Another problem facing humanity due to its dependency on fossil fuels is how important petroleum is to everything we do. We use oil and its derivatives in every facet of our industry, from power generation and manufacturing to medicine and agriculture. The last Green Revolution was actually agricultural, when a huge increase in the amount of food available thanks to pesticides, fertilizers and other products of industrial farming (all of which use petroleum as a necessary ingredient) lead to huge increase in the world’s population. The current Green Revolution is, in many ways, the necessary result of that population increase.
To a great degree, the shape of a technology defines its use and informs the shape of the society that uses it. If the Stone or Bronze Ages were defined by the materials they use, then the world we live in now is the Oil Age. Changing that reliance will require a complete change in the way that we do everything as a society. So it’s a change that will start with power generation and percolate down through every other element of our lives.
To understand what that shape may look like, and what you can do to contribute, we need to take a closer look at the various technologies poised to alter the current order of things. The best way to do that is to look at the green replacements for fossil fuels.