Now that the economy is picking up again, the world is facing another energy shortage. Natural gas prices are going up. Seems like the American middle class lifestyle, that so much of the world aspires to, is unsustainable. Car ownership, population growth, sprawl and detached homes; for the most part.
It might be sustainable, but not the way we are doing it. For instance, maybe we should have embraced nuclear power more. In Japan, fossil fuel use has increased since many of their nuclear power plants have been shut down. Similar problems exist in Europe; like in Germany. Less so in France where nuclear power is still embraced.
One of the problems that is happening now is that the wind hasn't (for some reason) been blowing as much as usual in Europe so there has been a recent lull in wind power. At the same time, Russia is a big supplier of gas for Europe and it's been devoting more of it's supply toward China.
I am a bit of an advocate for embracing new technologies, such as some of the improved and smaller scale nuclear technologies in the news. That's only part of the story. I am also an advocate of less consumptive lifestyles. More bicycling, smaller residences, less population growth. We need to tackle this energy / fossil fuel problem from both directions.
In the long run, solar, wind and possibly hydrogen fusion (an even better nuclear technology) might work, but it takes time to implement. Meanwhile, the lifestyles of so many people, especially here in USA, are unsustainable. We have to make more of an effort to change lifestyles until the miracle technologies develop.
The change is best from the bottom up, but instead, people are pinning hopes on the Democrats large infrastructure bill. If I have to say yes, or no, I'm still in favor of it passing, but it is a "top down" solution. Meanwhile average people are just waiting, for the most part, and not changing enough.
If the Democrat's political gamble doesn't work, there is the danger of things swinging back toward Republican politics. Yes, some of this is tinkering and gerrymandering, but we are more vulnerable to that manipulation if we don't change at the grass roots level.
We are more vulnerable if we expect the improbable; a solution where consumptive life and sprawl continues while the things that sustain it, like energy sources, keep being opposed.
We may need more nuclear. Wind and solar need to be developed faster, but they don't come without some consequences. Windfarms in the scenery for instance. I think windfarms can be seen as art. We've had a changing landscape for decades; freeways for instance.
We can't be totally spoiled and expect an invisible magic wand to fix it all for us.