Redrawing The World's Energy Map Is Not The Answer

Technology is redrawing the world’s energy picture, yet is this the right technology?

In a New York Times articles, it states that in the past few years, natural gas and hydrofracking for oil shale preserves have entered the picture as a viable alternative to foreign oil and possible a “bridge fuel” to renewable energy. The map is only becoming clearer.

Israel has discovered natural gas in its Mediterranean territories.

Norway has discovered feasible natural gas just north in its Arctic waters.

The prospects of deepwater oil reserves off the shores of Angola have been discovered.

The United States continues to debate the oil sands of Canada.

The discovery of natural gas and unconventional oil reserves brings promise to a global shift away from its dependency on the Middle East for its fuel consumption for decades to come. It means the halt in rising fuel prices for consumer and the ability for countries to literally fuel the development of their middle class.

It is all economics.

Natural gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more concentrated than CO2, meaning the release of a much more effective and potent greenhouse gas.
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The supply of the gas is gloomy, and the “expert” studies are far from concise and detailed – no on knows exactly how much domestic natural gas the United States is holding. Going off this, the estimation that there is enough natural gas to feed domestic energy consumption for 100 years, rest on the estimate that 2010 energy consumption rates remain constant. Does that mean our population will remain stagnant too? That capitalism won’t push for more consumption?

The drilling process of natural gas is expensive and it is dangerous. The process releases more CO2 into the air, and methane escapes through leaks and extraction methods. The fracking process is also the suspect of regional earthquakes, increased spending in regional areas and health affects such as the contamination of local water tables.

This seems hardly worth all the work to keep fuel prices down for a few 302 decades, while blasting our atmosphere and water with methane and causing local catastrophes like the BP Oil Spill.

Take a look at the article – economics has to stop being the forefront of thought. We need planning that is wrapped with environmentally sustainably and socially healthy viable options as opposed to what is the cheapest short-term option.