An economic case for divesting from fossil fuels

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  • heidilovesmusic Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    For those of you who agree with the idea of Divestment from fossil fuels please take a moment to click on the link below and sign the petition electronically. This will help the Weber State Environmental Club with their Divestment Campaign to get closer to their goal of needed signatures. Every name counts and I promise it will make you feel great when you can tell future generations your name helped at least one institution Divest from fossil fuels!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 30, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" you are wrong again.

    1. You said that temperature inversions are not natural. A temperature inversion is NOT the same as smog and pollution. If you want to discuss smog and pollution, I am willing to do so.

    2. The 10th article of faith is not about the Earth being celestialized. It is about the 2nd coming of Christ, at which time the Earth will be restored to its paradisiacle glory. That means that it will be returned to a glory that it once had, the earth has never been celesitialized. How do you know what the process will be for this transformation? If God can create the Earth, why can't he beautify the Earth too?

    3. I think you missed the statements that the deepest fossils are 16000 feet below the surface, and they are finding oil at 40,000 feet. If it was a techtonic issue, there would be fossils at 40,000 feet.

    Sorry that you are wrong on all 3 points again, but you are welcome to try again.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 26, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    Pasedena, CA
    Plus, if abiotic oil is so wrong, how do you explain them getting oil from wells deeper than the oldest fossils?

    12:59 p.m. June 26, 2014


    Breathing ice crystals in an inversion, is 180 degrees diamterically opposed to pollution and smog. 1 is 100% natural and unavoidable -- the other man-made and 100% avoidable.

    The Earth will be Celestialized -- but show me where God ever said HE would use magic to do it.
    Re-read that Article of Faith -- Mankind will do it, it's all part of the Plan for us to learn how to Terra-Form our own worlds....No magic, just plain old Faith, knowledge the belief in an idea, and lots of Hardwork.
    No differnt than our Pioneer Fore-Fathers did with their primitive technology and knowledge in transforming the Desert into a Rose.

    I explain your oil question of different levels the same way Scientists explain it.
    Dinosaurs and ancient seabeds and forests are found 15,000 feet ABOVE Sea level and Thousands of Miles away from any Seas...

    via Millions and Billions of years of Techtonic movement.

    Science tells me how,
    Religion tell me why.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 26, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" who is the Global Warming Denier. I have always said that the climate is changing, and has been getting warmer since the little ice age ended in the mid 1850's. Name the scientist that says that the climate does not change.

    Temperature inversions are a natural event. Just ask any meteorologist. There are records of the Utah Pioneers experiencing them. See "Inversions form in different ways" to learn how temperature inversions form. None of them include anything man induced.

    Some Christian groups say the earth is 6,000 years old. The LDS church says "we don't know how old it is." I agree with the LDS church.

    Why do you mock those that believe teh 10th Article of Faith? Don't you believe that the "earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacle glory" at Christ's second comming?

    We don't know what causes a person to be gay. All we know is that gay people have abnormal brain chemistries.

    You should also read "More evidence for 'Abiotic' oil" from the Greenparty in Canada. Plus, if abiotic oil is so wrong, how do you explain them getting oil from wells deeper than the oldest fossils?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Deep Space 9, Ut
    8:15 a.m. June 26, 2014

    Swedish scientists published a paper titled "Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions" published in the peer reviewed journal International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, proved that abiogenic oil is a valid theory for oil production.


    BTW --

    The theory has been tested in the labroatory,

    And the Swede's [Socialists mind you], spend $50 million on 3 seperate off-shore explorations drilling to confirm it occurs in the REAL world.

    They found a few hundred barrels sludge containing extremely primitive hydro-carbons [oil] that could not ever be refined to a viable commercial level, and not enough to substanciate this "theroy" as being THE source of the World's oil supplies.

    Myth - Busted.

    Apparently you don't keep up on science very well.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 26, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    Deep Space 9, Ut
    To "LDS Liberal" actually, scientists, you know, those guys that you despise,


    Me? despising Science?

