. Now that the once-feared energy crisis has been resolved by the discovery and development of massive amounts of oil and natural gas from shale formations, it should be noted that the global warming problem is still very much alive.
Global Warming or "Climate Change" if you prefer, has the potential to damage our country and, indeed, civilization as we know it. "
Although both the anticipated energy crisis and global warming had to eventually be dealt with, it is my opinion that the energy crisis is now resolved and we must now face up to the Global Warming problem.
We once thought that Global Warming was a few years away, but some recent scientific observations (Hurricane Sandy!) has indicated global warming (climate change) may be arriving faster than we once thought.
In the very long run, Global Warming may be a larger threat than the energy crisis ever was when it arrives in full force.
There are several pertinent reasons to give top priority to solving the Global Warming problem.
1. Some of the solutions to the resolved Energy Crisis threat may also mitigate the Global Warming problem.
2. The discovery and rapid development of huge reservoirs of shale formation oil, and particularly natural gas, made possible one solution - to the Energy Crisis problem. The natural gas will be substituted for oil and coal and is a much cleaner fuel
4. Although some progress had been made with developing alternative energy sources, the overall effort has been impressive but a little inadequate in my opinion. Ethanol and other biofuels were our big hope, but it is now generally recognized among the experts that ethanol (at least corn ethanol) may cause so many problems that it is not worth the effort......but please don't tell the corn farmers....they love the subsidies (which appear to be in the process of being discontinued, thankfully!). Overall, The use of alternative energy will help with global warming in that lesser amounts of fossil fuels will be required and fossil fuels are a prime cause of global warming.
One alternative energy source that will help with global energy is solar energy. The potential for solar energy is best illustrated by quoting Wikipedia: "If built for use as solar collectors, 1 percent of the land used for crops or pasture could supply the world's total energy consumption."
Of course, 1 percent of all the land used for crops or pasture is still an awful lot of land. But the solar energy technology is now growing rapidly
Solar energy has arrived!
Ethanol has so much propaganda associated with it that it is hard to separate truth from fiction. To listen to the past Bush Administration, congress, and the corn farmers, ethanol leads the list of alternative energy sources. Government subsidies were being poured into growing corn which was then converted into ethanol. These subsidies have recently begun to be decreased.
I am normally suspicious of an alternative energy source that requires large government subsidies for it to be marketed. However, government subsidies have been heavily used in Europe to promote alternative energy development and the European subsidies have been successful there. Maybe, I have been too market-oriented and the subsidizing of corn ethanol production was necessary.
The success that Brazil has had with ethanol produced from sugar cane is often touted to support US corn subsidies. But ethanol production from sugar cane is more efficient than producing ethanol from corn. More important, Brazil can grow three sugar cane crops per year in their climate and that changes the economics. Brazilian ethanol can compete in price with gasoline without government subsidies.
Corn is not sugar cane and Brazil is not the United States!
The use of corn for producing ethanol raised the price of corn around the world. This is not good for several nations where corn is a staple food. I prefer to see corn used to feed hungry people than to see it used to feed our over-sized SUVs.
The recent success of wind power devices will help reduce global warming. This success is a shock to me. One of the reasons, I had minimized the future of wind power is that I live in Louisiana which is the home of powerful hurricanes and, possibly even more important, the home of fanatical bird (ducks, geese, etc) hunters. Theoretically, Louisiana would be ideal for wind power devices because of average wind speed but would the windmills hold up in strong hurricanes and would the duck hunters allow their ducks to be slaughtered flying through the windmills?
The cost of energy from wind is very cost competitive with other alternative energy forms. Some experts say that wind energy is the least expensive way to go among the alternative energy sources.
The market for wind power is booming! For example, in Denmark, over 20% of the nation's energy requirements are being met with wind power. Even in the larger countries of Germany and Spain, wind energy is providing about 10% of energy requirements. One projection indicated that wind power would be supplying over 15% of Europe's energy requirements by 2020.
1. Alternative Energy Sources. An overview of the major alternative energy sources is provided. These sources include solar energy, biodiesel, ethanol, wind power, hybrid cars, geothermal energy, tidal energy, nuclear energy, oil sands, shale oil, and energy efficiency improvements.
3 Germany in World War 2. German side of World War 2. Who caused World War 2?
Global Warming (climate change) is a very serious problems that the US and the world are facing.