Alternative energy technologies have the potential to transform almost every area of human activity: manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, construction, and so forth. However, these technologies are continuously suppressed by some interest groups, which do not want their full adoption.
In this case, we can speak about oil-producing companies that are strongly dependent on the demand for petroleum throughout the world (Falola & Genova, 2005, p 171). The adoption of alternative energy technologies can adversely affect their bottom line since their products will no longer be required by the society.
There are several examples that can support this claim. For instance, we can speak about such technology as cold fusion or low energy nuclear reaction. Theoretically, cold fusion technologies can make nuclear technologies more effective and less dangerous (Kozima, 2006). However, the US Department of Energy officials continue to say that this technology is unfeasible; according to them the very idea of cold fusion has no scientific value (US Department of Energy, 1989, p 1).
Furthermore, this concept is frequently dismissed by mainstream scientific community. Moreover, any attempt to conduct research in this area is often labeled as pseudoscience. However, many scholars argue that the idea of cold fusion still merits the attention of researches and point-blank dismissal of this theory is not prudent (Kozima, 2006, p 16).
Certainly, the opponents of cold fusion technologies can argue that at this point there is very little evidence supporting this theory and that investment into such experiments will not yield any substantial profit. One can agree only with the first part of this argument; however, it does not mean that cold fusion experiments should be instantly dismissed as pseudoscientific as it is done nowadays, especially if we are speaking about the refusal to grant patents for inventions that rely on the process of cold fusion.
We can refer to other examples of alternative energy suppression. For instance, oil-producing companies often claim that alternative energy technologies are not economically efficient and that they will never substitute conventional petroleum-based technologies (Simon, 2007, p 79).
Additionally, the governments of many countries seem to echo this claim even despite the fact that modern economy is becoming more and more dependent on oil. In part, such behavior can be explained by the political power of petroleum companies which have a great number of lobbies promoting their interests through the government (Falola & Genova, 2007, p 20).
At the moment, the development of alternative energy technologies requires substantial funding and it is provided primarily by private organizations rather than by governmental agencies. Of course, one can say that occasionally oil-producing companies do invest into such research projects (Falola & Genova, 2007, p 117).
Nonetheless, such investments are not numerous, and petroleum companies resort to these strategies just to pacify the community. It has to be admitted that these organizations do try to make oil-production safer from environmental perspective but they understand that world-wide oil dependence is an indispensible condition for their success; thus, they are unwilling to change the status quo.
These examples indicate that alternative energy is labeled by many as something unfeasible and unrealistic. The most valid explanation for this suppression is implementation of these technologies will deprive many corporations of their profit. If energy sources become more accessible to consumers, petroleum companies will lose a substantial amount of money. This is why they attempt to prevent people from using alternative energy technologies.
Falola T & Genova A. (2005). The politics of the global oil industry: an introduction. London: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Kozimo H. (2006). The science of the cold fusion phenomenon. NY: Elsevier.
Simon C. (2007). Alternative energy: political, economic, and social feasibility. NY Rowman & Littlefield.
Toulmin, S. (1964). The Uses of Argument. New York: Cambridge University Press.
U.S. Department of Energy (1989), A Report of the Energy Research Advisory Board to the United States Department of Energy, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Energy, http://www.ncas.org/erab/.