Recently in a comment on my editorial at The Energy Collective, it was said ‘oil is so yesterday’. I agree, and left a shorter comment in response. But my full, unabridged response, which has to do with addressing the failures of energy education in America, is below.
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I agree that oil is yesterday, but, for better or worse, it is also today – it’s the vast majority of the US’s present energy (particularly when you include coal and natural gas)*. As far as ‘tomorrow’, conventional exploration and production of fossil fuels has it’s natural limitation, so eventually it will ‘not exist’ on the planet. The reserve we’re using has been built over eons, and will only be replaced at that slow a pace (naturally).
I’m not saying this to singularly promote fossil fuel use, or make renewable energy seem unreasonable. It is said with the hope that people are considering what the transition is going to look like as there is an eventual shift away from fossil fuel consumption. At present, switching out 80% of our energy usage is not feasible in the most immediate sense. * EIA breakdown of US sources of energy http://126.96.36.199/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec1_8.pdf
The real tough questions have to do with: how much do we rely on fossil fuels to assist in the inevitable “post-fossil-fuel world?”. I don’t have an answer I’m comfortable with, yet, and I’m certainly interested in discussing it with others…. ..