Fossil Fuel Consumption Vs. Time

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Non-renewable resources are energy sources that, in modern society, are consumed faster than the rate at which nature produces them. Fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, take centuries to form, whilst crude oil takes millions of years to form. These resources are finite and over time, it is believed they will cease to exist (Carty, 2013). The production, use and maintenance of vehicles can significantly impact the environment through the use of these non-renewable resources such as metals, petroleum and other fossil fuels (depending on what the vehicle consumes) (Royal Automobile Club, 2013). The rate at which these recourses are being used is also increasing, partly due to the increase in global population, as shown below in Figure 1. Figure 1 - Fossil Fuel Consumption vs. Time (Dunn, 2004)
Production of these resources also causes damage to the environment. This can be either through the damage caused by the extraction of the resource or the disposal of them at the end of their life span (Royal Automobile Club, 2013). The drilling and extraction of oil is quite complex and can leave numerous opportunities for error or accidents. Contamination is eminent via the large waste pits, often left unlined and open affecting many of the surrounding water sources. Flames from burning the natural gas found in oil fields also cause significant air pollution. Oil spills, accidents and illegal dumping of oil barrels lead to devastating ecological and health consequences that can
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