Mans Discovery of Fossil Fuels Could Be His Downfall. Discus

1700 Words Sep 29th, 1999 7 Pages
Throughout the entire history of mankind, the technological advancements that civilisations have made have always been tied in with the development of energy sources. The first human energy technology was fire, along with human labour as the major energy source. This has bee supplemented by animals for agriculture and transportation since at least the dawn of agriculture some 10,000 years ago. Wind and waterpower for milling grain have also been used nearly as long. The development of the steam engine by George Stephenson in the late 1700’s was the technological breakthrough that led to the industrial revolution. For the first time in human history transportation could be provided without the use of domesticated animals. Steam …show more content…
By contrast in the poorest countries in the, such as Ethiopia, Kampuchea, Nepal and Bhutan, each person generally consumes less than one GJ per year. (W.Cunningham et al 1995). This means that on average, a person in a developed country uses almost as much energy in a single day, as a person in one of the above countries uses in a year. Clearly, there is a link between energy consumption and the comfort and convenience of our lives. The consumption of energy in developing countries is rising rapidly, and by the end of the next century will dominate energy markets worldwide. Even allowing for a growth rate in the demand for energy in the developing countries 1-2 % lower than the present trend, the demand is likely to exceed 100 million barrels a day oil equivalent (mbdoe) by 2010, and possibly 200 mbdoe (K.Pickering and L.Owen 1995). The reason coal, crude oil and natural gas are called fossil fuels is that all three were once living matter. Early in earth’s biological history, photosynthesis outpaced the activity of consumers and decomposers. Consequently, large amounts of organic matter accumulated, especially on the bottoms of shallow seas and swamps. Gradually, this material was buried under sediments eroding from the land, and, over millions of years, was converted to either coal, crude oil or natural gas depending on the conditions underwhich it was subjected to. Formation of fossil fuels by natural processes

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