Fossil fuel addiction

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Fossil fuel addiction refers to our society's continuing dependence upon fossil fuels.

This is a problem for the following reasons:

  • At present rates of consumption, these fuels (especially oil) will soon become impossibly expensive to continue using as energy sources.
  • Burning fuel extracted from the ground results in the net release of vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn causes global warming.
  • Mining and drilling operations (especially coal) are extremely hazardous for those who work on them, and can have long-term negative health consequences.
  • Mining and drilling operations can destroy and/or pollute vast acreage of land or water.
  • Natural gas fracking operations can pollute groundwater and make land uninhabitable for humans and unsafe for livestock
  • Oil and fracking companies have consistently resisted attempts to appropriately assign blame for pollution incidents, often successfully lobbying for laws that relieve them of any responsibility even to provide basic information about the chemicals they use.
  • The oil trade creates unhealthy economic dependencies, especially between the (supposedly egalitarian) US and the feudal society of Saudi Arabia.


Fossil fuel addiction includes oil, which comprises the majority of the addiction, as well as coal and natural gas.


Sustainable energy development is now proceeding at a substantial pace, and is expected to eventually replace fossil substances as a source of energy. The sooner this transition can take place, the better off we will be, especially in terms of climate change and other environmental damage.


  • This will not be fast enough to prevent a great deal of harm from global warming, which is now inevitable. More investment in sustainables is called for in order to reduce the amount of additional harm that will be caused by continued fossil fuel combustion.
  • The fossil fuel industry has been fighting against efforts to do so, aided by the US Republican Party, primarily through methods such as global warming denial propaganda.