Change energy habits

The U.S. must change the way it consumes energy for a better future.

Daily Editorial Board

The price of a barrel of crude oil just topped $120, up from $90 per barrel  last July. With tensions in the Middle East driving global prices up, the little wiggle room afforded by supply surpluses have speculators maintaining that prices are sure to continue rising throughout 2012. As spring rolls in, now is the necessary time for Americans to finally admit to their addiction and steadfastly commit to reducing their dependence on oil and energy consumption in general.

The days of the big SUV as a daily commuting vehicle should be dwindling. Instead, we must strive for a sustainable model that promotes healthy practices and a thriving ecological environment. Americans need to support public transportation and clean energy initiatives.

Third World countries will not be the ones to innovate new ways to consume less energy. Americans ought to shoulder the overhead now for technologies that capture the sun, wind and ocean current energies so that they are viable for us and developing countries tomorrow. America should be embrace its role as leader of the pack on energy issues.

The United States’ mere 5 percent of the global population accounts for more than a third of total paper consumption and waste. We are responsible for more than half of global oil consumption.

So opt to bike or commute by train somewhere. Use towels instead of napkins, and bring a thermos to the coffee shop. Support energy policies that encourage us to consume less and break our addiction to fossil fuels. We need to cooperate and act as if we believe that humans will be around in 200 years. If we do that, we will not pollute and consume in the manner we currently do.