As a result of organic detritus becoming fossilized over aeons has resulted in earth containing vast reserves of natural gas, petroleum and other associated by-products. In short, the natural gas that you use for cooking food was actually a living organism that lived millions of years ago, which later on got fossilized and got turned into fossil fuel– hence the term. But it is our quest to tap more of this natural resource that has resulted in impacting us in ways we never thought were possible which is why we are taking a closer look at some of the associated negative effects of natural gas.
Drilling: One of the processes by which we are able to obtain natural gas is by drilling into the bedrock. And while like other fossil fuels, natural gas does release a certain amount of air pollutants into the atmosphere on burning, it seems that the process to obtain the same is fast becoming a danger to our world at large. As these oil and energy companies drill for natural gas, they end up releasing vast amounts of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, directly into the atmosphere. To put it in perspective, methane is thirty-four times more effective than carbon dioxide in blocking sunlight and in warming the earth. What’s more, once released, methane can be an active component for a very long time. Prolonged drilling can result in vast amounts of trapped methane being released back into the atmosphere directly.
Health: Residents, who live in and around areas where active drilling is being carried out, often find out that their health is being compromised, as a result of close proximity to the drilling zone. Companies use various tools and techniques for drilling and extracting natural gas trapped underneath and as a result, often release various air pollutants directly into the atmosphere. These pollutants can include anything from sulfur dioxide to arsenic. Since most energy companies use hydraulic fracturing as a way to access the tapped gas underneath, they often release these by-products directly into the local water system. As a result, most of the local residents often experience several health issues ranging from cardiovascular issues (as a result of air pollutants) to an impaired nervous system as a result of prolonged exposure to high levels of chemicals and even arsenic poisoning in a few cases.
Environmental impact: As a result of drilling for natural gas, most of the local water bodies get polluted. This often results in a knockdown effect on the local environment with several species disappearing overnight with the loss of their natural habitat.
These are some of the associated negative effects of natural gas which is why it is important that we come up with an alternative source of energy. Our natural gas reserves are not infinite and continual prospecting for the same is having a detrimental effect on the world around us, as we know it today.