Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas create many types of pollution. But did you know that scientists have found ways to limit the pollution's effects? Or that even small changes can greatly reduce the pollution you create? Find out more about how we can reduce fossil fuel pollution.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Fossil fuels produce three types of pollution and all impact on the environment. Coal and oil must be mined or pumped and those processes cause pollution—mining results in coal dust and dirty water called sludge, that also may contain dangerous metals. Oil itself can contain substances that must be removed, such as sulfur, nitrogen and metals. When coal is burned, it leaves ash and this solid waste can also contain dangerous metals. The author explains the dangers of solid waste. In spite of the pollution problems, coal generates about 40 percent of the electricity used in the United States, while other fossil fuels generate another 28 percent. Another important issue is the use of water to get natural gas from underground in a process called fracking. Water is a precious and limited resource. After the fracking process, water usually becomes polluted, causing an adverse impact on the environment and most living things, including people. Fossil fuels are also one of the major sources of air pollution. The gasses can trap heat and thus cause temperatures to rise (global warming). Some simple steps that people can take to reduce pollution include using fewer gasoline-powered vehicles and planting trees, People can also encourage the use of solar energy, increase the use of hydroelectric plants, and continue to minimize the use of energy. Readers learn that wind power can create electricity without creating solid waste. The glossary is more extensive than in most middle readers and the books and websites for additional information are reasonably current and kid friendly. The text is very interesting and an unusual call for young people to become informed and involved in keeping our planet healthy. Part of the Searchlight Books “What Can We Do About Pollution” series. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot; Ages 8 to 10.