Tuesday, 17 July 2012
CONSERVING FOSSIL FUELS
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In countless ways coal, oil and gas provide power for our daily life. But we must cut our use of them, and look for other energy sources, before the costs to the environment become too high.
No single source of energy can immediately replace fossil fuels. Most alternatives produce too little power and cause some pollution, although none is as dirty as coal, oil and gas, which contribute to acid rain and the greenhouse gases. Nuclear power has its own problems, including leakage prevention, waste disposal and the dismantling of redundant reactors.
Alternative power sources will help to some extent. But without fossil fuels or nuclear energy our standard of living could drop to that of centuries ago, dependant on horses and oxen for transport and food production.
Rather than abandon all use of fossil fuels, we need to adopt a policy of efficiency.
Energy efficiency basically means using less fuel, but making it work harder. The key is to design more efficient end-use equipment. A modern gas stove heats a pint of water with proportionally less energy than an open wood fire.
Nations must invest in energy efficient equipment, which will reduce the demand for fossil fuels. They must also research the use of renewable energy sources on a massive scale. Only in this way can we reduce damage to the environment. Global investment in the two areas of energy efficiency and renewable sources will also help with narrow the immense gulf between rich and poor nations.
We can all contribute to energy conservation by preserving heat in our homes and other buildings. This means instillating roof, wall, window and floor installation. We should use fewer and less fuel hungry cars, use them less often and share rides. Much oil is made into plastic so buying products with less packaging will help.
For related articles click onto:
Acid rain and its effect on wildlife
Caring for the coral reefs
Causes of acid rain
Coral reefs and the greenhouse effect
Conserving fossil fuels
Energy saving light bulbs
Fossil fuels: Alternative sources of energy
What is acid rain?
What is the difference between an asteroid and a comet?
What is fracking?
What is global warming?
What is the greenhouse effect?
What is the difference between energy efficient light bulbs and traditional light bulbs?
What is the difference between neon and fluorescent light?