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Should we phase out fossil fuels? Show more Show less
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Fossil fuels are used to generate power in various facilities, providing energy for our homes, appliances, and devices. This energy has become critical to our daily lives, in turn making the use of fossil fuels essential. Despite this, debates have sprouted forth, contesting the use of fossil fuels to generate power. The questions posed by these debates are: Should the use of fossil fuels be discontinued due to their effects on climate? Or should we continue to use them for fear of economic setbacks?

Yes, we should phase out fossil fuels Show more Show less

Fossil fuels cause irreparable damage to society at large and should be phased out to prevent any further damage.
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The use of fossil fuels can have a direct negative impact on human health

Using fossil fuels as a power resource is accompanied by a slew of risks to human health. Affected populations can find themselves having respiratory issues, getting cancer, as well as become subject to some of the more indirect issues related to climate change such as urban heat islands.

The Argument

Fossil fuels pose a threat to human health and are associated with some debilitating issues. Fossil fuels are responsible for air pollution such as carbon dioxide emissions, as well as particulate matter entering airborne circulation. One of the ways particulate matter can affect people is through inhalation. Recent studies in nanoparticulate matter show that they can not only make their way into the bloodstream and reach vital organs such as the lungs and heart, but they can also make their way to a woman's placenta. [1] The presence of these particulates is harmful to a developing fetus, causing birth irregularities such as low birth weight which can contribute to a child's mortality rate. Since fossil fuels also contribute to climate change, they can also pose a health risk of a different kind. Fossil fuels contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, which fuel climate change. Considering global warming's position amongst climate-related issues, one concern directly tied to global warming is the existence of urban heat islands. Urban cities can easily become centers of a great deal of heat absorption as a result of a lack of trees. The warming of these areas can put residents at risk of intense heat waves, which make up one in five deaths from natural hazards in the United States. [2] Overall, refusing to phase out fossil fuels only adds towards human mortality rates.

Counter arguments

While some perceptions of fossil fuels hold that they do more damage to human health, the fossil fuel industry appears to contribute more to good health. Fossil fuels power electricity plants, which provide people with energy for their household necessities. Without these household appliances, people would become subject to crude living conditions. For instance, if not for fossil fuel-powered electricity, people would still be using kerosene lighting, leading to lung cancer, pneumonia, heart disease, and other health-related problems. [3] Using electricity prevents people from resorting to these methods and developing these ailments, underscoring why fossil fuels are not only necessary but also contribute towards good health.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://nypost.com/2020/09/23/carbon-metal-particles-from-air-pollution-found-in-placenta/
  2. https://www.latimes.com/science/la-xpm-2013-jul-09-la-sci-sn-minorities-urban-heat-islands-20130709-story.html
  3. https://pubs.spe.org/en/jpt/jpt-article-detail/?art=5483
This page was last edited on Thursday, 5 Nov 2020 at 03:46 UTC

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