Studies on Environment
The specialists in environmental studies consider searching for more sustainable sources of energy their top priority. It has happened so mainly because since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the problems of non-renewable energy resources’ depletion, climate change, and global warming have started to assert themselves increasingly frequently. Scholars have already started to contemplate the possibilities of transition to renewable and environmentally friendly sources of energy. Clearly, the transition to what is nowadays referred to as the new green economy is associated with the great deal of economic, social, political, and cultural implications. Particularly, on their way of pursuing more sustainable sources of energy and healthier economy, the stakeholders are challenged by a string of problems, perhaps, the most pressing of which is the absence of the unified approach towards the solution of the world’s energy crisis. In addition to that, the economic changes in themselves are difficult to implement. Changes in the economy typically result in the transformation of society.
Modern society is characterized by the processes of globalization, technological advancement, mass consumption, and human alienation from nature. As the world’s population is continuing to grow, more and more products have to be made to meet the growing demands of people. Making more products suggests that larger amounts of resources are being exploited. Lastly, in the technology-driven and multicultural communities, very little attention is paid to environmental problems. The most burning environmental issues of our era are closely connected to the world’s energy crisis as the nature’s resources are continuing to deplete. Ramona du Houx’s interview with John Baldacci, a former Governor of the state of Maine, and Ford Gunter’s interview with Matt Simmons, one of the world’s most renowned specialists in economy and environmental studies, shed the light on some of the most recent tendencies in finding sustainable sources of energy and more effective ways of managing the national and global economies.
So far as the interview with John Baldacci is concerned, it is important to point out the following. The Governor’s premise is rather intriguing in a sense that there is a great deal of astute observations that the Governor makes. Baldacci makes an assertion that solving the world’s energy crisis and finding more sustainable sources of energy “is a national security, environmental security, and an economic development issue. It’s Maine’s security in the global economy”. The inferences noted above can be viewed as the thesis statement of the interview itself. All other ideas articulated by the interviewee in that particular interview revolve around the statement that the problem of energy resources is inseparably connected with the downturns in the national and global economies, local and global safety, financial independence of individuals and groups, and self-sustainment/self-sufficiency of the communities.
Another important statement that the former Governor of the state of Maine has made in the interview is the following: “We need to act. We can’t be in a situation where our young men and women are being exposed to danger and sacrificing their lives because of foreign oil”. The inference that the interviewee makes here implies that the world’s energy crisis and the most burning environmental issues have started to influence people’s lifestyle. Independence, freedom, unity, equality, peace, prosperity, and flexibility are some of the ideas deeply rooted in the national character of the people of America. In a way, desire to make the life easier and more convenient is in a nature of a man. In this respect, people of America make no exception. On the other hand, the authorities of the United States of American and the country’s intellectual elite are still incapable to handle the serious environmental problems that, basically, many countries of the world, even the most powerful ones, are challenged by these days. With regard to this, it is important to admit that the exchange of experience in environmental protection and finding the sustainable energy resources can be a great opportunity for the nations of the world to combine their efforts and by so doing, to solve the world’s energy crisis and the environmental problems associated with it. Thus, the John Baldacci as a former Governor of the state of Maine has paid a visit to Norway, after which he started to contemplate the idea of constructing offshore wind power stations. Establishing and operating offshore wind power stations makes a great sense economically, financially, and ecologically. There is a huge possibility that establishing and operating offshore wind power stations will provide not a small amount of good employment opportunities. The aspect noted above is of crucial importance, especially under the circumstances of unemployment rates that have been reported to increase slowly but steadily in the past decade across the world. When the Norwegian delegates arrived in the state of Maine, they have testified that Maine’s potential in the field of elaborating and implementing the alternative energy resources is enormous. In this respect, collaboration between the state of Maine’s local authorities and their Canadian colleagues may produce some desired good results. The fact that the authorities of the state of Maine started to implement the alternative resources of energy has paved the way for further researches in the respective field. The alternative energy resources that the authorities of the state of Maine have started to implement have proved themselves to be sustainable and effective by all means.
All in all, the statements that John Baldacci made in the interview comply with the laws of the formal logics. No biased and/or prejudiced opinions were detected in the interview itself. The interviewee by no means tends to oversimplify the issue being discussed. Nor does he overgeneralize it. All things considered, what the interviewee says is feasible.
So far as the interview with Matt Simmons is concerned, it is important to point out the following. Matt Simmons is one of the most renowned investment bankers, authors, and researchers of oil and gas depletion crisis. One of the key statements that Matt Simmons makes in the interview is that the United States of America has grown more dependent on the foreign energy resources. Matt Simmons’s contribution to the development of the alternative energy resources researches in the state of Maine was unprecedentedly enormous as he was one of the founders of the Ocean Energy Institute in the year 2007. In the year 2010 it has been reported that the Ocean energy Institute has actually managed to achieve some positive results in the research of the alternative sources of energy the very same year. The interviewer points out that Matt Simmons has been working in the banking sector since 1974. All things considered, Matt Simmons’s experience leaves no doubt whatsoever about his competence as a specialist on the fields of economy and environmental studies.
Matt Simmons in the interview makes an assertion that “all the low-hanging petroleum fruit has been harvested or discovered, and the rest is going to be expensive, difficult, and risky to extract”. In other words, Matt Simmons is a strong proponent of the assumption that oil and gas industry have reached their peak and thus, began to run their course. Matt Simmons, among all other alternative forms of energy, advocates for wind energy, although he admits that as a field of study, new green economy in general and the possibility of transition to wind energy need additional thorough investigation. The interviewee specifies that approximately 80 percent of the energy in Stockholm is the energy of the cold water of the Baltic Sea. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Sweden, in its turn, is counted among a very few countries of the world that are considered entirely environmentally conscious. With regard to this, Stockholm’s energy production and consumption patterns can be viewed as by all means a good example to follow. Texas is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A great amount of oil platforms and refineries are located in there. The vast majority of them have stopped working. The platforms themselves can be used to install the turbines on them and thus, generate energy from the power of water and wind.
Matt Simmons made a real-life contribution to the research of the alternative sources of energy. In the interview itself, the interviewee (that is to say, Matt Simmons himself) uses Pathos as one of the rhetorical strategies to persuade the audience. Matt Simons is by all means convincing. So was his interview in the film Crude Awakening, a documentary exploring and portraying the history of the oil industry, its progress and decay. The statements he makes in the interview under consideration comply with the laws of the formal logics. It may seem that the interviewee tends to overgeneralize and oversimplify the questions being discussed to a certain extent. It happens so mainly because he pursues the goal of being responsive to the challenges of the day, relatable to his contemporaries, and presenting his ideas in an intelligible way.
To conclude, it is important to admit the following. Both works being analyzed address the problem of the sustainable energy resources. Reference to the economic, social, cultural, and political implications of the energy crisis and transition to the alternative, environmentally-conscious sources of energy is rather implicit. Bothe researchers being interviewed arrive at conclusions as follows. There is a need to elaborate and keep to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle before the irreversible changes are brought about. It cannot be denied that the human activities inflict serious damage on the environment. The question is whether or not people are capable of realizing that pollution has reached its peak and actions need to be taken to prevent some of the worst case scenarios.