Reducing emissions is difficult because the world is very addicted to fossil fuels. Oil, natural gas, and coal provide the energy that heats (and cools) our homes and powers our cars and airplanes. Fossil fuels also provide the electricity essential to maintaining our modern lifestyles, which are dependent on computers, telephones, televisions, and numerous other machines and appliances. The world economy, too, requires cheap fossil fuels to manufacture a multitude of products, to grow food, and to transport people and products around the globe. Developed countries use the largest share of energy, while less developed nations use very little. The United States is one of the world's highest energy users. According to energy expert Mayer Hillman, "In 2004, the average American used 7.9 tons of oil equivalent, the United Kingdom was half that at 3.8, China was much lower at 1.0, with Bangledesh accounting for only 0.11."33
World energy consumption is likely to grow in the future. The world population is increasing rapidly, particularly in developing countries. The global population in 2000 was about 6.1 billion people, but by 2050 it is expected to rise to 9.3 billion, with some estimates closer to 10.9 billion. In addition, certain developing countries such as China and India are experiencing rapid economic growth. For example, China, which is home to 1.3 billion people, has been growing at a rate of 8 percent annually since 1980, and its economy is expected to quadruple in the next twenty years. People in these countries want all the same technologies now available to people in developed countries. Altogether, more people with more economic wealth wanting cars, computers, and appliances means there will be an ever-increasing demand for more energy in the future. If this added energy demand is satisfied by burning fossil fuels, it will produce a significant increase in greenhouse emissions. In fact, some experts say that if people
Was this article helpful?
Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.