Since the start of industrialization in the early 20th century, new technology has changed our lifestyles. How ironic is it that the engine running this era of new things is so old?
Fossil fuels have long powered both our country and the world, but now is the cause off its demise. To make it worse, our supply is running out. However, a solution has been available for many years. Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas can all be replaced by renewable energy sources. Our planet provides energy in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the sun we bathe in. Sadly, the needless dependency on Fossil fuels in America is immense. According to the University of Windsor, fossil fuels have powered the United States since the 1700’s. In the 18th and 19th century coal primarily powered the nascent industrial revolution. During the 20th century, petroleum and natural gas became principle fuels for transportation, heating, agriculture and manufacturing. Today, petroleum and natural gas create plastics, fertilizers, many chemicals, and a wide variety of commodities. “In virtually every material aspect, life in the United States is now dependent on these fossil fuels.” The university quoted. And now its extreme usage has created severe problems all over the world.
According to the Center for American Progress, 7.5 billion barrels of oil have spilled causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage to both the environment and economy. Global Warming is a major player in environmental impacts, with many scientists blaming it for the changes in weather and the atmosphere. Authors such as Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Sixth Extinction, accuses fossil fuels and humans’ careless actions to be the causes of major changes in both our atmosphere and the environment on our planet’s surface. Natural Gas has been speculated to be more abundant than and only half as bad as oil or coal in emissions still provides problems. Cutting the problem in half doesn’t make it a solution. It also takes thousands of years to form, and like oil, will eventually start to run out. The retrieving process is problematic as well. Fracking, as it is called, is already banned in France and Bulgaria, countries with the largest shale-gas reserves in Europe.
The problem in America can be solved. Europe is already transferring into clean energy. Portugal produced 45% of its energy from renewable sources in 2009. No matter how we see it, fossil fuels are creating problems, and with solutions available, the United States needs to lose it with the old and get with the new.