I recently just watched again an ABC documentary called "End of Oil" that ABC. The documentary wasn't all that surprising, just one of the many "big-oil-is-bad and global warming is occurring" documentaries that are floating around these days. Yet to me, the documentary's main focus could be summed up by two critical points:
1) Global want of convenience
2) The fact that C02 concentration naturally increases and decreases over time, but that fossil fuel consumption is accelerating the rate of present C02 increase dramatically
In the film a journalist named Sonia Shah talked about how we unnecessarily burned fossil fuels for convenience and power, yet to me, power is a type of convenience. Fossil fuel consumption is a result of unnecessary power wants of every society. This want has transformed from somewhat of a convenience to what can be now considered a necessity to successfully function in today's societies. For years the negative side effects of fossil fuel consumption were rarely (besides an occasional oil spill) seen by the vast majority of society. Now with the media portraying how global fossil fuel production has recently peaked and how global warming is a very serious accelerated man mad phenomenon, we now care because we now take notice of the effects. I really liked the part of the film where Sonia Shah talked about the "value pack" of fruits in the grocery store. That value pack was probably shipped in refrigerated cars hundreds of miles away when it could have more easily come from a local supplier. She described the value pack as somewhat have been "bathed" in oil, as it was not only once refrigerated but packaged in plastic.
Convenience is what drives America these days and seems as if it will always in the future. Everywhere you go companies are trying to standardize aspects of everyday life so to make things easier for all of us. As long as America is dependent upon convenience so to will it be on energy consumption, and for now, that means almost entirely fossil fuel consumption.