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Describe the Effect That Combustion of Fossil Fuels Has on Our Planet and Suggest Alternatives That Kuwait Can Use to Minimize Pollution

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Fossil fuels are the largest gas emitters in the world that helps to power electricity. Fossil fuels contribute to 75% of carbon and other gas emissions such as methane in the atmosphere

Although they are essential in daily life, fossil fuels have a huge impact on the environment contributing to global warming, acid deposition and pollution. Burning fossil fuels at high temperature produces electricity but also leads to pollutants in the air and water. According to ZeeNews, Over the past 250 years burning fossil fuels have raised the atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than 40% over its preindustrial level of 280 parts per million. In May of 2013, the CO2 concentration in Earth’s atmosphere surpassed a milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in human history.

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Fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and natural gas, provide the energy that powers our lifestyles and our economy. One of the main uses of fossil fuels is: to generate electricity, fuel cars, and to heat or cool buildings. Fossil fuel is one of humanity’s most important sources of energy. Fossil fuel plays a major role in our economy and many of our current technology have been developed with fossil fuel in mind. However burning fossil fuel is damaging the Earth’s environment with the release of pollution to the atmosphere. In addition ecosystems are becoming damaged by the extraction of fossil fuel

Fossil fuels impact the environment greatly; carbon dioxide emissions contribute to harmful global warming and climate change. Inefficient burning of fossil fuels results in the production of carbon monoxide, which is a very harmful and poisonous gas. Inhalation of this gas is likely to cause death as it interferes with the transport of oxygen in the blood stream. Combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas produces gases such as nitrogen oxides, which cause acid rain. The main drawback of fossil fuel is pollution. Burning any fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to the greenhouse effect warming the Earth. Burning coal produces more carbon dioxide than burning oil or gas. It also produces sulphur dioxide, a gas that contributes to acid rain. this can be reduced before releasing the waste gases into atmosphere. Mining coal can be difficult and dangerous. Strip mining destroy large areas of the landscape. Coal-power stations need huge amounts of fuel, which means train-loads of coal almost constantly. In order to cope with changing demands for power, the station needs reserves. This means covering a large area of countryside next to the power station with piles of coal. Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide are also produced in these emissions and can produce acid rain.

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Fossil-fuel combustion by-products are the world’s most significant threat to children’s health and future and are major contributors to global inequality and environmental injustice. The emissions include a myriad of toxic air pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the most important human-produced climate-altering greenhouse gas (Guxens M., Garcia-Esteban R., 2014)

Synergies between air pollution and climate change can magnify the harm to children. Impacts include impairment of cognitive and behavioral development, respiratory illness, and other chronic diseases—all of which may be “seeded“ in utero and affect health and functioning immediately and over the life course. By impairing children’s health, ability to learn, and potential to contribute to society, pollution and climate change cause children to become less resilient and the communities they live in to become less equitable. The developing fetus and young child are disproportionately affected by these exposures because of their immature defense mechanisms and rapid development, especially those in low- and middle-income countries where poverty and lack of resources compound the effects. No country is spared, however: even high-income countries, especially low-income communities and communities of color within them, are experiencing impacts of fossil fuel-related pollution, climate change and resultant widening inequality and environmental injustice. Global pediatric health is at a tipping point, with catastrophic consequences in the absence of bold action. Fortunately, technologies and interventions are at hand to reduce and prevent pollution and climate change, with large economic benefits documented or predicted. All cultures and communities share a concern for the health and well-being of present and future children: this shared value provides a politically powerful lever for action (Cowell W.J., Bellinger D.C., 2015).

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In summary, algae grows extremely quickly and takes up a fraction of the space used by other biofuel feedstocks. About 38,849 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) of algae—less than half the size of the U.S. state of Maine—would provide enough biofuel to replace all of the U.S.’s petroleum needs. Algae absorbs pollution, releases oxygen, and does not require freshwater. The country of Sweden has made it a priority to drastically reduce its dependence on oil and other fossil fuel energy by 2020. Experts in agriculture, science, industry, forestry, and energy have come together to develop sources of sustainable energy, including geothermal heat pumps, wind farms, wave and solar energy, and domestic biofuel for hybrid vehicles

Changes in society’s habits, such as increasing public transportation and video-conferencing for businesses, are also part of the plan to decrease oil use.

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Cowell W.J., Bellinger D.C., Coull B.A., Gennings C., Wright R.O., Wright R.J. Associations between prenatal exposure to black carbon and memory domains in urban children: Modification by sex and prenatal stress. PLoS ONE. 2015

Fuertes E., Standl M., Forns J., Berdel D., Garcia-Aymerich J., Markevych I., Schulte-Koerne G., Sugiri D., Schikowski T., Tiesler C.M., et al. Traffic-related air pollution and hyperactivity/inattention, dyslexia and dyscalculia in adolescents of the german giniplus and lisaplus birth cohorts. Environ. Int. 2016

Guxens M., Sunyer J. A review of epidemiological studies on neuropsychological effects of air pollution. Swiss Med. Wkly. 2012

Guxens M., Garcia-Esteban R., Giorgis-Allemand L., Forns J., Badaloni C., Ballester F., Beelen R., Cesaroni G., Chatzi L., de Agostini M., et al. Air pollution during pregnancy and childhood cognitive and psychomotor development: Six european birth cohorts. Epidemiology. 2014

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