    I'm not the -

    Global Warming DENIER.
    pollution in the Salt Lake Valley inversions is a 'natural' occurance,
    Earth is only 6,000 years old,
    Evolution Doesn't happen.
    God is going to swoop down and clean up the Earth.
    being Gay is a choice, and not biological.

    If anyone is the Anti-Science Science despiser,
    You might want to look in a mirror.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 26, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    "I have no problem with investing in alternatives, I encourage it! And I hope they mature and become affordable SOON... but they are not there yet."

    And those alternatives will not mature soon UNLESS the Federal government encourages their development and incentivizes those industries.

    . . . Much like the Federal Government built the transcontinental railroad, that allowed the steam trains to displace oxen-drawn wagons and encouraged westward expansion.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 26, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    We're not just embracing the status quo... we're embracing REALITY.

    We acknowledge the reality that we need fossil fuels (even if all alternatives worked out as rosy as some expect). It's possible we will need them for a LONG time. Some may never be replaced, regardless of the radical anti-fossil-fuel-rhetoric.

    We don't agree with those who seem to want to do anything they can to blast the bridge we are currently driving on... when a replacement bridge is not in place, or even proven to be able to replace the old bridge yet.

    I have no problem with investing in alternatives, I encourage it! And I hope they mature and become affordable SOON... but they are not there yet.

    I just have a problem with the people who say "DIVEST" or STOP all fossil fuel companies (because of some radical rhetoric they have stuck in their brain).

    When they accept reality (which you have) the radical pose starts to loose it's luster... and you see that we need both for the foreseeable future. That's "Reality".

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    @2bits: You make a valid observation that conventional fossil fuels have qualities (energy density, storability, portability) that many alternatives lack that make them ideal for certain uses (e.g. transportation, including your favorite military vehicles). They will be harder to find substitutes for. However, there are non-fossil liquid and gaseous fuels that have similar qualities (e.g. hydrogen). Furthermore, not all hydrocarbon fuels are fossil fuels. Methane from landfills or sewage lagoons and biodiesel from algae are identical to natural gas and diesel from a well in the Bakken, but they are carbon neutral. They add CO2 to the air, but it is carbon recently removed from the air, not carbon sequestered back in the Cretaceous, so there is no net increase in CO2 from their combustion.

    The bigger question is why conservatives are so eager to embrace the status quo as the ideal and the only possibility. They trumpet American Exceptionalism, but when confronted with a challenge like CO2 are the first to cut and run, whining, "It's too expensive. We don't know how to do that. It's too hard." Where is the conservative vision and trust in the American "can do" spirit?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 26, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Hey 2 bits -

    " . . . and if America completely divests from fossil fuels as this guy proposes . . ."

    He did not propose that. Nobody did. You keep setting up straw men to knock down.

    And your argument implying that clean-energy-fueled military equipment will always be impossible because the technology does not currently exist, is just silly.

    That's like British Admiralty decreeing in 1803 that steam would never replace tall ships. BTW, members of the British Admiralty, Conservatives that they were, actually did say that.

    This nation should poor funding into clean energy research, and start building a clean-energy infrastructure ASAP. Think of it!

    . . . an endless supply of clean energy, making us independent of foreign oil; and as technology progresses, that energy will become cheaper and ever more viable.

    And NOTHING stimulates the economy like cheap energy.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 26, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" actually, scientists, you know, those guys that you despise, theorize that oil is formed in 2 ways. One method for creating oil is through the decay of plan and animal life over millions of years. The other is through a reaction of hydrocarbons deep in the earth's crust, this is abiogenic. Apparently you don't keep up on science very well.

    Swedish scientists published a paper titled "Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions" published in the peer reviewed journal International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, proved that abiogenic oil is a valid theory for oil production.

    If you choose not to accept a peer reviewed journal article, written by scientists that are experts in geophysics, that is your choice. I can only present you the truth, and it is up to you to accept truth.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 26, 2014 7:06 a.m.


