The United States along with China, India, Germany, and Spain are the biggest investors in renewable energy having created over two and a half million jobs according to Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s film Home (1:24:50). New Zealand, Iceland, Austria, Sweden along with other governments have made renewable energy a TOP priority. As one of the biggest investors in renewable energy the United States should be working with other nations to increase renewable energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, period. Reducing our dependence on foreign oil only to create a dependence on domestic oil does nothing for the environment and may in fact accelerate the pace at which the ice caps melt.
Denmark gets twenty percent of the coutry’s energy from wind farms and has created a prototype that releases carbon into the soil. Nobody knows if the prototype is a viable solution for the future. Is the soil acting as a filter? Is the soil being poisoned rather than the air? Might future generations try to grow food on that soil? I’m willing to bet Denmark is willing to pay a competent team of scientists and researchers to find out. Iceland has made an electricity plant powered by geothermal power, it harness the Earth’s heat in order to create electricity. Electricity can also be produced by harnessing the ocean waves energy.
All of these technologies are innovations that weren’t around twenty years ago. Why are we turning back the hands of time to burn more fossil fuels when we know beyond a doubt that it causes irreversible affects on the environment? Why aren’t we as a nation telling Canada to join us in leading renewable energy development rather than having them pipe tar sands to the Texas Gulf where there has been multiple spills in my lifetime. The pipeline will carry nearly one million barrels a day to Texas for refinement. To put that into perspective with a US population of around three hundred million, the pipe will have moved one barrel of oil for each person living in the US in its first year. How many of those barrels will end up in the Texas Gulf?
I understand the economy is rough and to politicians are desperate to create jobs but this isn’t the way to do it. As one of the world’s largest investors in renewable energy we should be trying to figure out how to reap the largest return on our investment, not helping the competition destroy our investment. Why aren’t we trying to figure out how we can convert every gas burning car in America into a a renewable energy car? Wouldn’t that create jobs? What about working with Denmark and Germany to deploy their technologies to the US? That would create jobs as well.
The fact that Canada is going to drill anyways is no excuse to act irresponsibly. The entire world is in an economic crisis. Let’s look at the progress we’ve made as a species, not as societies, nations, or countries but as humans. Let’s figure out how to make renewable energy work for China and India. Combined they house almost half the total world population. As a species we can then work down the list to get the largest populations on renewable energy. Smaller nations can use the fossil fuels, not because their smaller and defenseless but because they’ll use less of it and the larger nations are creating an equivalent of “second hand” anyways through our fossil fuel consumption.
We’ve put our trash in the earth, in the ocean, and in space. Is this what we are going to teach our children and grandchildren. Sweep it under the rug? There is no more rug. It’s all lumpy, smelly, and some parts have holes in it where the rot ate through. Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline and invest the money in renewable energy. There are plenty of projects that need to be worked on and there are plenty of people that need work.
With the entire global economy suffering, now is the time to start over. We can start over with something that we know is going to cause harm to ourselves and our environment or we can start over with something that gives hope for the future. Put those dollars into a different investment, lets create jobs but lets do it responsibly.