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General · 15th May 2014
Barry Saxifrage
The climate implications are growing so dire that even major fossil fuel companies are starting to call for a price on carbon.

(NOTE: This article originally published April 14, 2014 on the

As humanity reaches for more energy, fossil fuels are being selected for five out of every six new units of energy.

The energy gap between fossil fuels and renewable energy continues to grow dramatically wider despite decades of efforts to prevent a full-blown climate crisis. Even more troubling, the gap is accelerating.

Take a look. My chart below shows global energy use by year, divided into fossil fuels vs everything else. You can see how fossil fuels have been relentlessly widening their lead, decade after decade. And the biggest leap has been in the last decade.

Picture a footrace in which decade after decade the "fossil fuels" runner consistently sprints five kilometres for every one kilometre the "climate-safe" runner jogs. The gap between them grows rapidly and relentlessly.

Despite all the amazing progress in the renewable energy revolution, fossil fuel's lead has been accelerating. Here is the average increase in the energy gap per year for recent decades (in quadrillions of BTUs):

2.6 per year in the 1980s
3.2 per year in the 1990s
8.3 per year in the 2000s

Fossil fuels are kicking ass. It is becoming a rout.

Perhaps humanity's clearly accelerating preference for fossil fuels is why ExxonMobil confidently predicts that the gap will continue to grow larger and that humanity will burn every megatonne of fossil carbon the company can extract for decades to come....

Click here to continue reading the full article at the Vancouver Observer