The Problem with Fossil Fuels

For the past couple of hundred years we have come to rely more and more on fossil fuels. The powered the industrial revolution and helped to turn the Western world into what it is today. However it is becoming increasingly obvious that our reliance on fossil fuels is causing us problems that we are going to have to address. The fact is we are running out of fossil fuels, it won’t happen tomorrow but eventually we will no longer be able to rely on them to power our economy.

The main problem with fossil fuels is that there is a limited amount of them. At some point we are going to run out. Now this isn’t going to happen anytime soon despite what some fear mongers would like people to believe but at some point we will run out of fossil fuels. Unless we have a plan in place to address this issue we are going to have real problems. Although we are a long way from running out of fossil fuels it is important that we start planning for alternatives. It will likely take a long time to get the alternative energy sources to the point that they are actually a viable alternative. Making sure that we are prepared for when we run out of fossil fuels is vitally important for the good of the economy.

The other problem with fossil fuels is the increasing demand for them. As countries with large populations like China and India become more and more developed they are going to use an increasing amount of fossil fuels. The stated goal of the Chinese government is to get to a level of development where every Chinese family owns a car. If this were to actually happen it would require more than the world’s total oil production to fuel them. The increasing competition for what is a limited resource is going to send the price soaring. People are already upset by the high fuel prices, in reality they are likely to go much higher in the future. When this happens it is going to do real damage to the economies of developed nations that rely on fossil fuels imported from overseas.

Of course the most talked about problem with fossil fuels is the damage that they do to the environment. There is environmental damage in getting the fossil fuels out of the ground and there is environmental damage when we burn them as a fuel source. The threat of climate change has made it obvious that we are going to have to reduce the emissions that we produce. That means we either need to find a way to reduce the damage done by fossil fuels or we need to find an alternative energy source. Right now there are a number of alternative energy sources in the works but none of them are at the point yet that they are viable alternatives to fossil fuels.