Must We Move to Alternative Energies or Face Peril?

Alan L. Johnson

There has been a lot written about the transition from fossil fuels to new, seemingly cleaner forms of ‘green’ energy. It is true that wind, solar, and hydroelectric provide some of the clearest paths away from fossil fuels today.

Recently, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been the source of criticism for proposing the Green New Deal, inspired by the original New Deal, designed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the Great Depression to kickstart the American economy. Some argue that both the former New Deal and the present Green New Deal are a usurpation of state's rights.

Conversely, some argue that the forced change to greener energy alternatives is necessary to save the world. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself contends (along with the UN) that the affects of global warming within the next 12 years (if nothing changes) will bring about sweeping environmental, health, and safety issues that will forever set the course of human existence.

These claims and thoughts must be questioned. Is all of this true and, if so, are there are no other alternatives to the Green New Deal? Do we really need to immediately switch to greener energy or face global peril?

In a recent article published in a Berkshire publication, The Greylock Glass author James Kennedy discusses this topic and concludes that the only alternative to fossil fuels and the pollution that they create is to switch to greener alternatives. He mentions:

Clean energy is the only path to true energy independence, and this point alone should seal the deal for most Americans. Clean and renewable energy is not a pipe dream anymore, and now is not the time to be controlled any longer by those with nefarious motives and agendas that are harming the planet.

Is this really true? Is the only way to move forward and save the world from global warming green alternative energies? While the point is made that there is an economic opportunity to switch to new forms of energy, should we not ask at what cost and with what loss of ownership or sovereignty from state to state? Is it in a state or community’s best interest to have the federal government mandate what types of energy we’re able to produce and use?

It is certain that some type of technology transfer and investment needs to be made to encourage the cleaner sourcing and use of energy sources around the world, but to say this isn’t happening or hasn’t happened is disingenuous. There are countless efforts underway that are enhancing our ability to capture CO2, source energy like natural gas more cleanly, and produce less pollution via circular systems.

To most people, the vision of a greener, healthier world is easy to get behind, but does this mean that we have to fundamentally move aggressively towards cleaner alternatives that will systematically and radically change the way that economies and civilization fundamentally functions? The answer to me seems to be more towards the center than a far left or right extreme.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. What is your opinion of energy and its influence on the environment?

Q2. What is one thing that you or your family could do to be better stewards of the environment?

Q3. How do you see the next 20 years unfolding as it relates to energy?