Fossil fuel is essentially fossilized organic compounds, that have been subjected to extremes of temperature and pressure, which results in these dead organisms (both flora and fauna) being transformed into oil, gas and coal. As a result of earth’s geological activity, this transformation takes place and this essentially becomes the fossil fuel. As mankind developed, we found a way to tap into these fossil fuels, located miles below the surface and use the same for energy, as well as other purposes. In fact, modern life as you know it happens to be based on the premise that the fuel supply would be endless. Well, it isn’t, the earth is fast running out of fossil fuels and the current supplies including the latest estimated reserves of oil and gas are supposed to last for another few decades.
The more moot question is what happens when we do run out of fossil fuels? This is why many governments are spending millions in research trying to come up with an alternate form of energy including exploring various ideas. But continued exploitation of fossil fuels has led to the release of methane, carbon dioxide gases into our atmosphere. Since industrialization, our dependence on fossil fuels has become more extensive and as a result, several billion metric tons of greenhouse gases have been pumped directly into the atmosphere, especially over the last few decades. This has resulted in the earth warming up, which has started to impact our weather. The mean daily temperature has gone up and has spiked over the last few years, resulting in both the polar ice caps being depleted. At this rate, even Greenland with its massive ice cap would be without its glacial cover, in less than forty years as would both the poles be.
Does the loss of polar ice caps mean that big a deal? In one word, yes, for the polar caps contains fresh water and to put it in perspective, if the Greenland ice cap along with polar caps melt, it should raise the sea level by 200 feet. This would render most coastal areas uninhabitable and apart from this, it would cause widespread devastation, kill millions and render more homeless. And that’s just the start; as we use fossil fuels more, and the more greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere, our very fabric of life could come unhinged as temperatures start to soar on our planet. With excess freshwater being released into the oceans, this will impact the weather and cause more freak weather phenomenon to take place, with increasing regularity. Apart from this, the runaway greenhouse effect will cause temperatures to shoot globally, leading to both crop failure as well as drying of available water resources, leading to all of the earth becoming transformed into a big dust bowl. And as an icing on the cake, we may well have to get used to acid rain as well.
These are some of the negative effects of over-reliance on fossil fuels; it is high time that mankind devoted more resources and energy to try and tap an alternate source of energy, one which does not lead to earth getting toasted in the process,