We must evolve past fossil fuels


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Ask yourself this question: Looking back over the entire span of human history, was there ever a time when humanity did not embrace new, safe technologies? The harnessing of fire? The wheel? Stone, then metal, tools? The cart, the combustion engine, trains, electricity, the telephone, airplanes, radio, television, computers, aerospace technology? 

Never. Until today. And, ironically, while the technology of the past improved overall quality of life, it wasn’t necessary for the continuation of it. Today’s technology, however, is essential in pulling us back from the precipice. 

Why, then, are clean, renewable energy technologies not being embraced, unlike all safe technologies before it, especially in light of the fact that they would replace finite sources of energy whose emissions foul our nest and threaten our national security? Ours is one of the only governments on Earth that deliberately pushes back against its development. The answer: Plutocracy (which shows no allegiance to any form of government). There are financial and political constraints in place for the financial gains of the few. “Plutocracy” includes the effective dissemination of disinformation through the purchase and subsequent use of media outlets. Today’s electorate that supports politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) who continuously vote down enlightened energy legislation are terribly misinformed and have been frightened over the prospects of change of this magnitude. Ignorance is not bliss. 

Archaeologists have proof that mankind harnessed fire at least 700,000 years ago, and evidence suggests that it was brought under our control as long as 1.6 million years ago. Ever since that time, humanity has based its energy needs on carbon combustion technology: first to heat, then electrify, our homes, to powering up our buildings and industries, and, of course, to propel our vehicles along roads and through space. So, for the first time in 1.6 million years, humanity can finally transition itself away from its dependence on fire, as well as the insidious side effects of burning fossil fuels, from pollution to the uneasy realization that we are at the mercy of others in terms of its accessibility and cost. Historically, combustion-based technology served us well, but it has not only outlived its usefulness, its continued use threatens our existence. 

Buckminster Fuller observed that all of Earth’s biological processes, including those of mankind, harness only one millionth of one percent of all the energy that washes over our planet each day. We are still a very primitive species, and our technology remains crude, but we are entering an age that will usher in unimaginable technological innovation at ever-quickening speed. We need not be afraid to leave combustion-based mechanization behind. This is part of the evolutionary thrust that propels us forward.  

Author: Jeffrey Reel | Source: The Berkshire Eagle [April 24, 2011]



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