Our Fossil-Fueled Future – Environment – Utne Reader.
Love the picture they start this off with. Right off the bat they make out Exxon as the cause of all the worlds suffering. Yeah, riiiighht…
OK, for the record, I do NOT think we need to stop using fossil fuels! I do NOT think we need to stop the rest of the world from developing up to first world standards. In fact, I think that will be one thing that could help solve everything.
OK, I bet some people are pretty skeptical…
First point: rising incomes = lower birth rate. Lower birth rate + rising incomes = more resources to give a shit about something other than bare survival. So, the first thing we should do if we want to ‘save the planet’ is to help everyone in the world move up the economic ladder asap.
Second point: all of this increase in productivity and rising incomes (time/effort/money spent on other things than energy) depends on CHEAP energy. At this point in time, alternative energy (sources other than fossils) are NOT cheap. They are not anywhere near as efficient and they are not practical (yet). (I DO agree with technology like solar ovens replacing wood burning stoves- that is a GREAT use of solar power in the developing world and a great example of how solar will be able to help)
Third point: they talk about how the entrenched energy companies (meaning fossil fuel companies) earn “staggering profits”, which makes them somehow evil and so they should be either nationalized (BAD idea) or have their ‘profits’ stolen “for the better good” (another really bad idea).
First of all, they don’t make anything like what I would call staggering profits. They only sound like that because of the way they are reported. Which is intentionally to make you feel like something is wrong with it. They are manipulating you to make you want to punish those ‘evil’ corporations. Please read this article to get a more balanced perspective… http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/10/20/big-oil-isnt-as-profitable-as-everyone-thinks/
And to end my review of this article, I would like to point out my personal favorite way to ‘save the world’ with the least pain and anguish for everyone (and everyTHING) on the planet… start using BIRTH CONTROL!!!
If you really think about it, almost every problem you can come up with is minimized if you cut down the amount of people running around the planet. Global warming for instance. If you say that global warming is caused by the actions of people, then it could easily be solved by reducing the amount of people acting. Right?
YES! So, wouldn’t it be better to just use some birth control rather than kill off the people that are already here (through starvation, disease, war, pollution)???
China has done the world a great service with their one child policy (the only problem is their use of force instead of persuasion). If everyone around the world would think about this and resolve to just have one child voluntarily, it would solve a LOT of our problems. War, hunger, pollution, would all be just about eliminated, or at least minimized to the greatest possible extent.
Yes, it would take a while. But in the same time period they’re talking about 2040, we could make a huge, lasting impact, especially if people really came to value the rest of the planet instead of only humanity.
Personally, I would LOVE to see the use of non-polluting alternative energy sources grow to overtake the use of fossil fuels. I DO value this beautiful earth and all the other creatures living here with us.
I would be happy to use wind, solar, ocean current, fuel cell, or anything else that can match fossil fuels in price and efficiency. I am hoping they will come up with new technology that will allow me to make that choice sometime soon. So far, that day has not come. I’m doing what I can see as feasible in the meantime. No, I’m not going to be a martyr.