Fossil fuels and renewables both have their challenges. If one thing is clear, it’s that there isn’t an obvious solution to the energy production problem, since renewables have limited energy generation potential and rely on finite resources.
Fossil fuel energy production is becoming less efficient every year, as we continue to deplete easily accessible reservoirs. Renewables, on the other hand, are becoming more efficient every year. We just need to be careful that improving their efficiency doesn’t damage the environment during the technology’s fabrication stage. In the near future, we will need to use both types of fuels to power our societies, until we can reduce energy demand enough to depend on renewables alone [i.e. once fossil fuels account for a negligible share of the global energy mix].
There are numerous individualized solutions that we can adopt in our everyday lives to reduce our impacts on the environment and save money. Individuals that live on ends meet can find sustainable ways to save – to make living from paycheck to paycheck a little bit easier. Individuals that are in more comfortable financial situations can reduce their impacts even further, simply because they have the resources to do so. As we apply eco-friendly solutions, we’ll just have to make sure we avoid the rebound effect – to truly help lower resource and energy consumption worldwide.
We’ll also have to remember that individualized solutions are only one small part of the solution. After all, systemic issues require systemic solutions.