The lifeblood of our modern economy is our reliance

The lifeblood of our modern economy is our reliance on fossil fuels. Today, 81 percent of all energy consumed in the United States is derived from the burning of fossil fuels. These resources contribute to three-fourths of all human emissions in the last twenty years. Scientists have sought ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and make fossil fuel burning cleaner. Let’s explore how fossil fuels can help us in our daily lives.

Rebel New Canada

First, we should stop supporting fossil fuels as they are part of the problem, and look for ways to improve our energy systems. We should resist government support of fossil fuel and focus instead on investing in renewable energy infrastructure and green jobs. Our countries should meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 7: Energy access for all. We can look at fossil fuel-supporting policies in OECD’s database of fossil fuel support measures.

The transition from wood to coal began in the early 1700s in the iron industry. Coal soon replaced biomass as the primary industrial fuel. By 1900, coal accounted for half of the world’s fuel use. Coal is abundant and has a higher energy density than dry wood. By the 1950s, coal was widely distributed, making it the fuel of choice for locomotives and ships. And because coal is easier to transport and store, it became the fuel of choice for many industries.

Fossil fuel subsidies are estimated to contribute to two-thirds of the global total CO2 emissions. The proportion of short-lived climate pollutants derived from energy production is believed to be even higher than the official figures. Meanwhile, biomass fuels are widely used for cooking and small-scale heating, but are often inefficient and highly polluting. They also impact indoor air quality in many less developed countries. Their use is not sustainable in a modern economy.

The use of fossil fuels contributes to the increase in carbon dioxide and methane emissions. These two gases are emitted from fossil fuels when the material is burned to produce electricity and heat. However, these emissions have other effects. By 2030, the United States could spend $30 trillion on fossil fuels. By that time, the economy would be spending $750 billion more annually than it did in 2006.

Carbon captured during the combustion of fossil fuels is a by-product that is often injected back into the earth during the oil extraction process. This process is known as enhanced oil recovery and involves injecting pressurized CO2 into the oil reservoir to squeeze out more oil. While this may seem like a backwards approach, it is possible to balance the emissions of produced oil and CO2 in this way. The carbon injected during oil production can result in negative emissions.

As the carbon emissions increase, the global temperature could rise by three to four degrees Celsius. The financial markets would collapse if we didn’t reduce our consumption of oil and other fossil fuels. The economic crisis that follows would be much more severe, and global economic growth would be slowed. With the current climate crisis, the only way to deal with the problem is to reduce global oil consumption. If we don’t stop using oil and gas, we may have to suffer a world-wide recession.