One of the major issues we are all facing is the looming energy crisis. Dwindling oil supplies, pollution from dirty energy sources (such as oil and coal) and growing fears around global warming are all combining to create a fairly bleak future. The solutions are systemic and must be multi-faceted, including reducing the amount of energy we consume and finding cleaner – and alternative – energy sources.
Of the current energy sources, gas is always cited as one of the best options. It is (relatively) cleaner and cheaper. But, because Russia controls a massive amount of Europe’s gas reserves, it has also been a very political commodity. And, it has been assumed that there was not a lot of gas around. But now, new drilling techniques, new technology and new gas field finds are changing the energy landscape. The USA is now probably the world’s producer, and has enough gas to potentially be self-sufficient for 100 years. That is a mind blowing thought! It will change everything if it’s true – cleaner energy, abundantly available in the USA will change politics, energy, environmentalism and the global balance of power. It will certainly remove a big incentive for American military intervention around the world.
I was therefore fascinated by a report in last week’s Economist that detailed just such a scenario. You can read “An unconventional glut” at The Economist website.