Energy – The Defining Issue of Our Time

Recently I have become extremely interested in the oil/gas and energy industry. I see it as one of the defining issues of the twenty-first century. From my perspective, the energy issue of today can be stated as follows: Will sovereign governments and corporations continue to find and exploit enough fossil fuels to provide affordable energy to a rapidly-growing world while at the same time discovering alternative means to efficiently provide for increasing global energy needs without irreparably damaging the planet in which we live. Here are some of my thoughts on the issue.

Our current global infrastructure was designed to run on fossil fuels and not on ethanol or alternative forms of energy. While the world’s energy use could and must certainly become more efficient, it is a farce to believe that oil will become less important in the decades to come, especially with the enormous amounts of fossil fuels still available and being discovered each year. Not to mention the energy demands that China and other growing economies will require in the years to come as developing countries become more prosperous. Contrary to what some believe, the idea that the U.S. can become energy independent is a fiction. Not only is the world’s energy industry one of the largest and most critical industries around the globe, it is also one of the most interconnected. Energy independence in the U.S. is no more a reality than is completely transitioning away from fossil fuels. That is not to say, however, that alternative energy should not be emphasized and increased. Alternative means of energy are essential and should be a focus. The U.S. government must be in the forefront in developing new energy technologies and industries. It’s baffling that there is no “Manhattan Project” or “JFK Man to the Moon” sensation underlying the global energy race to alternative technologies. Instead, the current alternative energy technologies we have require huge amounts of resources themselves while the resulting energy output hardly begins to meet the growing energy needs of any country, let alone the U.S., E.U. or China. I believe that fossil fuels will be here for decades to come, but until our leaders make cleaner, alternative energy sources a priority, little will change. And in the end, that could be bad news for us all.

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