Why is ‘energy’ an ethical issue?
The world as we know is dependent on cheap energy to function, but :
- the fossil fuels that provide most of it also cause Climate Change;
- the world demand for energy is steadily rising faster than suppliers can keep up;
- fossil fuels, particularly oil, will eventually run out, though it is unclear exactly when this will happen;
- as the supply dwindles while demand is rising, the cost of energy from fossil fuels may rise dramatically;
- whether we share (or don’t share) the responsibility of changing how we obtain and use energy will greatly affect the future wellbeing of everyone on our planet;
- but there are consequences to the choices we make in how we reduce energy use and find replacement energy sources.
Thus the core ethical issues revolve around:
- ensuring fair access to energy
- understanding the consequences of the way we supply energy
- deciding upon how we will act in response to those consequences
- acting quickly enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Energy use & climate change