Finding an Alternative to Fossil Fuel
Nowadays, many people are concerned about finding an alternative to fossil fuel in order to continue living our lives that we presently enjoy. There are so many abstract opinions about potential alternatives that one can spend a great deal of time considering all the options available to mankind.
With just a small amount of research, one can find out that approximately 90% of the energy that the earth uses comes from fossil fuels. While these fossil fuels are continually used, their stores are being depleted and also have a direct effect on the environment that some say is irreversible. Smog, greenhouse gasses, acid rain and global warming are not positive contributing by-products of using fossil fuels and for this reason, many seek alternative measures for the goodness of mankind and our planet.
Coal: This resource is abundant in many parts of the world, extremely cheap and easy to transport, and can be mined with simple methods as it has been done in the past. It has been the main source of energy for many parts of the world today, and liquid fuel can be made from coal. Unfortunately, it does take energy for this liquid fuel process, more than should be necessary. When finding an alternative to fossil fuel, coal is extremely polluting, much more than oil or natural gas, contributing to smog, acid rain, mercury pollution and the greenhouse effect. Most coal cannot be mined for energy resources since it contains too much sulfur and produces too much solid waste from production. Coal is not efficient in the sense that oil is needed in order to mine it and only a small amount; approximately 35% of its energy can be transformed into electrical energy.
Natural Gas: The advantages of this resource are abundant, clean burning, producing less greenhouse gasses than oil; convenient for heating, and easy transportation are just some of the many positive effects of natural gas. If natural gas is the answer for finding an alternative to fossil fuel, one will have to examine the negative aspects of this option. Gas wells drain quickly unlike oil that will continue to produce for decades on end, it is extremely flammable and is likely not the solution that environmentalists are looking for.
Nuclear Power: There is much heated debate on the subject of nuclear power that many feel quite strongly about. On the positive side, nuclear power is cheap, produce no smog, and can be situated close to consumers. When finding an alternative to fossil fuel, the negative aspects of nuclear power are the topics of today with environmentalists. The waste from nuclear power plants last thousands of years, without any real set way on how to dispose of the hazardous waste.
These are just 3 alternatives that the government and scientists have looked into for finding an alternative to fossil fuels. Others such as wind power, tar sands, nuclear fusion, methane hydrates, and even solar energy have their positive and negative aspects to each one, making the decisions for alternatives not an easy matter.