Activity 3 - Fossil Fuels - The pros and cons
- Fossil fuels are relatively cheap and plentiful
- Fossil fuels will become more and more expensive to extract
- Advanced technologies have been developed to allow safe extraction.
- Extracting fuel will become more dangerous as the mines get deeper or the oil-rigs go further out to sea.
- The technology already exists for their use e.g. petrol-driven engines
- Pollution from these fuels is said to be responsible for global warming, acid rain, and oil spillage
- The means of controlling pollution from these fuels exists.
- It is very expensive to control the pollution and the price of fuel would have to rise.
- The income from the sale of the fuels can help a country's economy
- At present, no other energy source can fully and safely replace fossil fuels.
Information Box : Scarcity and Fossil Fuels
A resource is the total amount of something that is economically useful. A reserve is the total amount of that resource that can be economically used. Using today's technology, it is estimated that the Earth's reserves of fossil fuels will last for another 300 years.
As the fossil fuels become harder to find, they are said to be scarce. This means that the price of finding these fuels will increase until they become too expensive to use. Before that happens, people will have developed alternative sources of energy.
The real problem with fossil fuels is not that they will run out. The problem is that they do harm to the environment and issues like Global Warming and Climate change will determine whether we continue to use Fossil Fuels or not