The United States has 4% of the world's people, but as a country consumes 25% of the world's oil. The U.S. and Western Europe are obsessed with a standard of living that is reliant on energy consumption maintained by the burning of fossil fuels. These nonrenewable resources continue to be depleted, despite the fact that solar power, wind power, hydropower, biomass, and many other renewable resources are available and accessible. The switch to these renewables would stop the extensive pumping of CO2 and other pollutants into the air we breathe. Acid rain, oil spills and global climate change and other environmental disasters might have a chance to abate.
In addition to the impact on our health and the health of the planet, fossil fuel dependence has other potentially disastrous implications. Equally disturbing as the environmental consequences for oil-dependent Western economies is the fact that, in the near future, more than half of the planet's petroleum reserves will be owned and controlled by a handful of countries in the politically unstable Middle East. This will mean, and has arguably meant in the recent past (Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom), that the United States military will go into these Middle Eastern countries to ensure management of oil resources are in line with U.S. corporate desires. This dependence and the resulting imperialism seem silly and completely unnecessary when there are other types of sustainable resources here, at home.
One example of the actual aptitude of renewable resources is wind power, the fastest growing energy resource; use jumped from 10 mega watts in 1980 to 15,600 megawatts in 1999. If Wyoming alone were to cover just 1....
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Joesph Kahn. US Set to Oppose International Plan for Cleaner Energy. New York Times, July 14, 2001
Chiras, Daniel. The Solar House- Passive Heating and Cooling. 2002, pg 237
Wyoming Wind Resources, accessed on 9/11/03 @ www.eere.energy.gov/state_energy/tech_wind.cfm?state=WY
Caveli, Damien. The United States of Oil, 2001, accessed on 9/11/03 @ http://global research.ca/articles/CAV111A.html
Brown, Eric. An Introduction to Solar Energy, accessed 9/15/03 @ http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/feneric/solar.html
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Kelly, Rick. Bush grants permanent legal immunity to US corporations looting Iraqi oil. International Committee of the Fourth International (WSWS), August 19, 2003
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