“Renewable doesn’t always equate to sustainable.”


There are a host of good things to say about renewable, clean energy that make it sound like it should be the wave of the future and the direction that we should be headed in as a nation. Lately Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the firebrand of the Democratic party, has been all over this subject when it comes to making the nation a better place and finding ways to produce energy that won’t be harmful to the environment. It’s very easy to applaud her efforts but it’s also easier, especially if you’ve been on the labor side of this issue, to find at least a few flaws in her thinking.

It might be possible to switch to renewable energy in 10 years time, but the sacrifices and the overwhelming competition that remains to stymie these efforts aren’t going to just up and go away no matter how much people want them to. That’s a minor thing to those that speak of renewable energy as we’re reminded daily of the environmental cost of using the forms of energy we have now. But then again, what kind of energy do you think is expended to make these new and renewable forms of energy?

The solar panels have to be built, fabricated, and then shipped out to buyers. The wind turbines have to be manufactured, sent out, and then maintained. Also take into account the production lines that are in place for just these two types of energy, each and every one of them uses energy that is usually found to come from fossil fuels.

Then let’s get into the jobs that are created as AOC seems to think will happen. It’s true, some companies that experience rapid growth will begin to hire on more and more people to perhaps stimulate the economy. But once again, you’re still using more and more fossil fuels in order to accommodate an expanding workplace for these people. In a way it’s almost like trying to stay clean in a mud pit while refusing to look at what you’re standing in.

She has good motives, there’s no doubt of this, but the loss of jobs that would result in switching over from fossil fuels to renewable energy, the amount of money it would take to fund the switch, and the uncertain promise that there would be jobs aplenty once the switch is made is not much of a guarantee that it would be much better. On top of that, the fact remains that many still tend to believe that renewable energy is not quite as sustainable, yet, as what’s in place now.

It’s a good idea, but one has to wonder if she’s thought it all the way through yet.

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