Future of Fossil Fuels: Limited Options

The future of fossil fuels is a political hot potato, a highly controversial and divisive topic that has polarized the geopolitical landscape of the world with developed nations seeking to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. This is based more on economic considerations than ecological ones.

The carbon cycle is one of the most fundamental aspects of the world we live in, and it refers to the manner in which carbon passes through animals and plants, then will become returned to the environment and atmosphere once again.

Prior to the industrial revolution, the carbon cycle was steady, with the forestry across the globe in addition to the greenery more than sufficient to ward off an imbalance of the carbon cycle. However, population booms, carbon dependent rich technology such as industry and automobiles has substantially skewed this.

The carbon cycle is not just some abstract scientific concept relegated to the dusty arena of academia. In reality, the carbon cycle, and by extension then, the future of fossil fuels, is something that will affect each and every one of us directly.

Put simply, fossil fuels are classed as a finite source or non-renewable source. These two terms are used interchangeably because they mean the same thing: once we run out of fossil fuels; we will have depleted the source permanently. This means we must find an alternate fuel source.

However, substantial inequity in terms of the production and consumption of fossil fuels has meant that research into renewable, alternate and cleaner forms of fuel production remains elusive. Whilst there has been some preliminary progress made, many of the technology remains at best novel.

Nuclear power is an oft cited example of a reliable alternative source of energy production and electricity, and one that has been advocated to replace fossil fuels as the future of fossil fuels eventually becomes little more than a historic footnote in the textbooks.

Sadly, there have been a number of high profile nuclear meltdowns across the world and this has meant that the public opinion as to the viability of nuclear power plants has remained skewed. Incidents such as the Pripyat reactor failure in the Ukraine, in addition to the fear associated with the perils of radiation poisoning means that nuclear power remains stunted.

Furthermore, despite claims that nuclear power is a cleaner fuel source, such averments conveniently forget one grim reality: the extended half-life of radioactive isotopes.

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