Environmental Aspects of Fossil Fuel Use | Fossil Fuel in General
Many of the benefits we derive from our way of life, and our high standard of living, are due to fossil fuel use. Light, heat, food, communication, travel, community -- all are based on our ability to produce and use energy. And most of our energy, about 85%, comes from fossil fuel. (Another 8% comes from nuclear power, and 7 % from all other sources, mostly hydroelectric power and wood.)
Here is the view of the great Isaac Asimov on the importance of fire, and fossil fuel:
The vast amount of energy placed at the disposal of humanity, through fire, could be, and was, used to revolutionize the nature of our existence.
The mere fact that fire was a source of light and heat independent of the sun meant that humans could roam beyond the tropics that imprison our nearest living relatives, the great apes, and into the damp, cold regions with seasons of snow and long freezing nights. In addition, the heat of the fire brought about changes in food that were the equivalent of partial digestion, and this made ordinarily inedible food palatable and nourishing. Our food supply was thus multiplied greatly.
It was fire and fire alone that enabled man to become a creature native to all the world and put mastery into his hand. Nor has the importance of fire diminished with time; rather the reverse. Wood was undoubtedly the first fuel used in building and maintaining a fire. Coal took primacy of place in the 17th century, joined by gas and oil in the 20th.
From: "Life and Energy", Doubleday, 1962
|It is beyond the scope of this site to go into detail about the
benefits we derive from fossil fuel energy. That would take us
into areas such as philosophy, history & archeology (how we used
to live), and anthropology (how others live). Here are some suggestive
American Anthropological Association
Arts: Humanities: History: Middle Ages: Organizations.
Regulation: Scholars are regulated informally by peer review.
Department of Energy (home page)
Trade periodicals and other publications:
Most of the Associations listed above have publications.
Culture and Agriculture - publication of the Culture and Agriculture section of the American
Anthropological Association. Site includes an index of articles
and notes for contributors.
Ancient Greek World - view artifacts that tell a vivid story of life in ancient Greece.
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