The Kyoto Protocol
The world is addicted to cheap , readily available oil. It's a polluting energy source that exists in finite amounts, the bulk of which is concentrated in the politically volatile Persian Gulf . Whether your nation's energy of choice is fossil fuel, nuclear energy or a combination of both, it is a deadly addiction. History will repeat itself in the convulsions of war, starvation and political upheavals when the current cheap supplies start dwindling, unless we prepare now for a future based on new energy systems.
Back in the 1960s, predictions that the United States would have pumped over half of its total supply of oil by the 1970's met with stiff opposition from the energy dealers and by governments buoyed up by fuel profits. They were wrong, the U.S. is now well past its halfway point in consuming its inexpensive oil reserves. Nuclear energy was touted as an unlimited panacea, destined to be so cheap the electric companies wouldn't even put meters on houses. Conventional oil is running out, and we now know nuclear fuel is quite limited in supply as well.
In the face of the world's greatest impending disaster, nations still doctor their listed reserves in order to preserve global credit ratings and credibility and to placate their populations. As an example, the $50 billion loan to Mexico from the U.S. was based on collateral in the form of profits on oil sales a collateral that was exaggerated and insufficient. OPEC countries are rewarded for artificial reserve inflation by being allowed to pump more oil per year, thus boosting their oil-based economies. The world's population is based on food grown with petroleum-based fertilizers, and cultivated by machines running on cheap fuel. As competition for this limited resource increases, starvation, population collapse, and global conflicts will ensue.
Burning fossil fuel or splitting atoms to power a car or boil water is like throwing antique furniture into your fireplace in order to heat your house. It wastes precious resources better suited to producing new materials or diagnosing medical conditions to improve health, rather than pouring it into gas-guzzling automobile engines or electric power plants that degrade the environment. But what choices do we have? Is there reason to hope?
We have gathered the data and produced a factual description of the problems the world is facing, the efforts being made by nations (pretty dismal), and the efforts of individuals (pretty amazing). We've covered some of the problems that researchers have, the vested interests and their involvement in obstructing progress and what you can do to help. We have provided footnotes at the end of most pages so you can research the material and find more information for yourself.
More detailed information on Non-Renewable Energy