There are three major reasons why there are conversations about trying to be more eco-friendly. The first reason is to better protect the environment. The second reason is to try to come up with cost saving measures. The third reason is because we don’t want to run out of the natural resources that bring us this energy.

Refinery in GTA on New Years Day
Ryan via Compfight

Asking if we could really run out of energy is kind of a strange question, because energy in some form will always be out there. The question probably should be whether we’ll have access to the types of energy we have access to now, or the catalyst for that energy. That will provide a much different answer, and one that we all need to address as we go forward with our green initiatives.

In general, oil comes from plant and animal life that has decayed over millions of years, coalesced and become oil. That’s pretty much a simplification of things, but for our purposes it will do. There’s a lot of that inside the earth, which has been a good thing. The problem is that there are more people now than at any other time in known history, and we’re going through oil at an alarming rate. It’s also something we can’t reproduce, so if we happen to go through it all that’s pretty much that.

Some of it happens to be in areas that are protected natural resources. There are some who believe that it’s more important that we access the oil than it is to preserve the environment. Right now that’s not as big an issue, but it could one day if the financial situations don’t improve. And if that happens, then it means we will probably go through our reserves even faster.

So then what about the sun? The sun will still be around for at least a few billion more years, but that’s not really the issue (since Earth might not be). The issue is twofold.

One, even right now solar energy costs a lot of money to try to capture and store. Technology has not moved as fast as one would’ve expected in making the cost lower, so it’s still not all that widespread.

Two, even if we could capture all the suns energy, we would still need other resources such as substances for lubrication. There may be some scientists working on that problem, and if they can find something else that can be used that’s a good thing, but we have to hope that whatever they come up with is still safe for the environment and for the rest of us.

What about wind, hydro, and nuclear power? To an extent all of those are limiting as well. There aren’t enough places in the world where you can set up a dam to create power from water in enough abundance. The same goes for wind, plus the technology is still limiting as far as how much energy it can capture. Nuclear power also requires being near enough to a large water source so that you can keep the reactors cool. It’s also somewhat dangerous as you know.

Right now, all the other forms of capturing energy still require one main component; oil. If we can improve these other energy sources, we might be in a position where we require less oil, maybe even being more cost effective and lass of a financial burden to we, the consumers. It’s something we still have to think about right now as we move forward with our energy initiatives.

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