The renewable energy consultants and researchers tell us that the transition from the petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole. The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed and built is staggering, even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments’ tax breaks, rebates and incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission is daunting. Our society has lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to being a thing of the past.
We need multilateral, international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting away from the heavy, almost complete, dependence on fossil fuels. They are poised to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of reasonably cheap oil and gas, and scientists say that within 20 years beyond that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them. Unfortunately, at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The thirst for oil is growing, not diminishing, and it is growing faster now than it did even in the 1970s.
One of the major problems of transition, the economists point out, is that higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what many energy so-called “experts” and many members of the public believe, but the fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street. It can be a very vicious cycle.)
Renewable or “green” energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is resistance to this much-needed economic transition. It is because of this that many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black ashes of the fossil fuel economy.
It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US, China, Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get off of the fossil fuel dependence. For we are the only countries that can sustain our people during the transition periods of infrastructure upgrades and implementation. Smaller, poorer nations are simply not going to be able to sustain a transition without a concerted global effort.
I urge you all to support a comprehensive “climate change” bill that you believe in and to take action to become energy independent, through conservation, education, awareness and implementing your own renewable energy. A grass roots movement is much needed in this world to combat a nemesis that is quickly creeping up on us. The time for transition from black to green is now.
Peace and Prosperity,
Rich @ NY Homesteader
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