Ethics and the Environment Case Study: Fueling the World

Essay by iggymac2007University, Bachelor'sA, October 2008

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Ethics and the Environment Case Study: Fueling the WorldWe are a global society of energy junkies. Our utility grid runs at maximum capacity resulting in rolling blackouts, our consumption of fossil fuels creates greenhouse gases that result in global warming. Even with this knowledge our demand for energy continues to increase. Where are we going to get our "energy fix" when the world's oil fields dry out, and our government's energy conservation plan is the rationing of electricity? The prevention of acid rain, greenhouse effect, and global warming can be avoided by the development of new energy technologies while conserving untapped oil reserves. To understand the seriousness of finding alternative energy sources for the future of our children, grand-children, and our planet, we need to know the historical development of energy sources, identify all the responsible parties, and examine the long-term effects of using fossil fuel sources.

Historical Development Fossil FuelFossil fuel, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, make up about 95% of the world's total energy with an estimated annual growth of 2%.

It is this demand and the fact that fossil fuel is not reusable resulting in a fossil fuel shortage (Alternative Fuels & Fossil Fuels, n.d.). Originally, oil was used as ointment and medicine but not as fuel. In Western Pennsylvania oil flowed from natural springs and by 1859 in the same region oil wells were drilled by Edwin Drake. These wells were 69 feet deep and produced 15 barrels a day. The area boomed and the modern oil industry was the result shortly after Texas and Oklahoma became the centers of US production (Benefits From Fossil Fuel, 2004). After WWII the Middle East became the major suppler for United States use of oil. As a fuel, oil originally was used as kerosene for lighting, replacing...