Fossil fuels are one of the
greatest threats to the environment today. Their burning contributes heavily to global warming, the pollution of the air,
water and land, as well as the production of acid rain.
When fossil fuels are burned
huge amounts of carbon are released into the air. This contributes to the greenhouse effect, causing the sun’s warmth
to be excessively trapped in the atmosphere. When this occurs, global temperatures rise. Melting of the polar ice caps causes
ocean levels to rise as well.
This reduces the salinity
of the ocean, endangering many organisms that are dependent upon a certain level of salt concentration to be able to live.
It also poses a serious risk of many cities and settlements located close to sea level entirely disappearing under water.
Why do we continue
to consume fossil fuels despite these dangers? The simple answer is that the oil companies are greedy, and in their callous
greed they would rather sell our planet’s tomorrow for their profits today. They are unwilling to give up their position
of wealth and power regardless of the consequences.
The oil industry is public enemy number one. They have effectively blocked all access to alternative
energy resources. These resources would be both cleaner and cheaper, but the world continues to allow itself to be held in
economic slavery to the oil tycoons because corrupt politicians both in the US and abroad are receiving kickbacks from these
Perhaps the most tragic hypocrisy is the wars which have been fought or threatened over the
development of nuclear technology. The nations involved claim that they fear the nations they campaign against developing
nuclear weapons. The truth of the matter, however, is that the oil companies stand to lose a great deal if nuclear power becomes
a viable means of energy.
More shameful is that the world's political leaders allow themselves to be either bribed or
bullied into acquiescence rather than taking a stand. We must unite and let our leaders know that such avarice or cowardice
is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
The oil companies also seek to maintain power and wealth despite their knowledge of the
environmental dangers caused by drilling, spills, and oil fires. They also continue to maximize profit margins by penuriously
refusing to take precautions against these disasters, to adequately clean up after them when they occur, or to be environmentally
responsible in any way, shape or form.
We must tirelessly lobby for energy reform. If we, the educated public demand that the oil
companies' money machine be stopped and that cheaper and safer energy and fuel alternatives be made available they will no
longer have a leg to stand on.
Foreign Policy in Focus document describing the impact of oil on current geopolitical turmoil.
The coal industry is among the greatest menaces to the American Environment. Entire mountains
are callously leveled by stripmining in the name of excessive profit margins and noxious wastes, including sulfur dioxide,
which becomes sulfuric acid in the air and water, are spewed into the atmosphere and discharged into our rivers. This
strip mining is illegal, but stripmining regulations don't seem to get enforced, even though the sites of infractions are
often painfully visible from interstates and other major highways.
The Citizen's Coal Council
CCC slideshows contrasting the ugliness of the coal industry with the beauty we seek to preserve.