Bio fuels: Are they a viable alternative?
By Andrew Abad
With mounting concerns for the availability of fossil fuels, knowledge of its finite supply, the projected 25 percent increase in global consumption by the year 2030 (Hester, 2006) and the incredible amounts of Greenhouse gasses being emitted in fossil fuel production and use the search for possible alternatives is more important than ever. “The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.”(Gore) Most scientists now agree that global warming is a man-made phenomenon and even the skeptics have started to pay more attention to the search for alternative fuels because of the rising cost of fossil fuels as well as the national security concerns surrounding this hot topic. The ongoing search for alternatives has produced options such as hydrogen cell cars, electric cars, bio fuels, nuclear energy and even solar powered options. The question is not whether our energy needs will continue to be driven by fossil fuels but rather what will replace it and when. While many car companies and oil companies have invested heavily in several alternatives, bio fuels have separated themselves from the pack as the energy source of the future. As the environmental effects of fossil fuel consumption become increasingly clear Bio fuels are on the frontier of narrowing the divide between the need for viable energy and our responsibility to the environment. By exploring Bio fuels as a renewable energy source, their societal impact and their environmental impact it becomes clear that they are the most viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Fossil Fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) account for 80 percent of the total world’s energy supply (Koh, 2008) depending on the rate of global consumption the planets known fossil fuel reserves are estimated to last anywhere from 41 to...