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Energy is something that everyone in the world needs, and this is why all of the top earning companies in the world drill, make, and refine oil. Of course, a big concern nowadays is that all of the oil in the Earth will someday run out, so this brings about the question: will alternative energy sources be practical and effective in replacing fossil fuels? This had been a big topic of debate in the past decades, but the world seems to be committed to oil. The short answer to the question is yes, alternate fuels can one day replace oil while creating a cleaner environment for the future and make our country energy independent.
One key advantage of alternative energy is that it is renewable. And not only are they renewable, most of these energy sources are readily available everywhere, like wind, sunlight, and water; it’s just up to us to harvest this energy. This means that once we incorporate them to our society, there may no longer be any concern for our energy ever running out. This takes the country in the direction of energy independence,which is good for many reasons. Energy independence means the U.S. won’t have to rely on foreign nations to provide us oil, and there will also be less conflict and wars over oil. The main concern of many people here is that many alternative fuels are way more expensive to use than cheap gas. While this is true, it can be resolved if simply more people invest in alternative energy. Investments will lead to innovations that will significantly reduce the costs of using these energy sources. Switching to alternative energy may require changes in our lifestyle and economy that won’t come about immediately, but will certainly solve any upcoming energy problems in the long run.
Another benefit of using alternative fuels, such as biofuels or hydrogen, is that they burn cleaner than fossil fuels, and many alternative energy sources, such as solar power, wind power, or hydropower, are even close to being carbon neutral (U.S. Department of Energy). The big problem with oil and coal is that their high carbon dioxide emissions cause climate change, and that other byproducts of burning these fuels pollute the air, slowly crippling the environment. Making the switch to alternative energy may finally solve the complex problem of global warming. Although the effects of air pollution may not be so apparent here in the US, it is much more obvious in China. China’s air pollution is a very serious problem, and although I haven’t been there in a few years, I still hear from relatives about the harsh toxic environment they live in. Even though this major problem is on the other side of the world,
A big concern for many is the amount of jobs that may be lost if we stopped drilling oil. The simple solution is that these jobs would be dispersed through all of the alternative energy fields. Another argument is that cheap gas is a such a reliable fuel that nothing can really replace it. It is true that energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower all require some certain conditions to work, but other sources like ethanol, biofuels, and nuclear energy can be just up to par with oil. Many people would also say that say alternative energy sources, like windmills and hydropower plants disturb the ecosystems around them. This is almost a ridiculous argument against alternative energy, because these minor disruptions don’t match up even close to the effect of burning fossil fuels on the environment.
Stopping oil use seems close to impossible, since most of the energy used in our society comes from this fossil fuel. Each year, we are increasing usage of renewable sources, so we are already headed in the right direction (U.S. Department of Energy). Slowly and gradually, however, it can be done, once people realize the benefits of alternative energy, or when the dreadful day comes when all the oil is gone. Oil today is the king of energy, being one of most available, reliable, and efficient fuels. Oil has been the top choice, for energy in the past, but it’s shortcomings won’t allow it to be viable forever. President Jimmy Carter, the founder of the U.S. Department of Energy, said, “Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.” Alternative energy is the future. Its environmental compatibility, inexhaustible supply, and high availability make it the uncontested successor of fossil fuels.
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