Fossil Fuels and Pollution
We use fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, more than any other energy source. We burn them to convert their stored energy to a useable form, heat. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are not green. When burned, they release gases, like carbon dioxide, creating air pollution. Air pollution harms the health of plants and animals.
Most electric power plants burn coal to heat water and produce steam. The steam turns a turbine, which powers a generator, which produces electricity. Currently, there are about 50,000 coal-burning power plants worldwide. That number is expected to rise 60 percent by 2030. How might the addition of coal-burning power plants affect our health, and the health of our planet?
Fuel for Thought
According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes 2.4 million deaths each year. Many of the deaths are from lung diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and emphysema.