Asked by  | 3rd Feb, 2014, 10:20: PM

Expert Answer:

Fossil fuels exist, and they provide a valuable service. It’s not so much that we use fossil fuels for energy that is problematic, but it’s the side effects of using them that causes all of the problems. Burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide, the number one greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. Combustion of these fossil fuels is considered to be the largest contributing factor to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 


The impact of global warming on the environment is extensive and affects many areas. In the Arctic and Antarctica, warmer temperatures are causing the ice to melt which will increase sea level and change the composition of the surrounding sea water. Rising sea levels alone can impede processes ranging from settlement, agriculture and fishing both commercially and recreationally. Air pollution is also a direct result of the use of fossil fuels, resulting in smog and the degradation of human health and plant growth.

But there’s also the great dangers posed to natural ecosystems that result from collecting fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil. Oil spills have devastated ecosystems and coal mining has stripped lands of their vitality.

Fossil fuels are also becoming increasingly expensive. Part of the reason for this is that governments are taxing them higher, but it is also because fossil fuels are what we call a "non-renewable" source of energy, which means it does not replenish itself. This means the supply of fossil fuels is limited and will, one day, run out.

Answered by  | 4th Feb, 2014, 11:29: AM

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