Fossil Fuel Dependency and Americans
The purpose of this paper is to look at some issues that Americans face today stemming from fossil fuel dependency. There is practically nothing we do that does not require energy generated from oil, coal or gas. Conservation measures have not stopped the increasing demand for energy use and the supply of these non-renewable resources is decreasing. Without interventions our country will face economic breakdown and a possible shortage of the food supply. Most of the oil and natural gas comes from unfriendly countries of the Middle East and can seriously threaten our national security. Politicians, scientists and even oil companies are concerned about our dependence on oil. Americans from all walks of life are demanding action to be taken. Industrialization and social change have raised our standard of living but has made us more dependent on fossil fuels. To make America more secure, stronger economically and preserve the environment, we must break this dependence on fossil fuel use.
Our dependence on fossil fuels is directly related to our habits and culture as Americans and is a foundation for excessive energy use. The next generation of Americans will face dire consequences if we do not fight for change. Americans make up a very small part of the world’s population, approximately 5% but consume one quarter of the world’s oil (Rubens, 2008). Americans use energy mainly for transportation, heating/air conditioning and electricity. Practically all products we buy have some sort of fuel cost attached to it. Houses and buildings use about half of the energy for heating, cooling, lighting and running appliances. Fossil fuels are also used to make plastics, inks and tires.
Growing foods uses up to 17% of the energy consumption. Fertilizer, farm equipment and irrigation use energy from fossil fuels to produce high yields of crops. Once food has been harvested it must be transported, packaged and marketed consumes even more...