    I don't agree. We have already made huge strides in making petroleum much cleaner to use in car motors ect. The same technology you have faith in to take us away from fossil fuels, I have faith in to create the clean technology for the world to continue to use those fuels. As I cynically mentioned in my first post, maybe someday there will be the kind of energy that will fuel all needs without dead dinosoars. But, until that comes, we can't rely on hopes and dreams. I'd been hearing since the 1960s that hydrogen was the energy of the future. Well, I'm waiting.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 25, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT


    Don't argue with RedShirt.

    he doesn't believe in "fossil" fuels anyway.

    He is the lone beliver that oil is magically being made faster than we can possibly burn it, based on a de-bunk junk sciencehypothesis of the Earth spontaneously making oil via heat, pressure, and other "secret" processes only a few "scientists" know about.

    BTW -- the problem with burning more and more fuels and their CO emissions and ever increasing greenhouse effect gases STILL isn't addressed, even with all this "secret" unlimted oil supply...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    If we all DIVEST from fossil fuel companies (as this letter writer suggests)... do you think these companies will stay in business?

    NO! If we divest... they go out of business!

    If we get to the point where we mostly don't need their products... they will go out of business. They won't just sit around in case we need them (for jet fuel, trucking, etc). That's not enough to fund oil exploration.

    If you want to kill these companies... just come out and say it! Don't just say "Let's divest them".... but then when it's pointed out that there's a myriad of applications that are not possible to handle just because we have hybrid cars... say "Oh they can stay around for those things". Divesting means they go bankrupt.

    The solution.. is to develop alternatives first and THEN let nature take it's course. We don't need people plotting the destruction of these companies (just because these corporation's existence doesn't sit well with the radical environmentalist rhetoric some harbor now days).

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 25, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    The problem here is the conservative posters use the "all or none" approach where every other poster is suggesting a TRANSITION to other sources before we are forced to because we have used it all up. Reasonable approach or that strange black & white world of conservative?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 4:02 p.m.


    We get to the low carbon future by having pricing that reflects the true costs of products. You didn't pay for the Iraq wars at the pump when you gassed up your car, but you should have (because they were primarily about protecting our oil sources). Your electric bill doesn't include the costs of the seawalls proposed to protect Manhattan from rising sea levels, but it should. These are costs of fossil fuel consumption, but they get spread out among everyone and there is no direct linkage between the fuel consumption and the expenditure. These sorts of hidden subsidies for fossil fuels distort market signals and keep people from making economically rational decisions. When energy prices reflect true costs, then people will act accordingly. Cities will reconfigure, transportation modes will change, but it will happen seamlessly and organically. People will buy the home they can afford. It may happen to be a townhome next to a train stop rather than a rambler on two acres 50 miles from the office. They won't see the choice as one with policy implications, they are just choosing freely what they want and can afford. The Invisible Hand at work.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    @RedShirtCalTech, @2bits:

    OK, my first comment may have been a little too flippant and thus obscured the underlying points. First of all, no one is suggesting that we wean ourselves from fossil fuels either entirely or overnight. There will always be a use for them, but we can reduce consumption substantially and save them for essential uses or uses where there are no alternatives.

    As for reconfiguring urban areas, it is a gradual process. Neighborhoods evolve. There are already transit-oriented developments built or proposed in Davis County, WVC, Sugar House, Daybreak, South SLC, and elsewhere along the Trax and Frontrunner corridors-- all in the last decade. The Avenues, 9th&9th, 15th&15th, and downtown, areas that developed at the cusp of automobiles, are already pretty walkable. Further, in the Info Age, commuting to a distant office is becoming less of a necessity.

    As for navies and defense, advances in hull designs and materials and engines could increase efficiencies and reduce fuel consumption. The US navy will probably always have a (carbon free) nuclear component. But it's not unthinkable that civilian shipping (e.g. container ships) could be wind powered, freeing up fossil fuel for defense.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2014 2:38 p.m.


    have you ever seen a solar powered tank? I haven't. They use fossil fuel. Or a battery powered Helicopter or F-16? Nope. Have you ever flown across the country for a meeting or vacation on a solar powered jet? Used fossil fuel... huh...

    Do away with fossil fuel companies and you will be driving and rowing to Italy for your next vacation, taking days in stead of getting there in hours.


