Until 200 years ago, average life expectancy was only 30 years of age; 80% of all human labor was devoted to agriculture; the average woman spent weeks each year hauling water and firewood for cooking and washing. The advent of cheap energy—available from oil, natural gas and coal, has changed humanity. Life expectancy has doubled; less than 2% of human labor is devoted to agriculture; and we now have the luxury of free time to vacation, watch tv and take weekends off--without the worry of starving.
The amount of energy stored in fossil fuels is stunning. It would require an adult human pedaling a stationary bicycle, day and night, eight weeks to produce the amount of energy in just one gallon of gasoline. Every minute, the average American family of 4 consumes the same amount of energy that it would take 400 people to produce pedaling 400 stationary bicycles.
Oil and natural gas support billions of people in lifestyles that were simply unimaginable only a few generations ago. The planes, trains, and automobiles that sustain our cherished mobility run on oil. Modern medicine depends on plastics made from natural gas.
We take these things for granted…simply because they are there. But our great grandparents would not recognize the lives that cheap/reliable fossil fuels make possible for us. Indeed, over 3 billion people on this planet have NO access to electricity or clean cooking fuels.
There is no ready substitute for cheap reliable oil, natural gas and coal. The notion that we can turn our backs on the fuels that have made us healthy, wealthy and well is just fantasy.
We need Energy 4 Life.