Dilbert_X wrote:@Jay, Various countries have succeeded in using their natural resources and ingenuity to reduce their fossil fuel use, its not 'unpossible' as luddites like you would have everyone believe.
There are too many variables to say that it can be applied universally. A place like Norway is blessed with thousands of fjords and a small population. Brazil has the ability to grow massive amounts of sugar cane, and it's population is still on the poor side so they don't have a situation where every family has three cars in the driveway. They also don't have the insane environmentalists that we do that protest EVERYTHING. They don't like fossil fuels, they don't like dams because they hurt fish, they complain about siting solar arrays in the desert because they impact tortoises and recreation areas. You can't build wind farms near people because the shock wave from the blades has actually been shown to harm humans, as well as migratory bats and birds. No matter what you build, people will protest.
The US has drastically reduced its fossil fuel usage over the past two decades, and the gains mostly stem from increased gas mileage in vehicles, and a move to more efficient plug loads. Things like central air conditioning, that were once a luxury item, have come down in price, which means older window units have been replaced. Then there has been the renewed emphasis on properly insulating homes, and hot water heating systems becoming the norm.
We're never going to entirely eliminate fossil fuel use in this country, especially now that we've discovered a few hundred years worth of natural gas reserves sitting underneath our feet, but we have made giant strides in becoming more efficient with their usage in the past few decades. The stereotype of the fat American sitting in his gas guzzling truck wasting massive amounts of energy is rather old at this point. Even the most ignorant redneck understands that gas prices aren't going back down, and he has become more conscious of his energy footprint. He doesn't think in those terms though, he thinks in terms of his wallet.
Last edited by Jay (2013-05-27 07:19:26)