The United Nations (UN) made a decision to build the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1983. The name of the commission was eventually replaced with Brundtland Commission (Elliott, 2003, 7). Its objective was to look for sustainable environmental approaches. By raising awareness about the issues with nonrenewable, non-sustainable sources of energy, the Commission fueled and exposed the debate over the limited supply of fossil fuels and other justifications for the necessity of using alternative and renewable sources of energy. Energy issues have been at the center of economic, political, scientific, and environmental discourses from then on. Those supporting a rapid adoption of alternative and renewable sources of energy believe that the calculated dates for the peak of oil production are mostly immaterial (Elliott, 2003, 18). Environmental issues and the likelihood of tipping points imply that continuous dependence on oil may bring about permanent harm to the natural world. The worst possible damage is a global extermination of species, as well as human beings.Since fossil fuels have to be burned to produce energy, air pollution has been a problem since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Air pollution has largely been the outcome of burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and supply energy to transportation. Hence, air pollution contains chemicals emitted from burning of fossil fuels (Schmidt, 2007). Air pollution does not only bring about a huge number of untimely deaths annually in developed countries, it also causes environmental destructions. Bodies of water can also be damaged by the use of fossil fuel not merely through acid rain, but through contamination of surface water as well. A case in point is the Exxon Valdez oil leakage. Valdez, the oil tanker of Exxon, contaminated a massive area of the Alaskan coast bringing about serious ecological disaster (Black & Flarend, 2010). Groundwater pollution can also be attributed to, at least partly, oil drilling and mining.Another problem among advocates of alternative energy is the impact of energy probing on land. Mountaintop mining, strip mining, and other surface mining practices cause irreversible modification of the landscape. This can seriously harm life forms and ecosystems, and its needs massive volumes of water for restoration (Black & Flarend, 2010). Drilling and mining of oil can also
ReferenceHandbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
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