Our society has become dependent on fossil fuels for energy. That seems fine for now because everyone is generally happy in the present situation. Fossil fuels are relatively inexpensive and seem to be doing the trick right now. Using fossil fuels arise such issues as global warming, rising costs of scarce resources, and shortages of raw materials. None of these problems will draw full attention until the demand is needed, it’s the old supply and demand scenario.
Although my opinion may seem pessimistic if you look at past events it points to the supply and demand scenario.
During World War II rubber supplies were cut off to the western world and we began to work on a compound that was synthetic rubber. We succeeded in supplying the demand and now that same synthetic compound is used today. My theory is that the same thing will happen with such things as plastic, which is made from fossil fuels.
Someone will either come up with synthetic plastic or come up with something to substitute for plastic. The person who comes up with the solution will become an instant millionaire and everyone will be happy.
There is one drawback of this way of solving problems, I mean sure it’s great to wait until the demand but we should still learn from our mistakes. We should learn to plan and see what the consequences could possibly be. We still have other demands to meet, there are three major demands of fossil fuels and they are heating, transportation, and industry.
Although transportation is taken care of, we may not like the thought of a solar car or an electric car but there are solutions out there. Frankly, the oil companies don’t want to lose their monopoly in the transportation industry and that brings us to the whole ececonomicssue. If we run out of fossil fuels what will happen to the economy? Will it suffer? These are just a few questions that are asked every day, but for now,w we are just going to look at solutions to the demands of fossil fuels. The chart below illustrates the demands and the possible solutions.
Alternative Energy Sources and Practices heating:
In conclusion, I don’t think the need for a substitute for fossil fuels will be fully met until the demand arises. A substitute may be found before the need, but as history demonstrates its use of it will either be delayed or will not occur. As for the economy, jobs will be lost, but jobs will also be created in new areas. The big oil companies will lose big and so may some small countries like Kuwait. No one can really predict how the economy will turn out but if the substitute or substitutes are less dangerous to the environment and not as hard on natural resources our economy will eventually get over the loss of their precious oil.