FOSSIL FUELS TOO VALUABLE TO BURN
When their last trees were felled civilizations were either destroyed or severely weakened, The Easter Islanders perished, the Greeks changed their town planning concepts and the Romans sought new supplies abroad – and eventually discovered coal to heat their hypocausts.
Fossil fuels, the crushed remains of living plants and creatures of millions of years ago, are the concentrated hydro carbon energy resources of modern times, brought to the service of mankind in facilitating mass use of steam engines to power transport and metal manufacture to forge into the commodities of ‘modern life’. Oil and gas multiplied those potentials many times over facilitating transport by land, sea and air and individual transport for the masses.
It is impossible to imagine life without all these conveniences and pleasures, but the economic growth that fossil fuels have enabled and the parallel growth in world population, have proceeded at an exponential rate that threatens the very existence of mankind on earth. There have even been those who have suggested our emigrating to other planets to survive!
In addition however it has only recently been realized that the emissions from burning fossil fuels are adding so much gas into the upper atmosphere, that it is acting as the glass in a greenhouse and prevents the infrared radiation from escaping. The land and sea is causing changes to the air and sea circulation that determines the climate.
The climate changes are very destructive. High rainfalls causing flooding in some areas and no rain in other areas causing desertification as well as destructive storms and hurricanes and the threat of rising sea levels flooding low lying land of islands and coastal towns. Many capital cities were built on the coast to facilitate maritime trade.