I am optimistic that human ingenuity will help solve energy and pollution problems. I have written about it many times. I have analyzed and referenced a lot of material and opinions on the current state of “renewable” energy. Here is a recent blog post worth reading.
The bullet point is that current renewable technologies are not very “clean” or “green”.
Grain ethanol is probably a net negative for the environment. It’s production is poisoning well water across the Midwest. Some people say it is extremely bad for the environment.
Wind energy is claimed to be a vehicle/scheme for billionaires to become even more wealthy.
Solar energy is probably one of the better clean energy solutions but mainly if it is roof-top solar, otherwise, it takes a lot of infrastructure and land to install and maintain.
Hydroelectric is the most “green” but a lot of the industrialized world’s dams are in decline and it is very difficult to build anew.
One of the problems is that countries around the world promote “economic growth” and increasing GDP, all the time, every year. Paving over more of the world, consuming ever more products, and building more cities, is seen as “positive” and promoted endlessly. I have written quite often that we should shift toward happiness, health, and economic efficiency as metrics of societal well-being.
I am always heartened to find other concerned citizens writing about the same theme. Here is a very good article that summarizes some of the same points made above. It is well worth your time to read and to check out some of the links analyzing the feasibility of using current renewables. The numbers just don’t add up.
However, I am still optimistic. More people are coming to their senses and supporting nuclear energy. In addition, innovation continues. Battery technology is not all that green right now, but it gets better every year. Solar energy keeps getting more efficient every year. These trends add up over time. Technological progress tends to surprise people who try to forecast the future. I think there will be more progress than anticipated.