2019 Made Clear that the Climate Crisis is a Real and Growing Danger
The idea of Sustainable Energy Infrastructure, a.k.a. clean energy, dates back to the 1970s. As a matter of fact Earth Day, inaugurated April 22, 1970, was founded to raise awareness of environmental issues. The main issue for the first decade or so was pollution, hence clean energy. Although the “hole” in the ozone layer, first discovered in 1985, is not directly related to climate change, the root cause of both is the human release of pollutants into the atmosphere.
In 1969 the Cuyahoga River went up in flames and, when Time Magazine published dramatic photos of the blaze, outrage was ignited nationwide. So exactly 50 years ago, as of June 2019, the so called “Environmental Movement” began, and has now morphed into the Climate Crisis. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), established by, of all people, Richard Nixon, began its operation in the same year as Earth Day, on December 2, 1970. As for Solar Cells and power, the first working solar cell was built in 1883. 1832 there was already experimentation with electric vehicles and then, around 1870 working models were driven on the streets on London.
Sadly, the last 50 years (not to speak of the century plus since solar and EV solutions have been incubating) have been marked more by obstruction and obfuscation on the part of politicians and the government, rather than enough meaningful support for a cleaner, sustainable energy infrastructure.
The Real Truth Regarding Sustainable Energy and Why its Growth has been Blocked
Unfortunately, sometimes the most urgently needed answers are hidden in plain sight. The obvious stands directly in front of us staring us in the face . If someone were to ask what the greatest obstacle is to building a sustainable energy infrastructure to supersede current oil and fossil fuel-based sources? Some might say research and development, or new technology, perhaps EV adoption by the general public.
While all of these sound vaguely plausible there’s a much simpler explanation for what the true impediment is.
Below is a list showing the the top 10 oil producing countries in the world measured by barrels per day of output. Simply by looking at the top three USA, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, it can easily be seen where the real problem lies. Not only is the USA the largest producer of oil in the world, based on the barrels per day measurement, it is also the largest fossil fuel consuming nation on the planet. And those output numbers are growing.
Further, the USA has increased its production of oil virtually every year this decade. Since the price of oil peaked in 2008 which also coincided with the financial crisis, the US has been doing everything in its power to reduce the price of oil in order, presumably, to attempt to create economic stimulus. While this may seem like a valid goal, it has a direct effect on the relative price of sustainable energy sources, which become more expensive in comparison as the price of oil goes down. Without government support, such as gasoline taxes reinvested in clean energy sources, the transition away from fossil fuels simply can not happen fast enough to avoid global catastrophe.
Simply by looking at the list of the top 10 oil producing countries in 2018 it can easily be seen the logic behind the massive and focused resistance to any improvement in sustainable energy generation. There is a massive incentive toward the self-perpetuation of these enterprises, right up until outright extinction is the fate of us all.
(source: Energy Information Administration )
- United States – Production: 17,886,000 bpd
- Saudi Arabia – Production: 12,419,000 bpd
- Russia – Production: 11,401,000 bpd
- Canada – Production: 5,295,000 bpd
- China – Production: 4,816,000 bpd
- Iraq – Production: 4,616,000 bpd
- Iran – Production: 4,471,000 bpd
- United Arab Emirates – Production: 3,791,000 bpd
- Brazil – Production: 3,428,000 bpd
- Kuwait – Production: 2,870,000 bpd
It is also no coincidence that countries who have done the most to create a price equilibrium between clean sustainable sources and fossil fuels through taxation of gasoline, primarily, happen to be those countries that produce and own the fewest oil assets. Germany is a perfect example as it leads the world in the increase in capacity of sustainable energy infrastructure.
The meaning and import attached to these simple facts go beyond the rise of EVs, Tesla and public awareness. Beyond the meteoric career of a charismatic wunderkind willing to take on established powers that have exhibited virtually infinite levels of corruption and suicidal stupidity. This issue, how to stop the obstruction of the ultimate and total transition away from poisonous fossil fuels, is the only issue that matters for the decade of the 2020s. The politicians and governments must be forced, not only to stop obstructing, but to support the transition with extreme prejudice.
Below: our top energy breakthrough stories from 2019
Extinction Rebellion Video Increases political pressure as Elections Loom and Climate Survival is at Stake
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