How Fossil Fuels Have Affected Our Lives

Until the 19th century, human progress was limited by the amount of work that people could do in a day to feed themselves and their families. The economy was largely rural as a result. Beginning in the 19th century, people began to develop coal, oil and other stored energy sources to supplement solar energy. The results of plant and animal growth through solar energy, over huge areas and geologic time periods, coupled with violent geological upheaval, became available for human exploitation....

Risks

The problem of making impartial judgements of impacts and costs can be even more complex in relation to assessing the impact of accidents and health effects and their costs, one of the subset of assessments made within the EXTERNE analysis. The impacts are clear enough in general terms. Nuclear power introduces novel health risks related to the generation of long-lived radioactive materials, while there are large public health implications from the emission of acid gases from fossil fuel...

Preface Of Renewable Energy

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg focused attention of the world's media on environmental issues, important among which was the development of renewable energy RE sources. These are widely seen as a means of combating climate change induced by rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels. The rate of energy consumption is predicted to triple over the next 50 years or so, emphasizing the need to develop novel sources with...

Carbon Accounting and Energy Analysis

Rather than trying to assign costs to impacts or measure health risks, another increasingly popular approach in attempting to reflect the environmental significance of energy technology is to use the resultant carbon emissions. If nothing else, this might help reduce the level of subjectivity involved in making comparisons between the various energy options. In effect we are thus moving one step backwards in the EXTERNE analysis. Certainly, carbon emissions are a central factor in climate...

Science and Precaution in Energy Sustainability

It is with increasing realization of these practical and theoretical limitations to the value of 'risk-based' techniques in the appraisal of sustainability that interest 36 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2, Second Assessment Report, Oxford University 3 7 F. von Hayek, New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas, Chicago is growing in complementary and alternative approaches, such as the precautionary approach discussed in the Introduction. In particular,...