We all love the inputs, but what about the outputs ?
Fossil Fuels have been providing an easy life and easy pickings for the citizens and enterprises of the industrialised world for some time.
People love their jet-fuelled lives. One man will move one kilometre from his home to a restaurant in two and a half metric tonnes of steel and glass believing he is admired for his larger-than-car-sized car. He will wear sunshades, and oil-slicked hair (if he has any) and sport a tan from his recent holiday over the ocean. A life of glory and feeling good about himself.
But what about the emissions ? What, indeed, about the environmental devastation at the places the Fossil Fuels (and metal and glass) were mined and refined and manufactured ?
What do we leave behind ?
The oil fields of Azerbaijan :-
Image Credit : Edward Burtynsky
The coal mine tailings of The Philippines :-
The duck-killing Tar Sands tailings ponds of Alberta, Canada :-
Coal sludge, Tennessee :-
Fish-killing Bay Shore :-
Airborne Uranium dust from the outback in Australia (Uranium is a “fossil” element – there’s only so much on Earth) :-
And of course, the BP Gulf of Mexico slicktastic :-
I could go on. But I won’t just now.
One dilemma – we will probably need to dig up the Earth a bit more for all the metal ores we need to build new Renewable Energy technologies. Or not. We could just comb through the world’s abandoned energy production sites, open-air garbage bins, scavenging for iron, steel and suchlike.