A Realistic Solution

June 5, 2012
By Neal Biswas BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
Neal Biswas BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Alternative energy exploration has been a trendy topic for the past few years. Wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power all provide optimism for an environmentally friendly future. However, I believe our dependence on these types of energy may be extremely impractical and improbable. We should instead focus our time and research on the conservation and the clean usage of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are the core of our everyday lifestyle and the world economy. Fossil fuels are not only the most beneficial and useful, but also the most affordable. It would be a much more realistic strategy to effectively conserve these fossil fuels and practice clean usage.

Wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power may become the foundation of our energy sometime in the future. These renewable resources could potentially solve the world’s environmental crisis. However, it is just not a realistic solution until we develop the required technology or lower the costs. All of these energy sources have major flaws that cannot be overlooked. Reliance on these sources will lead to an insufficient production of energy at extremely high production costs.

We have all heard the knocks against fossil fuels. The emission of greenhouses gases damage our ozone, which causes a drastic climate change, which ends up killing all the polar bears. However, no one can deny the importance of fossil fuels in our daily lives. They are used in our kitchen. They are used in our vehicles. They are used in our food. They are used in everything. Our world needs fossil fuels.

Instead of vehemently promoting the usage of renewable energy, we should focus on techniques that will lessen the effects of fossil fuels on the environment. For example, if everyone only drove at speed limits of 55 mph or under, we would conserve almost 270,000 barrels of oil a day. If every family in the United States converted from regular light bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs, we would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases. Even planting a tree will absorb about 1 ton of carbon dioxide. These are only a few examples of small and simple strategies that can go a long way.

However, the key factor is the cooperation of everyone. The bystander effect is crucial in this situation. This social psychological phenomenon states that the mere presence of others decreases the likelihood of our own intervention. No one is motivated to help out. This diffusion of responsibility, or simply not taking any action, is the cause of all our environmental problems. Every individual believes they are meaningless, and therefore does not help the cause. If everyone chipped in, the consumption of fossil fuels would not be the death sentence for our delicate planet.

Renewable energy sources cannot be heavily relied on for the foreseeable future. We have not yet acquired the technology to entirely abandon fossil fuels. The demands of cheap energy around the world are rapidly increasing. But energy does not have to be defined as a good or evil. It is possible to effectively use fossil fuels and still maintain a healthy environment. If every individual accepts responsibility and practices the clean consumption of fossil fuels, we can make some real progress. Yes, it can be possible to use fossil fuels and still save the polar bears.

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