Sidestepping the conversation we need to have
In 1973 the Arab oil embargo opened a window of opportunity for sustainable energy, which we largely ignored in the most wasteful fashion. The slap-happy days of Ronald Reagan, symbolic for the removal of solar panels on the White House, delayed for a generation meaningful discussion on sustainable energy.
Now the promise of fracking and domestic energy development sidesteps the most critical part of the conversation we need to have. It will take enormous energy to construct a sustainable energy economy, and this very likely will be our last, best chance to do so. It’s going to take all of that domestic energy to build a sustainable energy infrastructure, and the belief that there will be another opportunity like this will be seen eventually for what it is: an illusion. Instead of wasting the windfall of energy from fossil fuels made accessible by new technologies, we should urgently focus on using them to build an energy economy that is renewable. We’ll need those fossil fuels to construct the wind farms, the enormous solar farms, putting solar panels on every roof, thermal energy sources, etc.