It’s Earth Day today, and it also happens to be the anniversary of the discovery of the country of Brazil (by Pedro Alvarez Cabral in 1500). There’s a synergy in these two occasions as Brazil has recently become independent of foreign oil imports by embracing sugar ethanol for its country’s cars and trucks.
Although not accomplished without some pain, Brazil’s petrol freedom places it in a position of economic strength in rough times, and shows us that we can do the same with a little forward thinking.
While corn-based ethanol is likely not the solution for the United States, a number of books address the sticky issues related to freeing ourselves from our petroleum habit:
The End of Oil : On the Edge of a Perilous New World / Paul Roberts
Clean Energy Nation : Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels / Gerald McNerney
Beyond Fossil Fools : The Roadmap to Energy Independence by 2040 / Joseph M. Shuster
A Declaration of Energy Independence : How Freedom From Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment / Jay Hakes
Hot, Flat, and Crowded : Why We Need a Green Revolution– and How It Can Renew America / Thomas L. Friedman
Any move away from petroleum will probably have to happen gradually, but with powerful examples like Brazil out there, getting ready for this transition to begin cannot happen soon enough.