The two faces of carbon


All life forms on Earth are based on carbon. Without this element, life as we know it would most likely be impossible.

  • What are the properties of carbon that make it essential for life?

We also depend on carbon in our daily activities. For instance, we need energy to drive, use electronic equipment, and cook. In the United States, most of this energy is produced from fossil fuels. To learn more, watch the following video: Formation of Fossil Fuels (2:25).

  • What is the link between fossil fuels and carbon?
  • Why are fossil fuels considered an unsustainable form of energy?
  • Name the compound produced by combustion of fossil fuels. What are the consequences of this compound on life?
  • What are the alternative sources of energy for fossil fuels? Are they also based on carbon?

Your completed journal assignment should be 350 to 450 words.