Why We Should Stop Using Fossil Fuels

Sabrina Bahrun, Staff Writer

*The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the website’s or its affiliates’ opinions and beliefs.*

Numerous natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and more, have been devastating the environment at an alarming rate. As fossil fuels are used, they are released into the air as greenhouse gasses, which confine heat into a small area, thus causing these horrific changes to the climate. Additionally, with greenhouse gasses increasing drastically, sea levels have been rising, which has created the opportunity for more natural disasters, such as flooding and hurricanes.

While there are innumerable negative side effects to using fossil fuels, many still believe that they are a convenient and abundant fuel source. However, fossil fuels have had catastrophic side effects, especially with their evident contribution to global warming. Burning gas, coal and oil release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, which contributes to air pollution, oil spills and climate change as a whole. The active use of nonrenewable energy illustrates a severe threat to our planet, regardless of whether it is convenient to use. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to transition to utilizing energy from more renewable and sustainable sources.

Sophomore Samauri Johnson proposed her viewpoint on how dire the effects of fossil fuels are on the environment.

“I think climate change is a topic that needs to be seriously addressed,” Johnson said. ”It’s a problem that we’ve continued to ignore and will eventually come to affect our daily lives if we allow it to continue. I think fossil fuels in particular and our overconsumption of them is a considerable contributor to climate change.”

Moreover, nonrenewable energy is a finite resource that is both costly and difficult to extract. Currently, oil and natural gas reserves are becoming increasingly exhausted, with the remaining reserves in inaccessible areas, such as the deep sea or the Arctic. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, numerous environmental risks come into play when extracting fossil fuels. For instance, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released millions of oil barrels in the Gulf of Mexico, causing substantial damage to marine life. In contrast, renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, provide safer alternatives to fossil fuels and are becoming increasingly more abundant.

Sophomore Deya Nurani provided her perspective on how countries like the United States need to make strides toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

“The biggest contributors to the problem are the world’s biggest countries, who have the largest carbon footprints,” Nurani said. “There are many repercussions to fossil fuels, like severe heat waves that crossed Europe and England this past summer [during which] people were getting sick and even dying. Our government should definitely make strides toward creating a more sustainable country because we cannot continue to live in these irregular circumstances.”

Crucially, the transition towards renewable energy may ultimately provide an interesting opportunity, from both an environmental and economical perspective. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are already becoming more inexpensive than fossil fuels. According to The Neshoba Democrat, the cost of solar power has decreased by 90 percent from 2009 to 2019, causing it to be the cheapest source of energy in many parts of the world. With the large number of companies that rely on imported oil and natural gas for energy, many individuals are vulnerable to price fluctuations as well as variable supply disruptions. Allowing countries to invest in renewable energy will not only fight against climate change but will also boost the state of the economy and potentially create additional job opportunities in this transition.

Sophomore Talia Ghattas contributed her thoughts on how climate change and the use of fossil fuels have become a large issue in our environment.

“I believe that with the current state of the environment and how poorly we are progressing with the Earth, we need immediate action, whether that be with government action or different movements or organizations raising awareness,” Ghattas said.

The rampant use of fossil fuels has resulted in devastating impacts on our environment. By transitioning to renewable sources of energy, the world could move into a cleaner environment, which would also provide individuals with a more economical source of energy in the process.