By Steve Trash - Illusionist, Eco-Educator, and Rockin' Eco Hero
This is not a joke. I DO believe that Fossil fuels ARE awesome! Their use by humanity has allowed us to create giant cities, feed 7 billion people, travel into outer space, and, most important of all, make popcorn in under two minutes. Our use of fossil fuels has even gotten us (I think you could reasonably argue) to the point that we're THE dominant creature on the planet Earth. But there are serious consequences to the ways we use fossil fuels (energy and plastics for example). Burning fossil fuels for energy creates pollution. Fossil fuels are costly and difficult to get (most are deep deep beneath the Earths surface), they can be dangerous to store, and they are ultimately exhaustible. It seems to me, that we (us humans) need to transition to more sustainable and less polluting source of energy. We need to "be" sustainable, just like the planet Earth. It sustains itself. For us to be truly sustainable (meaning... to use energy that does not pollute, and is practically inexhaustible) for all 7 billion of us, we must use the suns energy or other resources that can be renewed. The sun's energy is clean energy (when collected directly from the sun) and it's practically inexhaustible. If the sun were the size (for example) of a basketball, the Earth would be the size of a bb. That's a LOT of energy that we can capture and use. It's clean. It's green (meaning it works WITH nature not AGAINST nature). I look at our use of carbon based fuels, as if it were a, giant rocket ship taking off and traveling into outer space. Almost all the fuel a rocket uses (the vast majority) gets gets used up simply to get the rocket out of the Earth's orbit. Fossil Fuels have been amazing at getting humanity to a place where is can feed, cloth, and house everyone, but at some point the rocket starts to use its forward momentum to continue the journey. My idea is that we can now switch to renewable or inexhaustible and clean energy because we got the "rocket boost" from the amazing fossil fuels. I think that using small amounts of fossil fuels for high energy, non-repeated, human endeavors, kinda, actually, makes sense, but we destroy (burn) them, so they are never replaced... ever. So powering our cars, our homes, our food generation with power that doesn't need to be burned (and depleted) just makes more sense to me. Fossil Fuels are awesome, but sustainable sources of energy are awesomer!