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How fast should fossil fuels be phased out? Show more Show less
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Fossil fuels will inevitably become a thing of the past, but it is difficult to say when that time will be. Should countries and industries begin this process immediately to avoid further long-term damage to the climate or is it better to implement a slower transition over a longer period of time with similar results?

Fossil fuels should be phased out slowly Show more Show less

It is unrealistic to expect that the entire world would be able to immediately stop using fossil fuels without disastrous economic effects.
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Immediately switching to renewable energy is an unrealistic goal

It is not feasible to expect that all countries would be able to immediately stop using fossil fuels due to lack of infrastructure and resources.
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The Argument

It is not economically possible or realistic to expect that fossil fuels will stop being used immediately. Entire countries utilize fossil fuels and oil as their primary export, and saying that would immediately stop would spell ruin for entire economies and the humans who live in them. A transition to alternative energy has to be created, but it could take many years to build up the infrastructure necessary to replace fossil fuels as the main energy provider and export for an entire country, let alone the entire world. Also, this level of overhaul would require an extensive amount of financial resources, which is not something that all countries or organizations have at their disposal. The Paris Agreement from 2016 took a more realistic approach, with all signees agreeing to keep their emissions under a certain level to at least slow climate change to some degree. The agreement also lent support to countries that do not have the economic resources or infrastructure to make that transition on their own. [1][2][3]

Counter arguments

While it is important to consider the economy in the discussion about climate change and renewable energy, it cannot be the focus of the conversation. The oil industry is currently a major component of the world’s economy, so if the focus is solely economic, there is no other incentive to transition to renewable energy. There have been several economically-plausible plans published on how to safely and quickly transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, so it is entirely plausible if governments choose to pursue it. [4][5][6]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/energy-problems-in-developing-countries/39434
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Paris-Agreement-2015
  4. https://priceofoil.org/2020/06/01/countries-need-to-phase-out-fossil-fuels-heres-how-to-do-it-fairly/
  5. https://landinstitute.org/fossil-fuels-phase-out-policy-framework/
  6. https://grist.org/climate-energy/how-can-we-get-power-to-the-worlds-poor-fastest/
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 23:08 UTC