As outlined on the civilization page energy is the key factor in determining our future. What can be done on this front to assure a positive future?
Firstly the world automobile fleet should be replaced with more fuel efficient vehicles such as hybrid vehicles.
This will eventually happen because of simple economics. The demand for gasoline will force up the price and people will demand vehicles that consume less. However manufacturers and governments could be preemptive in starting this change.
More efficient ways need to be developed for harvesting energy from plant material, such as.
More effort needs to be made to match the sustainable production of fuels with demand for them.
Hydrogen as a transport energy source is a myth promoted by con artists or people who do not know their facts. Gasoline is the ideal transport fuel.
Secondly electricity sources that do not cause damage to the earth should be developed, such as wind power, tidal power etc.
Both of these solutions would decrease the amount of CO2 that mankind is presently releasing into the atmosphere. This would fit in with the aims of the Kyoto Protocol which is still a very timid document. It generally sets the CO2 emissions at 1990 levels and many people are under the false impression that CO2 can be successfully sequestered by vegetation alone.
One of the most traumatic events of the twentieth centenary was the Great Depression of the 1930's. Could we have another, worldwide, depression? Two factors could be heading us towards this reality. Firstly when the US dropped the gold standard it gained an advantage that world monetary transactions were conducted in US dollars. This resulted in the growing US trade deficient because the US could simply write off trade debit with US Treasury Bonds. This has resulted in a huge debt load for the US. Secondly world wide western civilization is becoming more energy dependant. Could this energy dependency and consumption coupled with the above point induce another depression?
The only future life that we definitely know of is through our children. How we look after the Earth will determine how they look back on us.
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