It turns out that the conversation about getting out of fossil fuels and into green energy is a lot more complicated than just energy.
Of course “black gold” has literally fueled our society into its wealthiest state since the beginning of man. No one argues that. But there is a clear movement globally to try and move to clean energy for the sake of the environment.
Beyond energy, however, oil plays a pivotal role in the manufacture of several products that we rely on in our daily lives.
For example, the petrochemical industry heavily depends on oil as a raw material. Petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas are the building blocks for a wide range of goods from plastics to resins, synthetic fibers to rubbers, detergents to adhesives, and even solvents.
Without these materials, you wouldn’t even have the materials to make the computer or smartphone you’re using to read this email.
Right now, we literally need oil to live. Many pharmaceuticals such as aspirin and the coatings on time-release pill are made from oil derivatives as are artificial heart valves, artificial limbs and even contact lenses.
I could give you a myriad of other products that rely on oil but suffice it to say that life without these products would not be the same.
Does that mean that we should give up on alternative energy? No. We should always be looking for cheaper and cleaner alternatives. The point is that to truly get off fossil fuels we also need to start thinking about alternatives for all of the products that rely on oil as well.
It’s an underappreciated problem that my guest on this week’s Wealth Formula Podcast addresses and it’s worth your time to understand the full scope of the issue. Listen Now!
Ronald (Ron) Stein (born April 29, 1941) is an author, columnist, Engineer and energy policy advisor for Heartland Institute. He is co-author of Energy Made Easy – Helping Citizens become Energy Literate (2019), Just GREEN Electricity – Helping Citizens Understand a World without Fossil Fuels (2020), and the 2021 Pulitzer Prize nominated book Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping citizens understand the environmental and humanity abuses that support “clean” energy.
Ronald advocates that energy literacy starts with conversations and the knowledge that renewable energy is only intermittent electricity generated from unreliable breezes and sunshine. Wind turbines and solar panels cannot manufacture anything for humanity, while fossil fuels manufacture everything for the 8 billion on this planet.
He is the founder of Principal Technical Services (PTS).