Fossil fuels are abundant. So what ? 1


Last week on Cleantechies, an article caught my attention. Titled ”¬†What if We Never Run Out of Oil? “. The article made me think and I have to say I got quite mad at it as it is promoting fossil fiels just because they they are abundant.

They might be, and they can be considered perhaps cheap if you don’t take into account the tremendous negative externalities on the environment, our climate and human health. (and a tiny lil’ thing like our civilization ).

This could be depressing given the urgency of acting on climate change. Luckily there are two major trends against coal, oil and natural gas.

First : renewables are achieving grid parity all over the world. Both solar PV and wind power are getting cheaper and cheaper each month, allowing them to compete with “traditional” energy.

Second : carbon taxes are sprouting globally as fossil fuels are just too polluting and too damaging.

So don’t worry. Economics will make fossil fuels obsolete.

The Stone Age ended not because we had no more stones, but just because Mankind had invented something better. It will be the same with coal, oil and natural gas. They will be replaced by solar energies, wind power and all the other renewables…

For the record, here is the comment I left ( which still hasn’t be published. I wonder why…) :

So we might have oil and fossil fuels to kill ourselves. OK, so what ? Renewables are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. This ” grid parity ” is taking place as I write those words all over the world. On a planet where economics reign supreme this is a huge argument for renewables.

Furthermore, renewables don’t pollute. You don’t get those horrific oil spills with them. Last but not least, they also create more jobs than fossil fuels. It’s a lose lose lose versus a win win win. Renewables will prevail. No matter what fossil fuels interest think, publish or say. –


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One thought on “Fossil fuels are abundant. So what ?

  • Olivier J

    I am not worried about economic “forcing” our hand to move toward more sustainability. What worries me is the lack of political incentive to move toward sustainable development.

    I do not think there is one political leader in this world who has not heard about the upcoming challenges set by pollution, consumption, global warming. I do think that every economic actor interested in increasing benefits will choose cheaper productions factors (a shame when we are talking about human resources by the way…). However, there is in my opinion a lack of stimulus/incentive to turn to a cleaner/more sustainable growth…