Fossil fuels are produced by the decomposition of dead organisms, buried for millions of years. They produce greenhouse gasses and other pollutants, and their continued use could leave mankind as extinct as those decayed fossils. The earth does not hold an infinite amount of these fuels. Barring our extinction, the supply of fossil fuels will eventually run out, though demand for energy never will. An energy source is needed that is both eco-friendly and renewable. In other words, one that doesn’t pollute, and will never run out.
Clean, renewable energy is available today. Solar cells and passive solar building designs utilize sunlight. The ocean’s tides, currents, and waves are a source of enormous power. Windmills capture the power of the wind, and geothermic energy, generated by the heat within the earth itself, is still another unlimited source. In addition, biofuels, such as ethanol, can be produced agriculturally, as needed.
Some argue that these sources do not produce power at a reliable rate. The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Using a combination of these sources, however, will provide the constant, reliable level of energy that is needed.
Today, only a fraction of the world’s energy needs are met using renewable sources. This must change, not only for environmental reasons, but also for economic ones. As supplies dwindle, fossil fuel prices can only go up. Using renewable energy sources on a wide scale requires a large initial investment, but will pay off long-term by keeping energy costs constant.
Environmentally and economically, renewable energy simply makes sense. We can no longer afford to look to the past to meet our energy needs. We must begin today to build a future powered by clean, renewable energy.