• Question: What is your personal opinion on what will happen when we run out of fossil fuels? Or do you think we will come up with a way to slow down the energy crisis before it runs out?

    Asked by Rosie to Angeline, Catherine, Philip, Shona on 19 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Philip Moriarty

      Philip Moriarty answered on 19 Mar 2015:

      This is an immensely challenging question and I wish I had the answers. We have to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels but that is going to take more than just science — it requires politics and it needs governments to recognise the looming energy crisis and the associated climate change issues.

      Although a great deal of “lip service” is paid to climate change by many politicians, too often governments are beholden to major corporations who have a vested interest in preserving the reliance on fossil fuels. While technological advances in solar cell technology, wind, hydro, and indeed nuclear will all make a difference it’s down to the will of governments as to whether they are serious about weaning society off fossil fuels. And in very many cases they’re not…

    • Photo: Shona Whittam

      Shona Whittam answered on 20 Mar 2015:

      I was out tonight and got talking to a geologist. He works for an energy company so I asked him your question.
      He told me we are nowhere near close to running out of fossil fuels. The problem is the reservoirs are in hard to reach places. He says Africa has loads of oil but it would cost too much money to take the drills to the oil as the energy companies would have to travel 500miles over land with no roads.

      In the future when we start to run out of the easier to get fossil fuels the energy companies will invest the money to get this harder to reach fuel.
      when this too runs out we will need to start using more nuclear power and wind and solar power.

      I imagine we will utilise both nuclear and renewable (wind, solar) but neither are perfect. Wind farms actually cannot cope when it is too windy so they have turn the turbines off. This isn’t very efficient. & wind farms are also relatively expensive. But we know, like fossil fuels, nuclear power pollutes the environment and has risks.