The ABC local newscast recently brought up the once familiar term "energy crisis" and reported some startling news about the state of energy in this country. This may apply to many other countries as well, although this particular story had a local twist.
According to the report, fossil fuels are providing the majority of the electrical energy in this county, but there are serious problems developing.
Besides for the fact that fossil fuels (60% coal) produce considerable pollution, it appears that unless our demand begins to decline (considerably), we may be in for a rude awakening - and not just in the cost of electricity and gas.
According to the report, the demand for electricity is escalating rapidly.....at a much higher pace than the available supply.
In this country, bigger and bigger houses are the norm, and technological gadgets and appliances dominate the marketplace.
Energy Star (saving) appliances
are encouraged, there are multitudes of electricity-guzzling plug-ins that continue to be sold and used.
Many houses are built in the "traditional" manner - with little concern about the greater impact on the environment that continued heavy reliance on standard energy sources brings.
"Cheaper" construction still trumps energy efficiency in many areas. And we as consumers are so used to our "creature comforts" that we seldom imagine a day when they are no longer an option.
The newscaster reported that the cost of electricity could DOUBLE in the next 3 years!
Not long ago, the news reported that the price of gas this summer will likely top $4.00 per gallon (in the U.S.)! Most of us have already seen that happen. People are concerned that they won't make enough money to pay for the gas for transportation, let alone all the other bills that loom overhead on a monthly basis.
Some of you may remember President Jimmy Carter, in 1976, addressing Americans in the Oval Office dressed in a sweater. He urged everyone to do their part to
use less energy.
He asked all of us to turn down our thermostats and put on sweaters.
Our current energy crisis will demand more drastic measures than gas rationing, wearing sweaters and turning down the heat.
In fact, one local nuclear plant plans to turn up the heat: nuclear derived heat, that is. The company is projecting HUGE growth over the next several years. Nuclear plants control the use of nuclear reactions to release energy for power.
Nuclear energy supporters claim it is a sustainable energy source, it decreases dependency on foreign oil, and it reduces emissions into the atmosphere.
Although there are opponents as well as proponents to this type of energy production, the handwriting is on the wall:
To avoid an acute energy crisis, we must get serious about conserving energy as well as finding alternative sources of energy. Our future depends on it.