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Anonymous Nutrient

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Debate: Green Energy vs Fossil Fuels

As we all well know, the world is addicted to petroleum for things such as energy, transportation, and other uses. However, the burning of fossil fuels (most likely) diminishes the quality of the air we fill our fragile lungs with. Sure, petroleum has proven it's undeniable worth for transportation, but this resource may have the potential to lead our ecosystem's demise.

Do we need to start considering the integration of Green Energy into our civilizations? In doing so, would that possibly grant our delicate habitats more time of life and existence? Or should we just stick with fossil fuel, simply because it already gets the job done. Or should we invest in Green Energy (potentially creating thousands if not millions of jobs), and save whats left of our burdened world?

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    Oct 27 2012: We have working green tech now and we should use it. It is profitable, but does not offer quick returns that many investors want (by that I mean profitable by 5 years or less). I have heard people claim that we can wait for better, cheaper green energy. I disagree for a few reasons

    First, it will take a long time to replace current fossil fuel infrastructure. Think of how long it took us to build the oil based infrastructure we had today. Its not like one day solar will become viable and our energy will just flip like a switch. It will take decades to build the replacements to the fossil fuels we have today. Some people talk of thorium reactors. Thats easily a decades worth of research away, then it takes another decade to engineer, go through regulation and build the thing. We don't have the qualified professionals to build enough of them simultaneously to accommodate our energy needs.

    Second, it takes oil to build solar panels. It takes CO2 emmissions to build windmills, hydro dams, and mine nuclear materials. It is not a question of how long we have until the fuels run out, or how long we have until the climate can take no more CO2. Its a question of how long we have until the oil required to build the replacing infrastructure puts us over the edge. Hypothetically speaking, we have until 2050 until the climate is irrevocably damaged and it takes 50 years of industrial development of green technology to replace oil, then we are already too late.

    The time to begin the transition away from fossil fuels was 10 years ago. There is no time to waste or to wait for some silver bullet that will both save the planet and make you rich.

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