Here’s my solution for global warming – we can all lower the temperature just by switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius!
For the past twenty-five years, when it came to the energy question, the answer was almost universal – fossil fuels (oil/gas) are the capitalistic villains who will doom us all and green energies (wind/solar) are the environmental heroes who will save us all. But now, a quarter of a century later, the roles are being reversed.
First, green energy is not the saviour it was made out to be. According to Forbes Magazine, investments by many nations in renewable green resources is down dramatically. The reason? They cost a fortune to start up, take forever to show a return, and most important of all to politicians, greatly increase voter’s monthly utility bills. Even Google, as socially-conscious a corporation as you are going to find, has announced that it is getting out of the green energy movement altogether (after entering with much fanfare). And who can blame them? Think about it – with all the hype and promises (plus billions spent), green energy today makes up just one-third of one percent of the world’s energy supply. And so as green start-up companies continue to file for bankruptcy and green-job layoff notices put people on the unemployment line, it all goes to prove the words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green.”
Second, fossil fuel is not the villain it was made out to be. As oil-and-gas public relation departments are finally beginning to point out, the world is a much better place because of such fuels. For instance, compared to 250 years ago, the average person in North America has access to 50 times more power, travels 250 times farther, has 37,500 times more light, and incomes have increased 20-fold. Kerosene saved the whales, coal rescued the forests, and pesticides kept us from starving. In the pre-industrial days, burning biomass (wood and plants) caused indoor pollution that annually killed more than 3,000,000 people. Today, with clean electricity, indoor pollution has disappeared. And there’s another benefit that is often overlooked. In 1910, one-third of farmland in North America had to be used to produce fodder for horses and mules. But tractors have eradicated this huge demand on agricultural soil and ridded cities of manure pollution. (Had the horse-and-mule numbers had to expand in proportion to the current population need for food; the additional millions of acres of farmland required would now equal the combined total area of the United States, Canada, and India). Instead, just in the last fifty years, on less land, crop production is up 160%.
And now, by God’s goodness, with green energy use decreasing, fossils fuel finds are increasing. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Who would have thought that in 2013 in North America we would have a glut of natural gas and be swimming in petroleum oil. And by 2020, the United States will be totally energy independent.”
This isn’t to say green energy doesn’t have its positives (especially on an individual basis) and fossil fuels don’t have their negatives (especially exhaust and fumes) – but the Lord would not have put so much oil/gas under our feet if He hadn’t planned for us to put it to good use.