We are currently in an energy crisis. Fossil fuels are the lifeblood of our society and for many others around the world. Our supply has a finite end, which is why we are willing to go to war for it and make friends with those we really hate. The former Soviet Union and many of the countries in the Middle East are in our good favor strictly because of their oil reserves. Our foreign aid has a legitimate purpose. Even with our newfound friends, fossil fuels will run out and the use of them will soon take the lives of many people. These are important reasons to find other means of getting the energy we need to continue our society as we know it.
So what are our options? Alternative forms of energy are currently under development even though most of them are only in their initial stages. With increased government and public support, we may be able to speed up the development of these technologies and help free ourselves from the usage of fossil fuels. Oil companies will have to be dealt with because with the future shortages of fossil fuels, they would stand to reap enormous profits. To prevent this, oil and other energy resource providing companies should be encouraged to develop these technologies for the sake of ethics if not for long-term profit gains when all fossil fuel resources are exhausted. Here are some alternative, renewable sources of energy in various stages of development:
Nuclear Fusion: Fusion involves the extraction of "heavy" hydrogen (deuterium) from water and the combination of two hydrogen atoms to form helium. Although it has long been hailed as the path to unlimited energy, scientific feasibility has yet to be established. Demonstrations of technological feasibility must then follow, with mastery of materials development and system engineering looming as major hurdles.
Hydrogen: Hydrogen may become the "energy carrier of the future." Most schemes for generating hydrogen are based on the splitting of water using solar...