    I know Spain and England once had the most powerful navy in the world without burning a single drop of petroleum. But what does that have to do with ANYTHING? Are you proposing our Navy move to tall ships???

    I can guarantee you they would be on the bottom with the push of one button from a Russian or Chinese fighter.

    But you don't care about defending the American people... so why even bring that up? It's just that there are so many nations that would love to see America gone... and if America completely divests from fossil fuels as this guy proposes... they would soon get their wish. They could wipe our 1700's Navy in 15 minutes.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 25, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" when cars first became widely used, there was an alternative to buying a car. What is the alternative now? If the gas stations all went dry tomorrow, what would be the result? You have not answered the question. What viable alternative is there for fossil fuels? You have half way answered it. NOTHING. Electric cars are not viable because they are toys for wealthier people, just like cars were 100 years ago.

    We don't need to divest in fossil fuels. Investment should be made in alternatives because once a viable alternative is developed, the need for fossil fuels will naturally decline.

    To "Lagomorph" do realize that we are 100 years too late for that. How do you reconfigure a city like Salt Lake so that it is walkable? How many homes will you have to tear down to creat shopping centers every 2 miles or less?

    You do know that once steam ships came around, powered by coal, they destroyed the wind powered ships.

  • dpal Provo, UT
    June 25, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    It's interesting that a lot of the pollution (inversion) problems we have in Salt Lake, Cache and Utah counties is the result of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Imagine a scenario in which we all ran around these "metropolitan" areas in electric cars or used public transportation. If we wanted to take a long trip, we could rent a car burning natural gas, but "in town" fossil-fuel vehicles would be prohibited. Imagine the decrease in pollution. I think the biggest obstacle to this cleaner environment is not technology, but the power of the current oil and automobile industries and our own resistance to change.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    June 25, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    "Utahn’s believe that unnecessary debt and risk taking is inappropriate for the investment of public funds."

    Um, Deseret News, I hate to inform you about this, but you don't use apostrophes to make plurals.


    "Only a liberal would think humans can control the climate."

    And only a conservative would actually believe this is what liberals think. Conservatives also believe that humans can't alter the climate. So, birdec, how's that drought coming along down in Texas?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 25, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    The goal should NOT be to destroy fossil fuel companies, or get people to divest. It's the wrong goal.

    Doing away with fossil fuel companies does NOT solve the problem. We must create a viable and affordable alternative.... to "Solve" the problem.

    When you create a viable, affordable, and reliable alternative... fossil fuel companies will go out of business naturally. You won't need to lead a rebellion. People will be GLAD to move to these alternatives.

    But in reality... they don't exist yet, and the pieces that do exist are not affordable to the masses.

    A McDonalds worker can't afford a Tesla like you can (as a rich retired investor). They can't even afford a Volt. And without coal they can't afford to plug it in.

    When the alternatives are AFFORDABLE... you will see people moving to them in large numbers. We just aren't there yet. So your prodding to get people to take down fossil fuel companies (before we have a viable and affordable alternative in place)... is like tearing down the bridge while people are still driving on it... and before a replacement bridge has been built.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    birdec: "Only a liberal would think humans can control the climate."

    Control, no, but influence, absolutely.

    happy2bhere: " In the meantime, show me how we power a military, or an industrial economy, without carbon energy?"

    Spain and England once had the most powerful navies in the world without burning a single drop of petroleum.

    RedShirtCalTech: "If we cut off use of fossil fuels for our cars, explain how you will drive to work."

    Good urban design means you don't have to. We can start by emulating cities that grew up in pre-automobile times. I once visited a lovely Italian town with Medieval/Renaissance roots. Its urban core was maybe a mile or a mile and a half across. It was surrounded by bucolic dairy pastures. Everything-- markets, restaurants, churches, jobs, open space-- was within a 10-15 minute walk. I was flabbergasted to learn later that its population was 40,000 people. If cities are built right, cars become unnecessary, even a burden. Walkable cities have health benefits, too. You could spot the Americans clear across the piazza by their waistlines. I can attest, the Italian women who walk everywhere have gambe molto belle.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 25, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    "As for cars, going all electric is so expensive that the only people who would be able to afford them without government subsidies are upper middleclass and the wealthy."

