MAR 09, 2022 6:00 PM PST

Changing Our Reliance on Fossil Fuels Amid Global Tensions

WRITTEN BY: Samantha Lott

Oil companies are under fire for continuing to purchase and deliver Russian oil, funding Putin’s war. Governments are facing mounting pressure to denounce Putin by banning Russian oil, but there is additional pressure on these governments because of the potential -and in some cases already realized- increases in gasoline prices. Reliance on Russian gasoline and the uncertainty of its availability has already had an impact on the prices people pay at the pump, and banning Russian imports will only increase prices more for consumers.

Governments around the world are looking into boycotting Russian oil imports to censure Putin’s actions in Ukraine, but it will be difficult to meet the current energy demand without it. Many activists and governments see this as an opportunity to push for more renewable energy development to meet demand when restricting the supply from Russia. For some countries, complete and immediate separation from Russia’s supply would be near impossible because other sources are not yet in place to cover demand.

It is likely that most developed nations could get enough sustainable energy to be self-sufficient in future decades, but we’re not ready for that yet. Most Americans support the plan to go carbon-neutral by 2050, though most are also accepting of some use of fossil fuels. If we want to have complete control of our energy, we should go all-in on renewable energy and eliminate all fossil fuel use as soon as possible.

This plan for one hundred percent renewable energy is achievable. A recent paper goes into incredible detail on what renewable sources would work best for different parts of the US, and how to address the challenges of blackouts during times energy demand is high and sources are low. We must dramatically increase wind energy, on and offshore, and increase solar panel energy generation by rooftop panels and utility companies. If we reduce the amount of fossil fuels we need, we also reduce the amount of energy needed to acquire, refine, and transport those fossil fuels. Moving toward more efficient electric vehicles and heat pumps for heating buildings will help to reduce the total energy load we consume. If we can put as much effort into making the change to renewable energy as we did the pandemic, we can make the change rapidly.

Sources: Common Dreams, The Hill, Business Green, Reuters, The Hill, CNBC, Renewable Energy, University of Michigan

 

About the Author
MS in Renewable Natural Resources
A dedicated and passionate naturalist, nature photographer, and freshwater biologist.
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