Class Discussion: 10 July 2013

         Like many countries around the globe, Brazil and the United States are both making valiant efforts to push for alternative energy for power. Although both nations are on the same path, a major difference lies in the time frame in which the nations’ politicians are planning on making the switch. The United States has installed several programs to promote the ‘green movement,’ from gradually reducing the carbon emissions released by power plants to coercing car manufacturers to gradually increase the gas efficiency of any new models put into the market. Brazil on the other hand has already shown that there will be a heavy reliance on ethanol in the very near future, as their ethanol production and use has drastically increased in recent years. They have already increased the number of sugar cane plants in farms to increase the supply, so one can expect the accumulation of ethanol-powered vehicles and other devices to keep up the demand. Both countries have also started to use hydroelectric, wind, and solar power as additional forms of alternative energy. However, there is a major difference in the manner by which the respective politicians in the two countries plan to change. Brazil has decided to export a stolid amount of their domestic oil, and use the funding to research and execute their plans for alternative energy. Meanwhile, the United States has been saving their oil reserves, waiting for universal oil depletion in order to be able to place their own price in the global market and maximize profit. Unfortunately, the United States has come to realize that the world is moving away from oil and is looking at other sources for energy. Realizing that the business plan for oil marketing is flirting with failure, the United States has decided to start rigging our own oil under the Obama administration. Because we are increasing our domestic oil production, one would expect the price per barrel of oil to drop significantly. However, this is not the case: because the big American oil tycoons have overspeculated their predicted incomes, they decided to keep the prices high to make up for the loss they would encounter in the failure of their anticipated international oil monopoly. Meanwhile, as the United States is very slowly moving towards alternative energy in small increments, the American oil tycoons are planning to deplete their supplies and make some money before oil is abandoned as an energy source altogether. Other countries, such as Brazil, do not have this problem, as they have been rigging oil regularly. Therefore, they can immediately start the ‘green revolution’ without any anxiety over any lost revenue on oil. This is especially true in Brazil, where the country seizes ownership of any oil found, unlike America, where private companies control the market. Unlike the United States, the Brazilian Government has the option to claim ownership of whatever makes money, so whenever oil is no longer profitable, they can drop that market and start the taxation of any alternative energy technologies to make their money, which is why they can so suddenly start the movement, unlike the United States.

 

            In Brazil, the effects could be immediate, but the problem lies in the initial cost of the installation of the technologies. The country is already struggling sustain their contacts for the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games, and has resided to raising the cost of public transportation. Therefore, the government currently cannot pay to put alternative energy into active practice, and it is even more implausible that the barren pockets of the civilians will be able to afford to install solar panels, wind turbines, or other forms of alternative energy for themselves. Thus, until the revenue from the Olympics and the World Cup are deposited into Brazilian accounts there will be great monetary debacles in the push for alternative energy.

 

     However, although there are so many options available for alternative energy, they all have their prices. Some of them are expensive to produce, some need constant maintenance, in which case it would not be worth the economic investment to start with, and others produce a great amount of carbon emissions in their manufacturing stage, which would almost make their use counterintuitive.

 

         I believe that the best option is yet to come and will be a major breakthrough when it is discovered. Because energy is never lost, but rather only converted into different forms, theoretically, there has to be a way in which an energy can convert back and forth between two where both forms can be used in retroconversion. This would mean that an energy would exist that would emit no by products and would automatically recharge itself in conversion. I believe such a technology would be the best option for the future; it just has to be discovered first. 

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