Eulogy for Fossil Fuels

That's Scottby Scott Lewis

Brightworks CEO

There are moments in history when harsh realities become so strikingly vivid they can no longer be concealed by deliberate obfuscation, widespread cultural denial, or blind ignorance. The unfortunate but stark juxtaposition of three recent events represents a landmark inflection point in our nation’s history, signaling the urgency of a rapid end to the fossil fuel moment. This is another opportunity to connect the dots.

Dot 1 – Deepwater Horizon

The Deepwater Horizon ablaze, 4.20.2010

The Deepwater Horizon ablaze, 4.20.2010

The Deepwater Horizon, a BP oil exploration rig approximately 50 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta, explodes in approximately 5,000 deep water.  Eleven crew members are missing from the explosion.  Approximately 200,000 gallons per day of crude oil are pouring out from the well head.

As of this writing, all attempts to stop the spill have been unsuccessful.

As the oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico drifts towards shore, towns along the coast are preparing for what may become the worst oil spill in history – the Gulf Coast is home to thousands of square miles of marshland and fragile estuaries – much more difficult to clean up than the rocky shoreline decimated by the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Dot 2 – The Upper Big Branch Coal Mine

April 5, 2010 – the worst US mine disaster in four decades – twenty-nine miners die in the Massey Energy Upper Big Branch mine, which had been cited for 57 safety infractions[1] the month before.

Dot 3 -Cape Wind

April 29, 2010 – Cape Wind, the first offshore wind farm in the US, wins approval.  While I am sympathetic to those in New England who chafe at having their ocean views altered by the presence of windmills, the simple fact is that we have to make the transition to a renewable energy economy as fast as humanly possible.

As noted previously in this blog, viable, cost-effective paths exist to a renewable energy economy.  It is only a matter of political will.  It is only a matter of time.  Let’s hurry.

[Another great blog link on the same subject here.]

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