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3 of the Best Ethical Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

Alternative Energy

In recent years, ethical issues regarding our energy use and systems have increasingly been at the forefront of the global conscious. Growing awareness of climate change has led us to question how we’re producing and using energy, and how sustainable these practices are.

These ethical considerations are more important now than ever. The IPCC has predicted that global temperatures will rise by up to 10 degrees over the next century, and this is largely due to emissions from energy production. In fact, 90% of all carbon emissions caused by human activity come from fossil fuels. Unfortunately, this shows no signs of reducing, with the International Energy Agency predicting that Chinese emissions will double by 2035.

To keep global temperature increases within manageable levels, we need to leave 80% of our current fossil fuel reserves underground. As such, the need for ethical alternatives to fossil fuels is greater now than ever. Here are 3 of the most promising alternative fuel sources that could help us to turn things around.

1. Solar Power

Solar power technology has come a long way over the last few decades. Solar panels are now so advanced, they can be used for energy production on an unprecedented scale. Many homes are able to generate all of their required power from solar panels alone.

The only thing holding solar power back from widespread adoption is the upfront costs. The cost of solar power installation is off-putting for many homeowners, which is a shame as they can actually save money on energy bills in the long run.

To combat this, governments around the world have introduced initiatives to encourage more people to adopt solar power. In the US, the ‘Solar Investment Tax Credit’ is one such example.

2.  Wave Energy

Wave energy utilizes the kinetic energy of the sea to generate electricity. Wave energy converters are placed far out in the oceans to harness the power of the waves and use it to produce energy.

The advantage of this is that there is little to no waste produced. It’s very reliable and has a lot of potential. The only potential barrier is that, as of yet, scientists still don’t know exactly how these converters can affect local ecosystems.

Tidal energy is similar to wave energy and holds equally impressive potential. A recent report predicted that tidal energy alone could provide up to 20% of the electricity demands of the whole of the UK.

3. Wind Energy

Wind energy is one of the planet’s most promising renewable energy sources. The wind is a limitless source of kinetic energy. Wind turbines can harness that energy by using it to turn spinning blades and generate electricity.

There are thousands of these wind turbines already in place around the globe generating a huge chunk of the global energy supply. According to the EWEA, wind power accounted for 44.2% of the total power capacity installations in 2015 – more than any other form of power generation..

The only ethical issue regarding wind energy centres around the way they look. Many people have raised concerns that wind turbines are an ugly blight on the countryside. However, this seems to be a relatively small compromise for a clean, renewable, limitless energy source.

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7 Comments on "3 of the Best Ethical Alternatives to Fossil Fuels"

  1. Dave Thompson on Thu, 1st Aug 2019 11:49 pm 

    Total bullshit article none of these so called energy schemes can ever replace what FF do in our industrial civ. Get a clue folks we are all fucked.

  2. makati1 on Fri, 2nd Aug 2019 1:20 am 

    Dave, I agree. The only way is down, not anything like the current BAU. If you step back and look at the world with an open mind, we are already on the slippery slope. Some moving down faster than others. Some even moving up a bit, for now, but if you are in a Western country, it is all down from here.

  3. Cloggie on Sat, 3rd Aug 2019 6:03 am 

    Stanford’s brightest: expect $2.50/kg hydrogen in a decade:

    1 kg hydrogen = 39 kWh –> 6 cent / kWh

    If THAT materializes, renewable energy has won ON PRICE alone.

  4. Davy on Sat, 3rd Aug 2019 6:05 am 

    “Stanford’s brightest: expect $2.50/kg hydrogen in a decade:”

    Translation: Decade = maybe, kinda, sort of, I hope so

    Cloggo, I a of the opinion hydrogen will play a niche role but I do agree it will have a future.

