Running on empty

Fuel guage on empty

Courtesy morguefile

 

We use oil, natural gas, and coal to heat our homes, cook our meals, and power our computers. Without these fossil fuels, planes, trains, and automobiles grind to a halt, phones go dead, and the lights go out on civilization as we know it.

Yet producing the energy we need poisons the air we breathe and the water we drink, and it may well be causing catastrophic climate change. In addition, the world’s finite supply of fossil fuel is shrinking at the same time as global consumption is expanding. And if you think nuclear power is the answer, think again. It too is dependent upon fossil fuels. It too pollutes.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Technology already exists to derive energy from renewable sources. With political will and political clout these sources can become viable alternatives to our present dead-end energy policies. Inside this special section we challenge the conventional wisdom about powering the future.