Answer to Question #199368 in History for Nana

Question #199368

1a. Fuelwood and charcoal as sources of energy are problematic. Discuss. 

1b. How does the ‘ Smoker’ ensure energy efficiency?

Expert's answer

Fuelwood and charcoal as sources of energy are problematic. Discuss


           Fuelwood and charcoal use have posed a lot of problems to the current society and generation. However, the most fuelwood is utilized in rural areas while charcoal used in urban areas as their sources of energy. However, most of the fuel is provided in form of biomass fuel in less developed countries hence cause stress to the environment. Milliken et al. (2018) states that the dependence of rural areas on fuelwood leads to their development crisis thus undergoes development problems. The use of biomass fuel results in continuous deforestation in rural areas and hence leads to global warming. Overdependence on the biomass fuel also results to land degradation as it depends on the natural environment. Consequently, the use of charcoal and fuelwood increases air pollution problem in the environment (Msoffe, 2017). This is attributed from the solid wastes from the wood remains, charcoal remains and the toxic carbon monoxide gases produced when cooking.

           The use of charcoal in the urban areas leads to air and land pollution due to ineffective waste management and disposal. Air pollution caused by the use of charcoal can result to massive of lives due to suffocation. Fuelwood scarcity poses challenges and stress to children and women as they are responsible for preparation of food (Kariuki, 2021). Thus, have to trek for long distances looking for firewood. Use of fuelwood and charcoal as energy source leads to destruction of homes and forests through forest fires.

Environment problems arises due to forests overexploitation thereby destroying the ecosystems and natural habitats of animals. Forest’s exploitation attracts massive soil erosion which eventually results to land degradation. Apart from charcoal being health and environmental risk, its also inefficient source of energy as it produces black soot. The use of charcoal in cooking leads to emission of green house gases that leads to global warming. The use of charcoal is also ineffective as large amount of it is required for complete cooking activity. The poisonous smoke emitted when using charcoal increases case of heart diseases, lung cancer, stroke and even death of individuals (Scheid et al., 2018). The use of charcoal as a source of energy is cost ineffective as more funds are spend in charcoal purchase. Hence, driving deforestation and environmental degradation through continuous cutting down of trees.

How does the ‘Smoker’ ensure energy efficiency?

           A smoker is a person who smokes tobacco products either daily or occasionally. Energy efficiency is the use of technological means in performing the same activity but using less energy. Caring smokers should quit smoking to ensure energy efficiency. However, quitting smoking leads to reduced cigarettes and tobacco manufacture, thus conserving trees. Increased smoking increases the energy expenditure therefore, smokers should reduce or quit smoking to reduce energy expenditure (Liu, Chen & Yan, 2020). Smokers should reduce the emission of toxic gases to the environment as it subjects other people to air pollution. They should avoid rubber smoking to enhance energy efficiency and environment friendly to other non-smokers.











Kariuki, D. W. (2021). Socio-Economic Determinants of Household Continued Use of Solid Biofuels (Fuelwood and Charcoal) for Cooking Purposes in Sub-Saharan Africa-Kenya’s Situation. East African Journal of Environment and Natural Resources3(1), 49-68.

Liu, Y., Chen, X., & Yan, Z. (2020). Depression in the house: the effects of household air pollution from solid fuel use among the middle-aged and older population in China. Science of the Total Environment703, 134706.

Msoffe, R. M. (2017). Increase in deforestation: A key challenge to household charcoal supply–A case of Tanga urban, Tanzania. European Journal of Social Sciences Studies.

Milliken, W., Gasson, P., Pareyn, F., Sampaio, E. V., Lee, M., Baracat, A., ... & Cutler, D. (2018). Impact of management regime and frequency on the survival and productivity of four native tree species used for fuelwood and charcoal in the caatinga of northeast Brazil. Biomass and bioenergy116, 18-25.

Scheid, A., Hafner, J., Hoffmann, H., Kächele, H., Sieber, S., & Rybak, C. (2018). Fuelwood scarcity and its adaptation measures: an assessment of coping strategies applied by small-scale farmers in Dodoma region, Tanzania. Environmental Research Letters13(9), 095004.

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