    Same was said for cars when they showed up on the scene, and yet, somehow mans ingenuity figured it out. I don't think we have invented our last great invention, there is a lot more to come. Do you really think we have made our last great discovery?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 25, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    To "Mark Molen" and what do we replace all of the fossil fuels with? If we cut off use of fossil fuels for our cars, explain how you will drive to work.

    Fossil fuels account for 57% of our electricy generation, and 99.72% of our vehicles run on fossil fuels. How do you or ilk propose we change that? Many claim that wind and solar are the solution. The problem with those is that the sun doesn't shine as bright every day or at night, and the wind can and does stop. The power from those sources is variable at best. We have dammed up about every possible river, and environmentalists won't let us dam up more. Plus, it doesn't have the capability of providing all the power we need. Geothermal doesn't exist on a large enough scale to meet demands either.

    The best solution that we have is nuclear power, but your environmentalist friends won't let us do that.

    As for cars, going all electric is so expensive that the only people who would be able to afford them without government subsidies are upper middleclass and the wealthy.

    What do we replace fossil fuels with?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 25, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Eventually, diminishing supply versus increasing demand will make the choice inevitable. We've got a bit, not much, of the luxury of time to manage how well we approach that choice. So far, we've relied heavily on denial.

  • birdec Spring, TX
    June 25, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    Only a liberal would think humans can control the climate.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Make no mistake about it - the climate crisis is a great big test for the free market. The private market is capable of vaunting ambition to do great things. Ironically, Enron is an example of that. Ken Lay wanted Enron to be a great energy bank which would develop efficient energy markets. Too bad Enron became an elaborate fraud. But the idea was good.

    I repeat the longer the free market waits to do something about global warming, the more central planning and socialism will be required.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 25, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    "None of the "green" sources in place can do that"

    Really? Geothermarl? It doesn't do that? HydroElectric... Doesn't do that? BioMass... it too doesn't do that? Hydrogen Fuel Cell.... it doesn't do that? That is a pretty broad statement. Even wind, in some locations surely does satisfy that requirement.

    Lets not make sweeping statements. Green or renewable is far more than just Solar and wind - though those two of the fastest growing flavors.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    There are industries that require uninterrupted energy streams/supplies 24-7. None of the "green" sources in place can do that, and I suspect none on the dreamer's horizon and do that.

    Do we have an obligation to clean up our environment, yes, but I doubt the idea of taxing people and giving it back is a lucid thought let alone a practical idea.

    When I see the greenies down-sizing their life styles to small dwelling, super-insulated, solar-powered entities with a bike in the garage, large garden and hand-powered appliances from Lehman's catalog then I will give some consideration to their pie-in-the-sky ramblings.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Yes! Major development and endowment funds, including State Retirement, Higher Education institutions, TIAA-CREF, religious institutions, and others should all divest from fossil fuels. It is the prudent and most risk-aversive action to take. And it sends a message that Utah cares about its air, water, lands, health, and overall quality of life.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    RE: Happy2bhere "The sun and wind are not going to supply our power needs with todays technology."

    True enough, that's why the technology needs to be developed, probably with government help. If we keep our reliance on fossil fuels for another 25 years we will be sealing the fate of our posterity - a very inhospitable earth. The situation requires us to take a long view, one which capitalism doesn't do very well. The long view required is very Marxian. That's why the late Keynesian Joan Robinson said over the long range Marx's methodology is better than Keynes.

    The question for economics is, can capitalism adopt enough of the Marxian analytics to save itself? That remains to be seen, but the time is far spent.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 25, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    @joeCapitalist.... waiting until something is economically viable has never been the way we have led the world in new technologies. Our westward march was accelerated by the railroads, that were heavily subsidized by the government through land grants. Electrification came through government subsidies.... many small towns today still wouldn't have power or telco access if it were left up to economics to justify the investment. Even Hydro and Nuke has been heavily subsidized through either Corp of Engineers projects, or DoD or DoE research funding or direct involvement. Boeings 787 would not be possible if not for the DoD investment into synthetic materials fabrication that was first developed for defense projects.

