Energy resources problem

Energy resources are a critical problem for economy (and not only for it). It’s quite a time that environmentalists warn of oil + nuclear + coal mix sustainability, a mix they consider “explosive” for climate and world peace. Now that oil is reaching $100, European Commission President, Barroso, underlined in his speech at the World Energy Forum that current energetic scenario isn’t sustainable.

At last, one could say. Until now the “bad economy” pushed to ignore environmental problems. I say “bad economy” since economy in itself should push also towards environment protection. In fact, a valuable company should look for economic effectiveness in the long term: and jeopardizing energy resources, spoiling environment, damaging the health of “possible customers, suppliers or partners”, is surely against it.

Respect for the environment isn’t “just” and ethical problem, but it can be considered from a strictly economic point of view. The small regard for environment is a signal that something isn’t working well in our economy, since most companies and people are looking for big incomes in the short term, without worrying of this attitude cost in the long run.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to solve the problem of energy. Simple formula should be distrusted, because they always have side effects: it may be unrealistic to just substitute oil with something else. In my opinion, energy resource problem carries similarities with investment portfolios, and therefore may share the same approach.

Every energy source, massively used, has dowturns. First of all the resource-dependency, and consequent political effects: if the we all switch to eolic, eventually wind-rich countries would gain power and wind-poor ones will lose it. But there is also a pollution point of view, since it isn’t sure that “clean and renewable” in the small scale means “clean and renewable” also in the large scale: if we cover every inch of the planet with solar panels, maybe trees wouldn’t get enough light. Clearly, these are exaggerated examples, but it’s important to stress one point, that isn’t often discussed: the winning choice is diversifying, also when we talk about energy resources.

Original post (in Italian) : Il problema delle risorse energetiche

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