their services anymore, then people who also needed their help for their everyday living will suffer also. Another example is how heavily we rely on tucking to transport materials across the united states and would affect the prices of everything transported
We have to shift to alternative energy instead of alternative extraction methods like this relatively new technique called fracking. (Horten,M 2019) definition of fracking is “This extraction process combines chemicals (often dangerous ones) with large amounts of water and sand at high rates of pressure to create rock formations; these formations are used to fracture material surrounding oil and gas, enabling them to be extracted”. Fracking is controversial because the number of natural resources needed to complete its process and the effects it can have on the air, water and soil of the fracked areas.
Fracking uses millions of gallons of water in the fracking process, and “Between 20% and 40% of the water used for fracking that is returned to the ground surface consists of toxic contaminants.(Horten 2019)” the presence of contaminated water will harm the environment because it cant be treated easily and changed back to its normal state. Fracking has a lot of negative consequences to the environment from the water to the air.
Another negative effect fracking has is air pollution “One of the main chemicals released in the fracking process is methane, and it is estimated that 4% of it escapes into the atmosphere during extraction.(Horten, 2019)” Because methane is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat, the release of this gas is detrimental to the air quality of surrounding fracking sites. Additionally, the after effects of fracking directly increase air pollution at well sites. These include the pollutants released from new construction and operating of fracking locations, the increased emissions from transporting oil and gas from the site, and emissions from waste disposal and storage.
In addition to air and water pollution, “fracking also increases the potential for oil spills, which can harm the soil and surrounding vegetation(Horten,2019)”. Fracking may cause earthquakes due to the high pressure used to extract oil and gas from rock and the storage of excess wastewater on site. Even though fracking has the potential to provide more oil and gas resources to consumers, the process of extraction has long-lasting negative impacts on the surrounding environment. Air pollution and water contamination due to the toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are the greatest concerns within fracking sites.
The united states have to switch to an alternative energy before they have a global energy crisis and a good suggestion is a major investment in electric cars and slowly convert people to electric cars before we run out of oil. People have to be willing to invest in the future and start to rely less on fossil fuels. Another alternative for fossil fuels is solar energy and converting people home to solar to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and it can be expensive but People have to invest in the future because we only have a finite amount of fossil fuel left globally. Maybe if the world is forced to change then change can actually happen, globally people would have no choice but to search for alternative energy sources. Positives for switching to Electric Vehicles are they are clean they emit no carbon dioxide or any other pollutants they can also be cheaper to maintain because they do not require oil changes or regular maintenance. “You also save money compared to buying gas In addition, electric vehicles can save $750 to $1,200 a year on fueling compared to a fossil fuel vehicle averaging 27 miles per gallon with gas costing $3.50 per gallon.(Cho 2019)”
The government can also have sway in the decision for everybody to switch and some already have.“Many countries are now banning new vehicles that run on fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas. Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, and the Netherlands have announced plans to ban fossil fuel cars starting in 2030; Britain, France, Taiwan and California will ban them in 2040; and Norway in 2025. Paris, Rome, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City will ban diesel vehicles in 2025 (Cho, 2019).China, the world’s largest car market, will no longer approve any new fossil fuel car projects so Countries are taking a step forward and ensuring deadlines to make sure they are switching to alternative energy.
The world has reached peak oil and are now on a terminal decline and we only have a finite amount of oil reserves left that we know of. The world must find an alternative to fossil fuels before we run out and before we have a global energy crisis that will affect every single person on the globe. Governments have to put a ban or deadline for their respective countries to ban cars that run on fossil fuels by a certain year and locally stop fracking because the cons of its destroying the surrounding environment outweigh the profit that will be made for oil companies because we don’t know the full negative effects of fracking and the long lasting irreversible effects it will have on the environment.