Type: Critical Essays
Sample donated: Ann Long
Last updated: December 27, 2019
The United States has always been a country of innovators.South American tribes are credited with the creation of the first version ofthe modern syringe1, Miller Reese Hutchinson of Alabama was thefirst to invent the hearing aid2,and without the efforts of Roger Easton, millions of people would be lost intoday’s GPS-dependent world3.But with consideration toward innovative implementation of renewable energy,the United States is far behind many other industrialized nations.
With ahistory this rich in world-changing innovations, it seems counterintuitive thatthe United States would be so behind in such a critical industry.For a nation that is less dependent on oil and more focusedon creating a better environment for generations to come, Americans must rallytogether to fight against oil companies and support wind and solar operations. The Trickier Problems withOilOil is a tricky business. While many Americans support itsuse, especially those states like Texas who directly benefit from domesticdrilling, there are other reasons why Americans are oil dependent.
The biggestreason, however, is the ever-growing population. Because the basic UnitedStates infrastructure – the infrastructure which keeps its citizens alive — isset up to run on oil, keeping its many citizens happy and healthy currentlydepends upon oil. Changing the infrastructure cannot be an overnightoccurrence, but the numbers indicate that the switch does need to be made soon.
Per day, the United States consumes about 19.69 millionbarrels of oil4. TheAmerican lifestyle and the unfathomable oil consumption is simply notsustainable. Setting aside the obvious environmental impacts that more citizenshave become to fear, oil also is currently considered infinite when, in fact,it is increasingly finite. Even BP issued an estimate in 2014, claiming that atthe current rate of production, the world can only expect another 53 years’worth of oil usage before it is entirely depleted.
5 What Experts ThinkAbout the Shift to Renewable EnergyLuckily for Americans, the general population is beginningto think more about sustainability. Composting and recycling programs havetaken off across the country, and people have become increasingly aware oftheir carbon footprint. However, despite the nation’s best efforts to go green,there is still oil consumption is at an all time high. Cars, trucks, andprocessing centers focused on creating a viable environmental change are stillpowered largely by oil.
Reusable containers and products intended to make yourhome greener are also suspect. Experts say, though, that American infrastructure can shifttoward renewable energy in the next few years. The Department of Energy’s NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory completed a comprehensive study that by 2050 – adate that precedes the end of Earth’s oil – the United States can gain most ofits infrastructural energy from renewable resources including wind, solar,biofuel, and hydropower6.This will not only help with reducing carbon impact, but it will also savemillions from unsanitary and deadly conditions caused by oil shortages.
What the Average American Can Do to Encouragethe ShiftWhile the full infrastructural shift will take governmentalchange to implement, there are still things that the average American can do toencourage the shift to renewable energy. First, by decreasing personalautomobile usage, Americans can save money andprecious, non-renewable resource that is oil. Second, reducing the numberof plastics and petroleum-based products used in your home will reduce thedemand for those products, which will slow production. Finally, keeping thepressure on both local and national government will ensure that everyone’s bestefforts are being funneled into creating a national, sustainableinfrastructure. Implementing this in time is non-negotiable, but implementingthis quickly will help put the United States at the lead of globalenvironmental sustainability.