The decisions we make today will affect energy use for generations. Should we choose complex, centralized energy production methods, or simpler and widely dispersed methods, or a combination of the two. Which energy sources should be emphasize. Which uses of energy should be emphasized for increased efficiency. How can we develop a sustainable energy policy There are no easy answers.
The use of fossil fuels, especially oil, improved sanitation, medicine, and agriculture, helping to make possible the global human population increase that we have discussed in other chapters. Many of us are living longer, with a higher standard of living, than people before us. Demand for hybrid vehicles is growing rapidly and will be met with the development of more advanced rechargeable batteries plug-in hybrids.
The real change in cars is coming. What it will be and when are not entirely known, but it may be a transformation to all electric cars. Miles per gallon will not be the issue, but where and how we produce the electricity will be. Energy policy today is at a crossroads. One path leads to the “business-as-usual” approach find greater amounts of fossil fuels, build larger power plants, and go on using energy as freely as we always have.