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Our future- dead and dark

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Did you press on a light switch last night? Did you have the privilege of seeing color and beauty despite the blackness of the night? Now imagine all artificial lights blown out in one frightful second and half of the world plunged into deep impenetrable darkness. Picture yourself trapped in a freezing building with no cell phone, computer or television to comfort you and no way of escaping. All electrical noise hushed. What if I tell you that could really happen in the next couple of years? Our energy resources are shrinking into nothingness at an escalating rate. Unless we develop new methods to sustain ourselves, a global energy crisis would be inevitable.

Energy is the foundation of our existence on planet Earth. We rely on energy to put nourishment on our tongues, to live with comfort and convenience in our homes, to cover miles of travelling and many other tasks. In our evolved society, even our entertainment requires energy. Most of this energy springs forth from coal, oil and natural gas-fossil fuels which were locked away in the heart of our planet ages ago. Of this once abundant source, however, only a meager supply of fuel remains. Oil will flow for only 42 more years. Natural gas will vanish in the space of 61 years. Coal is said to have only 133 years left. We have plucked and plundered for our needs and now our future is on the verge of disaster.

Since 1971, our demand for energy has increase by 70% and is expected to swell with another 40% by 2030. This rise has been stimulated by several factors. Technology has contributed its share through the invention of devices which require energy to function. The current competition in the electronic world means such advancements will continue to take place. Yet another factor has been the development of nations. Countries on either end of the wealth boundary seek to enhance their riches. In fact, third world countries have the improvement of living standards as a a top priority. The means of improvement demand the use of even more energy. Also, the fact that we now have seven billion mouths to satiate deserves a finger pointed towards it.

The apocalypse! That is what is what the predicted global energy crisis would cause. Continents, nations, communities and individuals will be struck. People will be thrust into the claws of poverty when companies dismiss employees the can no longer remunerate. Homes will become lifeless with the absence of entertainment. Extreme temperatures will cause torturous discomfort. As heat causes perishable foods to decay, suffocating fumes will clog the air. Too hefty transport fees would mean no way of ever escaping- nowhere to run. The crisis would unleash massive inflation and demolish economies all over the globe. Because fuel is needed for food production, populations will be starved. Under these conditions, the inevitable would occur- war and bloodshed.

There is a way to dodge this damnation- a clean, abundant and efficient solution: Renewable energy. There is solar energy, hydroelectricity, wind power, biomass and more to choose from. The abundance of some of these (e.g. solar energy) would give us nearly absolute security. They ensure a crispy clean, global warming-free atmosphere for generations. Education should be the first step in exercising this solution. We need to raise awareness about the dangers we face with our fossil fuel addiction. Each of us can help save our future. Take the first step- spread the word.



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