What Are the Alternatives?

By Regan Luebbert

What will you do when there is no longer gas to fuel your car? Fuel to heat your house? Fossil fuels currently provide 90% of our energy. By 2042, coal will be the only fossil fuel we have left, and will only last until 2112. (Shafiee, Topal. 2008.) It would be foolish to rely so strongly on something that will be gone in as little as 26 years. So what is the other 10% of our energy? Renewable resources. Renewable resources are things such as solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric dams. There is an unlimited supply of these energy sources. That is something that we can rely on. So why wait until it's too late? It's time the human race did something nice for the environment we've been treating so terribly.

Fossil Fuels Cause Major Pollution

Fossil fuels are destroying our environment. The burning of coal releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Scientists blame CO2 for contributing to global warming. The burning of fossil fuels releases nitrogen oxides, which produce acid rain, haze, and smog. Our main source of energy is killing us. The extraction of fossil fuels causes serious environmental damage. Coal mining causes acid drainage and surface scars. Petroleum production causes oil spills, saltwater spills, and sends methane gas into the air. (Fisher, 2013.) Not only can we not rely on fossil fuels because they are limited, but also because at the rate of our consumption of these energy sources, we will have used the majority of them in 26 years. We need the air that we are ruining to survive. Without our clean, healthy environment, animals, plants, and humans will start to perish. So why do we purposefully ruin it? There are alternatives to fossil fuels, and yet, we continue to ruin our home.

Fossil Fuels are Limited

Fossil fuels are rapidly depleting. They are called non-renewable energy sources for a reason. After we have used most of our fossil fuels in 2042, coal, the only remaining fossil fuel, will be gone 70 years after that. (Shafiee, Topal. 2008.) It's time we make a change. It is very important for us to convert to renewable resources. If we neglect to do so, we will have lost almost 90% of our energy in 26 years. This will cause panic.

Renewable Resources are Better for the Environment

Renewable resources are all-around better for the environment. They have no pollutants, and can last forever. There would be no oils spills that cause thousands of animals to die, and habitats to be ruined. There are already some prototype hydrogen powered car engines. They create energy from chemical reactions. (Hugh, 2001.) The only waste product of these engines is water. Renewable resources are so much better for the environment.

Renewable Energy Sources are Expensive

Some may argue that renewable resources are too expensive. For example, one hydrogen powered car engine costs 100x that of a gas powered engine. (Hugh, 2001.) Hydrogen powered vehicles, however, are still not fully developed. It is likely that they will cost less in the future. Honestly, which is more valuable? Money, or our environment? I believe that many people would argue that it is worth the cost.
It is vital to convert from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels pollute, they are limited, and renewable resources are all-around better for the environment. To convert to renewable energy sources, start small. Buy an electric car, or some solar panels for your house. Encourage your school or business to do the same. It's time that we stopped hurting our environment.


-Fisher, J.B. "And the Alternatives Are..." Calliope. Jan. 2013: 38-42. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

-Shahriar Shafiee, Erkan Topal. "When Will Fossil Fuels be Diminished?" Elsevier Ltd. Sept. 27, 2008. Google Scholar. 01-25-2016.

-Westrup, Hugh. "What a Gas!" Current Science. 06 April, 2001: 10-11. SIRS Discoverer. Web 27 Jan., 2016.