In the current era in which the dangers of depleting energy resources and changing climates due to greenhouse gasses are becoming increasingly worrisome, a seemingly transformative “green” movement has acted as public backlash. From this sparks a growing trend in recycling and conserving, along with a widespread effort to promote sustainable and renewable energy. Despite this, current environmental issues have become detrimental to a prosperous environment. Public officials, in their efforts to combat this, face difficulty in balancing between two radical viewpoints. On the one hand, some passionately dissent the notion of carelessly wasting limited fossil fuels or of off-shore drilling. These environmentally conscious activists advocate the transition to alternative forms of energy. The rebuttal to this ideology is an assertion that the possibility of such aspirations is ludicrous, and that the change could pose threats on the current policy and economy.
The result of the two differing viewpoints is a struggle to agree on specific issues, and that each person will hold tightly onto their personal views on the “correct” way to handle certain situations. When one’s viewpoint is challenged by opposition, personal opinion is strongly reinforced, and the gap between the two is widened by their distorted image of the other. In a debate, one may rally for immediate offshore drilling, and view the opposing ideas to conserve as much of that oil as possible as baffling and ridiculous. This becomes especially time-consuming because the two never reach a point of agreement, and the issue continues to become worse and remains unsolved. To combat this problem, the two must tread on common ground, and gradually build from there.
For example, most of these public officials agree that the need for efficient energy use and sustainable energy sources is exponentially increasing. They realize that the basis of nuclear, solar, wind and other energies would be beneficial in significantly reducing environmental waste. Undoubtedly, the means to this seemingly unrealistic end seems to be the most debated topic. However, since it is a well-known fact that the world will one day be completely depleted of fossil fuels because of the sheer rapidity of consumption, the first thing that public officials should focus on is a method of decreasing dependence on these energy sources.
Because of the country’s current recession, affordability is the largest hindrance in the spread of more environmental-friendly energy sources. Those who agree with this statement fail to take into account the possibility of a gradual increase in the implementation of a new energy system. In addition to reducing strain on budget, this would also decrease the possibility of a change in societal structure. People would still be engaging in their normal activities, but would only have to adjust to the new technology—an adjustment most should handle quite well, considering that it is already happening. Just as there already has been a gradual increase in the fight against the energy crisis, the change is continuous. New technology and methods of conservation may be introduced without disrupting economic and social stability.
So far in the efforts towards energy preservation, research is still underway for the refinement of nuclear energy. Companies such as Dominion in Virginia are busy constructing their long-range energy plans, which go as far as planning the energy consumption for the next fifty years. Efforts such as the Clean Energy Future Campaign are powerhouses in the spread of energy crisis awareness and the effort to reduce the damage inflicted onto the earth. In the end, it is the responsibility of the leading voices to make the changes necessary towards companies and government actions that have the largest impact on the crisis. In the end, it is a collaborative effort that is pivotal in positively changing our energy future.