    We do need to close the gap. No doubt. But it is a false narrative to believe core infrastructure for this nation ever has been or will be free of government support.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 25, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    @JoeCapitalist2 – “I want to be "green". I just don't want to pay triple in exchange”

    Well then you’ll be happy to know that we’re almost there (much closer than “triple”). The 6-16-14 issue of Time ran a good piece on the economics of renewables and none other than Warren Buffett has recently invested billions in renewable energy – and no way does this guy invests in something that costs triple the alternative.

    Now if we ever manage to get rid of all the tax breaks/subsidies oil companies enjoy not to mention actually pricing their product to reflect ALL societal costs, renewable would already be cheaper.

    And no one is saying fossil fuels will be eliminated… only that they should be a smaller portion of the energy pie.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 25, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Mountainman..... the irony is one of the most imaginative companies in green energy is located in Idaho - where they are developing paving tiles that can be used in roads and parking lots that capture energy. These tiles are in early testing - and I am not saying they are the answer - but we don't even have a clue how imaginative the futures solutions can be. 15 years ago no one would believe you could cary in your pocket more computing power than was available to NASA when they launched men to the moon. So to say we can't get there is very short sighted.

    I don't think anyone has a clear vision of what is possible in 5 years, less alone 10 or 15.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    It boils down to simple economics. When power generation from non-fossil fuels (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc) comes close to the cost of coal, gas, and oil (without huge tax subsidies); then we will adopt them everywhere.

    I want to be "green". I just don't want to pay triple in exchange for some vague promise that it will "stop global warming".

    So far the only "clean" energy that is viable comes from hydroelectric and nuclear plants. The environmentalists attack both of those solutions, so they never seem to be happy.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Energy science is still in it's infancy because the cheap energy obtained from fossil fuels for the last 100 or so years, discouraged research into other forms of power. Now even the oil companies can see the fuel gauge on their pumps getting lower and lower and have started looking for sustainable substitutes, in order to stay viable.

    Just like when we substituted petroleum for whale oil, we'll find a better way.

    When Prometheus gave us fire, it was meant to be a starting point.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 25, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    What we have here is a rare SENSIBLE opinion piece in the Deseret News.

    Read it and savor it folks, because you don't get to see many like this on this site.

    Yes, it makes all the sense in the world to NOT use up all our fossil fuels so that future generations have NOTHING left. That would not "promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity," would it?

    And for the same reason, it makes all the sense in the world to focus HEAVILY on building a national power system that utilizes Renewable resources.

    The sooner we get started the better.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 25, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Oh please

    This author has been watching too much Star Trek and Back to the Future. When we develop dilithium crystals and Mr. Fusion energy sources, we'll talk. In the meantime, show me how we power a military, or an industrial economy, without carbon energy? Try flying airplanes without liquid fuel. At the very least the talk about getting away from fossil fuel has to include nuclear power. The sun and wind are not going to supply our power needs with todays technology. Until the technology can take the place of oil, natural gas, ect. the idea of getting away from it is nothing more than a pie in the sky dream.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    Here's what we as a species are up against - a government wholly in the thrall of corporate money, and a large portion of the electorate who genuinely believe that a Heartland Institute PR piece posted on your uncle's Facebook page has the same credibility as a research study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 25, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    Anyone with a brain knows we can not divest ourselves from fossil fuels! People have to eat, have a job and stay warm in order to sustain life, which are all VERY dependent upon fossil fuels! So called green energy does not exist economically! Green energy is a rich man's toy! So liberals, pull your head out of your fantasies and join the real world!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 12:18 a.m.

    Yes there is hope. If society, ours and the world's, behave responsibly it is possible to get off of the carbon diet while maintaing economic growth. You can even do it keeping your beloved capitalism. But take a piece of advice from a socialist, the longer you wait to make the adjustment from fossil fuels to renewables, the more central planning will be required and the greater the need for socialism. So, conservatives, if you keep sticking your heads in the coal pile you'll make global socialism a reality.