What hangs in the balance?

windmill small.jpgThese days Barack Obama has a lot on his plate. With the world watching, Obama must balance economic and environmental policy (CNN article).Many scientists are optimistic about his plan regarding clean energy and carbon emissions reduction. However, some economists fear that a focus on the environment will detract crucial attention and money from addressing the issue of the economic slump.

Ideally, new jobs and profit pathways will be created from investment and development in the renewable energy sector.  I’m interested in your opinions regarding this matter- do you think that investment in renewable energy is going to be beneficial to the environment, the economy, or both? Thinking about this in a geographic sense, will certain places stand to benefit more or less from increased funding of renewable energy?

Cameron for My Wonderful World

3 responses to “What hangs in the balance?

  1. Yes indeed, I was only thinking of the “running out” aspect and did not realize we had such a resource in Canada. Perhaps the problem, though, is politics. Some want to tap these types of sources, others don’t. We could possibly tap out our current supply in the Mid East while politicians commiserate over the other sources. So, you make a good point that the real problem is that we are continuing a lifestyle that we should not be continuing. Just because there are potential resources in other regions does not mean we should say “hey, I’m gonna get a Humvee and to ____ with the gas…” America is an extremely wasteful country, that is the problem.
    Laura

  2. Recently, oil reserves in the form of the Athabasca Oil Sands in Canada, have been proven to be extremely large- possibly eclipsing the known reserves of Saudi Arabia. This discovery means that we do indeed have enough oil to continue our current way of life for at least our lifetimes. The question is, should we continue our current way of life.
    I think more important than the quantity of available oil is the consequences of the continued use of oil. More and more, scientists are claiming that we have reached a threshold regarding levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. If we continue burning coal, driving cars, heavy manufacturing, etc we are willfully stepping into an ‘uncharted territory’. This ‘uncharted territory’ is the exact place that scientist are adamantly demanding the world not step into.
    So, regarding running out of oil, maybe a more pressing issue is figuring out ways of either using it responsibly or just not using it at all. I personally don’t think that the world has much of a choice, and besides, we owe it to ourselves to not collectively ‘commit suicide’ by destroying the only inhabitable planet in the known universe.
    Cameron for my wonderful world

  3. I don’t think we can afford not to focus on the environment. We can not go on like we have been or else we will deplete it all and have to revert back to the 19th century. [I'm thinking of oil] Sounds harsh and unrealistic, I’m sure, but that’s how I see it.
    Yes, new jobs can definitely be created by focusing on the environmental sector even in this economy. Geographically, I see the most densely populated states, of course, as the recipients of environmental work–California and NY for example.
    Environmental issues remind me of what life would be like after the oil is severely diminished. We would be forced, really, to revert back to village life so to speak, wherein the entire community supports itself without any outside resources. Community gardens are a great way, even now, to practice sustainability. And getting our children to participate is crucial. The communes of the sixties sought to create this type of environment, but few survived due to their small populations and lack of fortitude. Utica, NY has EcoVillage that is going strong even today–it could probably teach us something about living sustainably.
    I think complacency is the enemy when it comes to environmental issues. Too many individuals think only of today. This won’t last forever–it can’t.
    Laura

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