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How can America wean itself from fossil fuels when fossil fuels are so cheap?

America is supposedly the leader of the free world. What was the primary message during the presidential campaign? Energy independence, not the environment. We will continue to sacrifice our legacy, our natural resources that might better be left to subsequent generations rather than accept higher energy costs now that renewables, until now, can't supply economically (at least not without a carbon tax).

As long as our politicians can make campaign promises based on the cost of a gallon of gas, don't expect any negative news about the environment to make headlines.

While President Obama extols the virtue of clean natural gas, I live in rural Schoharie County which is ripe for fracking for natural gas. Never mind that it is a bucolic, pastoral part of nature. It has vast reservers of natural gas so, following President Obama's desire, it will soon be an industrial park and all the tourists who used to come here for our natural beauty will go elsewhere.

When you look at the cost of natural gas in America, it is about the fifth the cost of natural gas in Europe. Guess what? America is going to become the World's leader in natural gas exports. The "good" news is that natural gas has only half the carbon foot print of coal (we have billions of tons of coal to export to Asia---and there has been a massive ad blitz promoting "clean" coal).

Unless there is someone like a Randall Mills who can make low-energy nuclear reactions economic, fossil fuels are our albatross.


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    Nov 29 2012: This is a very good point. Gas is cheaper than bottled water.

    I have a few opinions on this matter. They are not based on data - just "feeling". These opinions are not "politically correct", but I'd like to know how many people share them.

    1. Until "green" energy becomes cheaper than energy from fossil fuels, I do not foresee drastic "weaning"

    2. The "carbon footprint" issue is highly politicized. I don't believe that humans are important enough to cause average temperature on Earth to rise by any significant amount. Throughout history, there were ice ages and meltdowns from natural causes. A tiny fluctuation in Sun activity can affect the climate much more than all humans combined. In 50 years from now, there may be a "global cooling". People always need something to worry about.

    This opinion makes sense to me.

    I apologize if I sound like a person who does not care about our environment. I do care. To me, it's more important to have healthy food to eat, without pesticides, hormones, and preservatives than to wean from fossil fuels. I'm also concerned that a huge number of children only a few days old are injected with live viruses, sometimes mixed with mercury. I doubt that carbon dioxide is responsible for increasing autism and a huge number of autoimmune diseases.

    I understand, there is data showing correlation between global warming and carbon dioxide. When we believe something, we tend to find data supporting our beliefs whereas we should be looking for data that contradicts them. Does anyone know of a systematic research considering alternative causes of global warming?

    If there is a climate change, why should we "fight" it instead of embracing it?
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      Dec 5 2012: Yes just like we should have embraced small pox and other diseases so we can go on living according to the current status quo
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        Dec 5 2012: Small pox causes real visible suffering of human beings. Whereas, the problem of "dependence on fossil fuels" seems artificial to me. I don't see it causing any visible suffering. Not yet, at least. If and when it will, people will find a way to solve it. I'm not a fan of solving issues that are not yet causing much trouble. "Each day has enough trouble of its own." I'll wait for the oil prices to skyrocket, then I will dump my car and ride my bicycle everywhere as I did before I had a car. So will most people. Trying to make people pay premium for green technologies just because it's "chic" isn't going to work until gas is cheaper than bottled water.

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