What Will Replace Oil?

In the eyes of the environmentalists the fossil fuel economy is enemy number one. But what are they going to replace fossil fuels with for generating energy? According to a recent Cato Institute report, at the moment every proposed alternative energy source has both economic and environmental drawbacks which have yet to be overcome.

The best part of Robert L. Bradley’s Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not “Green” is the saga of wind power. Once heralded as cheap and supremely clean (what could be more clean than using wind?), the technology turns out to have unexpected drawbacks that are drawing criticism from environmentalists.

Aside from the large amounts of noise they generate and the relatively high cost of energy generated, windmills turn out to be extraordinarily effective killers of birds. As Bradley writes, “Wind blades have killed thousands of birds in the United States and abroad in the last decade, including endangered species, which is a federal offense subject to criminal prosecution.” Shades of the Exxon Valdez!

Both the Sierra Club and National Audobon Society have complained about the bird killing effects of windmills and the National Audobon Society has called for a moratorium on new wind farms unless and until the problem can be solved.

Hydropower, once considered a viable alternative to fossil fuels, has also been shelved because of environmentalists concerns about the effect of dam projects on the environment. Solar energy is still extremely inefficient and generates enormous heavy metal waste products.

Looks like we’re stuck with fossil fuels unless you’re prepared for pre-industrial nirvana.

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