Citizens Guide to Sustainable Energy: Fossil Fuels

Citizens Guide to Sustainable Energy

Beyond the fossil fuel economy

Oil tanks, PhiladelphiaGiven the consequences of air pollution and climate change from fossil fuels and radiation poisoning from nuclear power, not to mention wars over decreasing fossil fuel deposits and weapons of mass destruction from increasing nuclear products, the current energy system is unsustainable. With the beginning of the new century, we are witnessing the sunset of the old energy system which fueled Industrial Society.

However, despite the limitations and consequences we now see, we find ourselves institutionally and personally addicted to the old ways. For many of us, automobiles are indispensable. We may recycle and turn off unnecessary lights, but we do not have to wait until the next big energy crisis or blackout to know we need to make much bigger changes, changes just as revolutionary as the transition from agricultural to industrial society. We are now building the foundations for a sustainable society, which in turn calls for the transition to sustainable energy.

Fossil fuels: Myths, facts, questions and policy options

Our dependence on fossil fuels results in air pollution, global warming and a range of destructive environmental and health impacts. Because of that dependence our country and others have been increasingly embroiled in wars and national security threats. Such conflict will only worsen as competiton rises over decreasing fossil fuel resources.With the beginning of the new century, we witness the sunset of the old energy system which fueled Industrial Society. However, despite the limitations and consequences we now see, we find ourselves institutionally and personally addicted to the old ways. For many of us, automobiles are indispensable. We may recycle and turn off unnecessary lights, but we do not have to wait until the next big energy crisis or blackout to know we need to make much bigger changes, changes just as revolutionary as the transition from agricultural to industrial society. We are now building the foundations for a sustainable society, which in turn calls for the transition to sustainable energy.

links:

Environmental Literacy Council

Office of Fossil Energy, DOE

National Energy Technology Laboratory - Devoted to fossil energy technology

Sustainable Energy and Economy Network - Introduction to fossil fuels 

Union of Concerned Scientists - Fossil fuels

WorldWatch - Fossil fuels continue to cloud the sky (2003)

International Energy Agency - Clean fossil fuels

Oil

Environmental Litearcy Council

US oil production and imports - Energy Information Administration (EIA)

US Strategic Petroleum Reserve - DOE

Oilwatch

Expose Exxon

Peak Oil Crisis - The end of cheap oil

Post-Carbon Institute

Center for Public Integrity - The politics of oil

Out of Balance - Exxon Mobil's impact on climate change

Cut Oil Imports

Kick the Oil Habit

Peak Oil - Begin making a difference

Greenpeace - Mobilize against Exxon

Greenpeace Fueling Global Warming: Federal Subsidies to Oil in the U.S.(1998) [pdf] 

Consumer Energy Council of AmericaFueling the Future: Better Ways to Use America's Fuel Options (2006) [pdf]

Taxpayers for Common Sense - Oil and gas subsidies

Union of Concerned Scientists - How oil works

Worldwatch - Changing the oil economy

UN Economic Commission for Europe - ECE Gas Centre

International Energy Agency - oil

International Energy AgencyOil Market Report (2006)

Coal

links:

Environmental Literacy Council

US coal production and consumption - EIA

President's Clean Coal Initiative - DOE

Coal systems - National Energy Technology Laboratory

Renewable Energy Policy Project - Impact on the land

World Wildlife Fund - The biggest cause of climate change

Coop America - Say no to coal and climate change

Taxpayers for Common Sense - Subsidies to coal industry

Union of Concerned Scientists - How coal works

UN Economic Commission for Europe - ECE and coal

International Energy Agency - coal

Natural gas

links:

Environmental Literacy Council

US natural gas production and consumption - EIA

natural gas regulation - DOE

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy - The next energy crisis?

Taxpayers for Common Sense - Oil and gas subsidies 

Union of Concerned Scientists - How natural gas works

International Energy Agency - natural gas

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Energy and Climate Change

In the United States, as in other parts of the world, citizens are increasingly concerned about the threats to our future posed by climate change and our addiction to fossil fuels. In turn, many US citizens recognize the need to take responsibility for ourselves and our country in transforming the ways we produce and consume energy -- in our households, communities, regions and nation.