Rant

Posted: March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

I think too often the debate over the incorporation of clean energy sources and technology hovers around the idea of global warming. While that argument certainly has its place, I get so tired of hearing conversation coming back to it every time we discuss trying to develop alternate fuel markets. So this post is a bit of a rant, but I think it is worth ranting about.

Global warming, even amongst scientists, can be argued. Fine. The role of human activity on the climate can be argued. Fine. I don’t see why the “controversy” in this means we should be static in our development of energy. I am not a climatologist and do not want to try to speak as one, and so I will leave the scientific debate to those folks. But we can still think of the issue from a risk management and logical perspective.

We know that fossil fuels have harmful emissions, and that these emissions lead to negative externalities, even if global warming is not one of them. We also know that renewable sources are sustainable, and we can become much more energy independent through a larger availability of these sources. We have been aware for decades the role that oil plays in the volatility of international relations, and I think for that reason alone it would be beneficial to evolve our power supply and move away. As I have said, it is a process and so as a initial goal why not aim to be neutral in our oil consumption, or even a net exporter?

We have seen some significant increases in many aspects of our energy usage, from cleaner sources to independent production to efficiency. Renewable energy does not have to be linked to global warming. I want that to be the take away from this post. When we base the reasoning of developing clean energy around global warming, we are automatically losing people due to political sentiment. Renewable energy development has so many benefits, that only looking at it through an often politicized scope, in which we tend to center around global warming, is ridiculous. Developing our renewable sources will continue to clean our living environment, increase the potential supply of fuel (huge benefits in the long run), reduce dependence on foreign volatile markets, etc, and all while developing another industry with potential for billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

I want you to think about all the reasons you have heard that renewable energy is not needed or is a bad idea. How many of those ideas had merit? Or how many were more political? I am not saying there is no reason to question renewable energy, because there are many barriers to developing this industry. The point is that we should be focused on how to develop an industry that will be beneficial if we can develop it, rather than whether or not we should develop it. Of course we should, but we need to figure out the best way to do it.

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