Here are the comments respondents provided to our weekly quiz on fossil fuels:
1 Politically fossil fuels are being attacked as limited and polluting. The reality may be that they are varying in complexity and costs to obtain and control. Whenever industry finds a way to use existing fuels within the laws, someone finds a way to change the law to serve their self-righteous views. The EPA has a history of changing the limits such that if you detect a pollutant, you are in violation. They change the limit down whenever the science allows for detecting lower limits. 2 My concern lies not with supply but the continued re-insertion of carbon that was sequestered 100 million years ago over a period of 100 million years in 100-200 years. 3 I'm not sure but I suspect that with the latest technology and a little patience that Coal, in particular, cannot be burned even more cleanly and less polluting than at present 4 Are there any "sustainable" energy producing devices that can be manufactured without use of fossil fuels? 5 I am thinking that fossil fuels will become obsolete far before we run out of them...more caused by better efficiency and convenience than cost/pollution/etc. 6 Natural gas is in continuous production by the decomposition of organic materials. This yields long term, localized supplies that will never really run out. 7 There is nearly an unlimited supply. The real question should be the cost of extraction of the fuels. They will become uneconomic at some point. 8 There is lots of oil at $500/barrel, none at a dollar. Key is a decent balance. If we get more nuclear, and/or more oil and gas from local sources, then we can break the stranglehold of OPEC like cartels, and bankrupt al Qaeda 9 We will never run out of fossil fuels, but the price will be very high 10 I will be labeled somewhat of a fanatic, but I believe God has provided in His creation all the energy sources this world needs until He decides time is up. I also believe when He decides time as we know it on earth is done, we will clearly know it is His doing, not man destroying Himself. 11 There are lots of resources, incl. capital tied with high use of fossil fuels. Once the fossil fuels become expensive enough, we will have enough resources to exploit geothermal energy - which can be used for cooling as well. 12 The availability is not the primary issue. Prime importance is the side effects, burning fossil fuels releases locked carbon dioxide. Despite isolated denial, carbon dioxide absorbs energy which would otherwise be lost. This is the prime reason why we need to slow our use. Another is the stewardship factor. Why should we, and possibly a few generations on use up these resources and leave nothing for, hopefully, countless future generations. They are too valuable as a chemical feed-stock to be burnt.
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