Administration (EIA)” (2015) The United States (U.S.) has been a big fossil fuel consumer with a reported 80 percent of the country’s fossil fuel mix since 1900. The most commonly used fossil fuel goods in the U.S. are gasoline, coal, and natural gas that has been used in the world for more than a century. The predominance of fossil fuels in America is due to their energy potential in supplying the country’s energy demands that are high due to the large population in the country as well as the intensive levels of industrialization that the country has experienced. However, due to the enormous amounts of carbon dioxide that result from the use of fossil fuels and the forecast of its dwindling future supply, there is the need for the U.S to cut back on its overdependence on the resource. Singh, S. and Singh, D. (2010) point out that there are other sources of energy in the world that have been exploited significantly less compared to fossil fuels that could be used as substitutes for the fossil fuels. The need to reduce the dependence of fossil fuels in the U.S is a crucial step towards realizing new sources of energy, reducing pollution and protecting the country from climate change and its effects.
The use of fossil fuels is largely utilized in the U.S due to the nature of these fuels and their attractive characteristics with regards to their energy potential. Compared to other fuels available in the world today, fossil fuels are extremely efficient as they pack huge amounts of energy even when used in small amounts, unlike other alternatives that are available (Duflou et al., 2012). Fossil fuels are easier to find since they occur in most parts of the world and are easier to transport since they are found in either solid, liquid and gas state that can be moved from one place to another. The numerous pluses involved with the use of fossil fuels make it an attractive source of fuel for most countries that have high energy demands requirements. For the case of the U.S energy demand is very high due to the levels of industrialization, urbanization and the need to have a 24-hour economy running at all time. Thus, the overdependence on fossil fuels to meet these high energy demands in the country.
The overdependence on fossil fuels in the U.S accounts for the vast pollution levels in the country due to the emission of carbon dioxide when the fossil fuels are burned to extract their energy. Pollution affects the atmosphere and largely accounts for the environmental degradation that is experienced in the world (Goudie, 2013). The use of fossil fuels accounts for a significant amount of pollution since when fossil fuels are utilized for their energy, they leave behind a number of end products that are contaminants of the environment. Therefore, the more a number of fossil fuels used the more the pollutants released into the environment after their use. In the U.S alone, due to the large amounts of fossil fuels used the expected amounts of pollutants released to the environment is significantly high thus being among the leading causes of environmental degradation in the U.S.
The effects of climate change and global warming in the U.S can be accounted for mainly due to the use of fossil fuels in the country. The levels of carbon dioxide emission coupled with the additional greenhouse gasses emitted from the fossil fuels are utilized, account for the leading agents of global warming that considerably influences climate change. According to Goudie (2013), climate change is the leading phenomenon affecting the world today as a result of the activities of human beings which include the excessive use of fossil fuels to meet their energy consumption needs. The effects of climate change and global warming affect the environment and in turn passes its devastation to the human beings (Moss et al., 2010). Harsh climatic conditions, droughts and food shortages in most parts of the world are as a result of the cumulative effects of climate change and global warming. Yet most of these effects begin with the extreme utilization of fossil fuel products to meet the rising demands of energy in the U.S.
However, the overdependence of fossil fuels in the U.S is a problem that can be addressed given appropriate measures and recommendations are put in place to reduce the amounts of fossil fuels used in the country. Firstly, the use of alternative sources of fuel presents the best bet at dealing with the excess dependence on fossil fuels in the U.S for purposes of meeting their energy consumption. Renewable sources of energy are the best alternatives to be used in providing energy for the country. These include energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and biomass sources of energy among others, which are the best alternatives available in the world for use to provide energy. The use of renewable sources of energy is safe to the environment as they do not pollute the environment as much as fossil fuels when they are burnt. Additionally, these energy sources are sustainable in nature since they are not easily depleted as they are easily regenerated for they take a shorter period of time to harness their energy potential (Tester et al., 2012).
Secondly, there are ways to reduce the excessive reliance on fossil fuels by cultivating practices of conservation to minimize the wastage of fossil fuels that enhance their excessive use. Conservation involves the preservation and careful management of the available natural resources in terms of their use in the country. Conservation practices include the use of fossil fuels sparingly in most of the energy-intensive activities that take place in the U.S. The transport sector of the U.S is responsible for the most use of fossil fuels in the country attributed to the large numbers of vehicles that are on the American roads (“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions | Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions | US EPA”, 2016). Having identified this fact, the U.S could come up with strategies to reduce the consumption of fuel from the transport sector. These strategies include encouraging the use of public and mass transportation systems rather than have every American own a vehicle that consumes as much fuel as a bus would. Encouraging the use of trains that are powered by electricity is also a conservation method that would reduce the use of fuel powered trains and also reduce the number of vehicle use on the roads.
Thirdly, to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels requires research and development on new technologies to replace the excessive use of fossil fuels to meet energy demands. Technological advancements in the field of transportation have been realized with the invention of electricity and biofuels-powered vehicles, with aims of reducing the over-consumption of fossil fuels. More and more research needs to go into the discovery of new ways to use the alternative sources of fuel available to the U.S so as to reduce the excessive use of fossil fuels. Strides have been made in realizing the conversion of biomass energy sources to create biofuels that are suitable substitutes to fossil fuels that are used in various engine driven machines. The use of biofuels has its advantages in that it is renewable since it is produced from organic waste materials found readily available in the world and in the U.S as well. Panwar, Kaushik, and Kothari (2011) agree that biofuels are also clean sources of fuel that do not pollute the environment since their waste products are made up of carbon that they take up during their lifetime and water.
Lastly, exploiting newer forms of energy can be a possible solution towards realizing the less use of fossil fuels. Tidal energy is among the promising forms of energy that can be exploited for the purpose of energy generation to meet the ever rising needs of the county. This is energy harnessed from the waves in the ocean and other large water bodies to create energy in form of electricity for use in homes and industries in the country. Also, the use of other sources of energy such as geothermal power, solar power, and hydroelectric power are credible sources of electric energy generation and can be tapped effectively and supplied to their respective areas of demand; rather than use fossil fuels to produce electricity (Panwar, Kaushik & Kothari, 2011). Finally, the use of nuclear energy also presents a possible solution towards reducing the overdependence on fossil fuels in the U.S. Research has gone to the development of nuclear energy which is being used in several energy intensive industries for purpose of electricity generation and to run the heavy machinery that is available in those sectors.
In conclusion, the use of renewable sources of energy, conservation and efficient use of the available fuel resources as well as spending resources towards realizing new forms of energy and technologies, serve as a way to lessen the dependence of fossil fuels in the U.S. Most of the fossil fuels in America is used in the transport industry and being able to find alternatives is also a possible method towards realizing less use of fossil fuels in America. The use of fossil fuels has been associated with pollution of the atmosphere and degradation of the environment due to the by-products that are released when the fossil fuels are burnt. To mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming that result from the emission of greenhouse gasses it is necessary to reduce the use of fossil fuels. These fuels account for the emission of the most GHGs in the world as they are utilized for their energy. Therefore, reducing the use of fossil fuels will, in turn, save the U.S and the world at large from the effects of climate change and global warming that is affecting the world today.
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