Morality of Fossil Fuels for Humans

Everyone wants to talk about climate change. Everyone has an opinion on climate change and the government's role in dealing with climate change. There are people on the far left who view the "environment" as some kind of all knowing power that can destroy all of human life if we don't go vegan yesterday. There are those to the right that view climate change as hoax made up  by the scientific community to limit people's ability to earn money so that the gloablist can some how feed on our beta male bodies and have pedo sex slaves or something. So what's really going on here? Are fossil fuels the sugar of the energy industry that is causing the diabetes of the earth through warming of the environment? The answer is Yes....and No. It seems pretty clear that there is evidence that the climate that we live in here on earth is warming and partially to be blamed on by humans. At the same time, however, we have drastically improved the lives of billions of people around the planet. Directly caused by the use of fossil fuels people are eating more, living longer, being able to have electricity and clean water. The use of fossil fuels in nations has directly correlated with the increase in the wealth of citizens. Fossil fuels improve our farms, improve our communications, improve our means of cheap reliable transportation and provide a means to create a stronger infrastructure. The computer I am typing on at this very moment is primarily composed of oil. The power that charged my phone last night was provided primarily by fossil fuels. The food I ate for lunch was able to be grown by fossil fuels. The car I drove home contains many fossil fuels and and is powered by fossil fuels. The refrigerator that I cool my milk is powered by fossil fuels, the container my milk is in is created by fossil fuels, the coating on the mug I drink the milk in is created by fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are everywhere in every single tiny aspect of our lives, but are they are problem?

The answer is yes, in some ways fossil fuels in their current state create waste and warm the air and have caused some pretty nasty events and trends to occur here on our planet. I think the left has a fair criticism of fossil fuels, but what they don't seem to have right is the solution. I will go ahead and state it now, wind power will never provide enough energy for a nation in the near future. "Green" Energy has done very little in the way of efficient energy transfer to be consumed by people. I will give you a number of where we stand today despite billions of dollars in subsidies to the green energy movement. 8%. 8% of the world gets it power from all sources of "renewable" energy combined, wind and solar's numbers are significantly worse. Just 0.5% of the earth's energy was supplied from solar or wind. That's not very significant by any stretch of anyone's imagination. In their current state green energy solutions if relied upon would kill more people than climate change has or will in the near future. They simply are not ready for prime time.

 

Despite high growth rates, renewable energy still represents only a small fraction of today’s global energy consumption. Renewable electricity generation (excluding hydro), is estimated to account for nearly 8% of global electricity generation. “
— http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/renewable-energy.html

In the late 1970's and 80's environmental scientist were urging the ban of fossil fuel use down to rather extreme rationing (at this point in history according to them an individual would only be allowed to drive 4 miles worth of CO2 emissions from a car.) There were many claims that the environment simply could not support the continued use of fossil fuels and would have catastrophic consequences to our planet and way of life. So what happened? What laws were passed to dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels? None. Instead we did what Americans typically do and over consumed and used GREATER amounts of fossil fuels for our energy demands. From 1980 to 2015 we increased the number of vehicles driver by 106%, we increased the population by 41%, we increased our energy consumption by 25% and our CO2 emissions by 18%. This sounds like a recipe for disaster for some super polluted wasteland of overcrowded polluted cities with grey smoggy skies and soot dust covering everything, but what actually happened? Pollution in the United States decreased by an astonishing 65%. That means we have somehow managed to both use more fossil fuels and decrease the level of pollution for all Americans. 

source: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-national-summary

source: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-national-summary

The reason this is possible is simply human ingenuity. The amount of energy contained in a barrel of oil did not change, that is determined by the laws of physics, what did change is our ability to use more of the oil in that barrel to do more things. Oil has an incredible abundance of energy contained within itself, to put into perspective just how much energy is in oil, you can outside grab a rock that fits in your palm and look at it. The amount of energy contained inside of that rock is enough energy to fuel 25% of all the cars that drive in the US everyday in estimation. The oil never changed, the engineering and processing did. Oil is supposed to be bad for our lives. Fossil fuels should be trying to kill us, they are warming our planet. What really matters in the argument of climate change is the ability of humans to create an environment they can adapt to. Fossil fuels may have caused warming of our planet, but, the total number of climate related deaths since their inception has dropped by enormous amounts. The number of lives saved by air conditioning in a home alone saves thousands of lives every year, proof is in the fact that when power goes out for a day in the Houston summers, the elderly die. Fossil fuels have extended our life span and allowed us to spend more time with the ones we love. Fossil fuels have fed the hungry, enriched the poor, and developed infrastructure for the third world. How much can we really hate on a product that has done so much good for the lives of nearly all humans. Despite it's flaws, I still to vote for Fossil fuels as the primary energy source of the future and before you try to make the argument about electric cars such as tesla, that electricity also comes from fossil fuels. 

 

-Josh