  5. Davy on Sat, 3rd Aug 2019 6:12 am 

    “BoJo’s Britain: Casting Off The EU Millstone” gold money via zero hedge

    “The EU’s problems are mounting There is likely to be an important consequence, and that is a Johnson Brexit could trigger a mounting financial and ultimately political crisis in the European Union. A study last year by Germany’s Halle Institute estimated a no-deal Brexit would cost 12,000 jobs in the UK, and 422,000 jobs in the other 27 EU members, of which 100,000 are in Germany and 50,000 in France. Yesterday, Ireland’s central bank forecast a loss of up to 100,000 jobs in the medium term in Ireland alone, on a no-deal. Clearly, the EU’s negotiators risk losing the wholehearted support of its two largest post-Brexit paymasters and others. But for Brussels, giving in on Brexit encourages rebellion from disaffected populations in other member states. Rather like the Soviets ruling Eastern Europe in the late eighties, the Brussels establishment finds itself struggling to keep its non-democratic political model intact. It is increasingly likely Brussels will find events are spinning out of its control. For the UK, this introduces collateral damage, necessitating even more urgent separation from the EU. In a paper published at end-June, Bob Lyddon points out that a Eurozone financial crisis (which is becoming increasingly likely, as argued below) could cause the UK’s contingent liability as an EU member to be as much as €441bn. “This derives from the near-criminal irresponsibility by the UK’s negotiators”. Whatever the numbers, there can be no doubt that this is an extremely serious issue. Furthermore, in the event of a financial and systemic crisis in the Eurozone, the UK will face its own crisis, if only because of cross-liabilities through the two banking systems. And the cyclical economic downturn that always follows the failure of a period of credit expansion is coming up on the inside rail very rapidly. The EU economy is left badly unbalanced, with Germany dominating production and exports. Other populous member states, notably in the Club Med and France, are in a financial mess. They have relied on Germany’s production to provide for their unproductive profligacy. Her production output is now contracting. Germany has been hit by three adverse developments at the same time. There is President Trump’s tariff war against China, which has undermined Germany’s largest growing markets at the eastern end of the Silk Road, and the threat he will deploy similar tactics against Germany. There is EU environmental legislation, which is making Germany’s motor production obsolete and forcing manufacturers to put a time-limit on existing production while investing enormous sums in electric technology. The damage this has done extends down the whole production chain, undermining the Mittelstand. Then there is the crisis in Germany’s major banks, most publicly seen in Deutsche Bank because of longtail liabilities from its investment banking division. But all German banks, as well as those throughout the EU, face a lethal combination of margin compression from negative interest rates and a legacy of an expensive branch network when customers are migrating to online banking. The slump in German production now provides an additional threat to their loan books. In the background, there is the turn in the global credit cycle from its expansionary phase into a periodic contraction, usually resulting in a credit crisis. To understand the transition from credit expansion to a tendency for it to contract is to recognise that the expansion of credit as a means of stimulating an economy depends on tricking economic actors into believing prospects are improving. When the evidence mounts that they are not, monetary stimulation fails, and credit begins to contract. Despite the ECB maintaining negative interest rates, despite the ability of highly-rated companies to raise finance at zero or even negative rates, and despite the ECB’s offer to pay companies to borrow (which is what deeper negative rates amount to) economic actors are now aware that it is all deception. This is why Germany now has all the appearances of being in the early stages of a deepening economic slump, and there is nothing monetary policy can do about it. Brexit will simply add to these problems, not just for manufacturers, but for their bankers as well, as the Halle Institute report implies.”

  6. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Aug 2019 4:55 am 

    ““BoJo’s Britain: Casting Off The EU Millstone””

    Another Anglo gold bug, self-serving predicting doom and gloom for continental Europe after Brexit.

    “Millstone”, really? If you look at the net contributions of the major players in the EU:

    Per capita, Britain is only ranking #9 as net payer into the EU (Holland #1, Germany #2, Sweden #3):

    In absolute terms (scroll down):

    1. Germany 13.5
    2. UK 10.9 – 5.0 rebate = 5.9
    3. France 4.9
    4. Netherlands 3.5
    5. Italy 2.2
    6. Sweden 2.1
    7. Belgium 1.3

    …you can verify that Britain is in the EU on the cheap (because of their threat to leave). For a jew tip of 5.9 billion they have access to a market where they can dump goods and service to the tune of GBP 274 billion and buy an even larger amount against tariff free prices.

    (you can see the British contribution to the EU as a tariff of merely 2% in return for Common Market access, the most lucrative in the world. Good luck with your Americans, who are going to brutally strip you of everything you have. The majority in Westminster understands that, but not fish-and-chips joe commoner, who voted for Brexit based on lies promoted by clowns like BoJo and Fromage)

    “Millstone”, you said?


  7. Cloggie on Sun, 4th Aug 2019 5:17 am 

    Actually the current UK contribution is highly variable and currently higher than the outdated figure I used above:

    9.7 billion euro currently, including rebate.

    What you can see is that apparently the UK benefited highly from EU-membership (“Cool Britannia”), because it morphed from a zero-contributor in 1970, when it was Europe’s “sick man”, into the 2nd highest net contributor it is now.

    Many in Westminster correctly fear, Britain will return to “sick man” status, “after the break”, because wealth is based on trade and Brexit is one giant shot in the foot, by giving up existing trade relations, build up over decades, without compensation any time soon.

    And where the UK is currently operating in an aquarium of many European fish of comparable size, after Brexit, the UK will be at the total mercy of a much larger animal, that will absolutely NOT see Britain as an equal partner, but as a tasty prey, just like in 1939, when they managed to set up Britain for war and as a result could take over most of the British empire into the US empire (“special relationship” is a fond, but entirely one-sided British illusion)

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