We have had an ongoing debate about the future of fossil fuels on this blog for years. My position was that technology would save us from blighting the landscape with bird shredders and destroying desert habitat with acres of solar panels, all which were only capable of a marginal contribution the energy needs of California.
Now Michael Lind has some insight in a article : Everything You've Heard About Fossil Fuels May Be Wrong at Salon
The arguments for converting the economy to wind, solar and biomass energy have collapsed. The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries -- or millennia. We may be living in the era of Peak Renewables, which will be followed by a very long Age of Fossil Fuels that has only just begun.
Are we living at the beginning of the Age of Fossil Fuels, not its final decades? The very thought goes against everything that politicians and the educated public have been taught to believe in the past generation. According to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. and other industrial nations must undertake a rapid and expensive transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy for three reasons: The imminent depletion of fossil fuels, national security and the danger of global warming.
What if the conventional wisdom about the energy future of America and the world has been completely wrong?
As everyone who follows news about energy knows by now, in the last decade the technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," long used in the oil industry, has evolved to permit energy companies to access reserves of previously-unrecoverable “shale gas” or unconventional natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, these advances mean there is at least six times as much recoverable natural gas today as there was a decade ago.
Read the rest of this excellent article here.