Help Our Economy by Fixing Our Energy
Why America needs to push harder for renewable energy.
Fossil Fuels=Bad, Environment=Good
The debate on Global Warming is a very contemporary one and both sides have their points. I am not here to share my feelings on Global Warming, at least not yet. However, perhaps in part due to Global Warming (the event or the idea of it depending on your viewpoint) the need for renewable energy has become apparent, at least for me. Whether you're a believer of Global Warming or not, it quite simply cannot be denied that a vast amount of damage is done by the production and consumption of fossil fuels, the big three being coal, natural gas, and oil. Though the United States is less than five percent of the global population, we consume approximately a quarter of the world's energy. Both our production and consumption of these fossil fuels are destroying our environment and our health. Hydraulic fracturing can have devastating effects on our water supply, you don't have to go back as far as Exxon-Valdez to see the consequences of an oil spill (thanks to BP!), and coal burning plants shorten the lives of close to 24,000 Americans every year. Despite this, major energy companies are pushing for more drilling and less regulations (the result of which would probably end up like this). None of that matters though when you're making record profits.
I'm Not Against Profits
Using less fossil fuels for our countries' energy will obviously have an effect the opposite of what oil, gas, and coal companies want at least when it comes to their bottom line. As Americans we take many things for granted and have become complacent. We as a society should not be fine with the damage being done directly to our environment and indirectly to our bodies simply because fossil fuels provide the majority of the energy we use now. We should be striving for an even better quality of life for ourselves and the generations to come. If the profits made by the major companies were used to research and develop renewable sources as opposed to ridiculous CEO bonuses, said companies would perhaps be able to regain the profits they will lose from the inevitable shift to come. The shift in our energy sources is inevitable because if the fossil fuel corporations get their way, then a shift will be forced upon us through pure survival instinct. Things will continue to deteriorate until the people refuse or are unable to consume their goods. At this point the corporations own operations would decline and they would likely cease to exist. The solution of renewable energy itself is therefore not only good for us, the average citizen, but the corporations as well.
What Renewable Energy Would Do For Us
Now one of the biggest arguments against renewable energy is that it is far more costly to develop and maintain at current technological levels. This is one of the reasons why I suggested oil, gas and coal companies take lead in the researching and development of such sources. Over the past decade these industries have seen record profits and should have more than enough capital to undertake such a large endeavor. We cannot trust the government to properly manage this shift in energy sources, nor should it with our current economic situation. If renewable energy was achieved however, think about how much cleaner and better of a country we would live in. Not only that, but renewable sources would have to be managed and run locally, not only adding jobs, but spreading them out across the country. Our foreign dependence on oil would drop to probably nothing. We would be able to sell the technology and our maintenance services to our allies boosting our power in the global economy. Countries like China, which is now the worlds largest consumer of coal, would have to turn to us as it's people suffer the health consequences of such massive production (although with China's stance on population control, this one might be a stretch). For these reasons and many more, we owe it to ourselves, our health, our environment, and our children to cast off the shackles of fossil fuel and advance into the new age of renewable energy.