One of the more hilarious criticisms of renewable energy is that it costs too much. A new report has been released stating that potentially $500 billion a year in fossil fuel imports alone could be saved by the economies of China, the European Union, and the United States if they switched to 100% renewable energy. There would be many other large benefits as well.
Yes, that’s $500 billion per year. After 10 years, that would be $5 trillion. How would one even begin to calculate the positive effects in those huge economies of saving trillions of dollars per decade?
“Over 100 countries have thrown their support behind a phase out of fossil fuel emissions and it’s not hard to see why,” explained Climate Action Network chair Mohamed Adow.
Would potentially saving trillions of dollars in just 10 years stabilize those national economies?… And if they were more stable, would not the global economy also be bolstered? Isn’t it partly the responsibility of the leading nations to strengthen and balance their economies to provide more stability to the developing world?
If saving trillions of dollars, and most likely adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, isn’t compelling enough, switching from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy could also save hundreds of thousands of lives. Actually, one source says it would not be hundreds of thousands of jobs, but would be one million, and air pollution has also been linked to 7 million premature human deaths in 2012.
The New Climate Institute also wrote that achieving 100% renewable energy in these huge economies could make great strides in reducing the effects of climate change (of course).
Investing in renewable energy has been wrongly described as only a “green” thing to do, or one that is chiefly motivated by a desire to protect the environment. It seems that we are very gradually waking up to the fact that renewable energy is also better for human health, because it doesn’t produce harmful air pollution like coal, gas, and oil do. The economic benefits are also substantial, so there seems to be no reasonable objection to it.
Many countries still have not fully recovered from the global recession, so investing in renewable energy for the long-term seems to be not only an obvious solution, or ” no brainer” — it also seems to be the most humane and compassionate path.
Also, imagine how much lower the costs of renewable energy technology will be in the near future after very large investments and extensive field use. In a sense, one could say humanity is sitting on a renewable gold mine, but is adapting to it slowly because of politics and habit.
Image Credit: Energy.gov
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