Eli5 if biodegraded waste naturally turns to fossil fuels after millions of years, how is it running out?

22 views
0

Eli5 if biodegraded waste naturally turns to fossil fuels after millions of years, how is it running out?

In: 0

Because we don’t want to wait millions of years for more fuel if I need to put gas in my car now.

Imagine that I had a piggy bank, and my parents put $0.05 into it every day of my life. And now I’m 20, so there’s $365 in that piggy bank, and my parents agree to keep putting $0.05 into it every day.

So I start taking a dollar out of the piggy bank everyday. It has so much in it, taking $1 out won’t be that bad, and more money keeps get put in it, right? But after a few days, I’m taking out more money from the piggy bank then we’re getting in new coins added to it. If I keep this up, using more money from the piggy bank everyday, soon it will run out. It doesn’t matter if $0.05 get put in every day, if I’m taking a dollar out everyday too.

That’s what’s going on with fossil fuels. It takes a long long time to make new fossil fuels, but we’re using them up so fast that the planet can’t keep up. Fossil fuels only get generated under very rare circumstances, and it takes a long time for that to happen.

Fossil fuel only forms under very specific conditions. Basically, they are a byproduct of plantlife dying before there was any organism that broke down dead plantlife – those dead plants were put under pressure for millions of years beneath the Earth. It isn’t an event that can really happen again.

Even if it _could_, we are using fossil fuels up far faster than they can be replenished.

It doesn’t. Only under certain circumstances does biological waste get converted to fossil fuel.

These circumstances are relatively rare, so the production of fossil fuels is very slow. Meanwhile, we are using them very fast.

Because when your car’s needle is on “E” you don’t want to wait a million years to refill the tank. The recharge rate is low and we a pumping it out of the reservoirs faster than it is created.