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Published on September 2nd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Why Some Think Fossil Fuels are the Only Real Source of Energy (Reader Comment)

In reply to a recent editorial here on CleanTechnica by Bob Higgins, a regular reader and commenter left an excellent comment that I thought should get some more attention. So, I’m featuring it here as a separate post. Why some people think we can only get adequate energy from fossil fuels is the focus of the comment. Check it out:

solar power oil rig global warming

Where the belief started was probably based on the reality of the time at which it originated. If we go back even a couple decades wind turbines were still somewhat crude and we hadn’t grasped the fact that the wind does not rise and fall at the same time over modest geographic areas. Solar was very much too expensive and batteries were not capable of giving us usable electric vehicles. (If you’ll allow me to bring in another antiquated myth.)

Many people have not kept up with the technological advances that have made wind turbines major producers of electricity, solar affordable, and EVs a reality. If one does not know what is possible they will find it easiest to support what worked in the past.

Other people have personal or financial reasons to support ‘old tech’. Clearly fossil fuel interests push the idea that we could not operate our grid without their flaming inputs. Nuclear engineers fight for inclusion of their technology because if we build no more reactors then they are going to have to retool themselves.

Fossil fuels and nuclear energy have very deep pockets. They can flood the zone with inaccuracies and spread doubt about the ability of renewable energy to do the job. They can hire armies of lobbyists and make hefty campaign contributions. They can enlist the aid of their buddies in other industries.

It’s going to be hard to fight through these myths, but it’s starting to happen.

I also recommend checking out the following pages for more on the potential of solar and wind energy:

  1. World Wind Power Info
  2. Solar Power Intro & 3 Key Solar Power Points

Photo Credit: AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by PIX-JOCKEY (Roberto Rizzato)

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • BlueRock

    Excellent comment.

    Terrifying graphic!

  • Anonymous

    Oh yeah, love this!

  • Anonymous

    We just have to soldier on and battle the naysayers. The world cannot afford another Reaganesque delay in alternative energy. It will be a fight.

    • Anonymous

      Well said, I agree.

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