The use of petroleum as a source of energy is so ingrained in America's, and the world's, industrial economies that doing away with it completely is unthinkable for the forseeable future, despite looming price increases as world supplies dwindle. But a significant reduction in its use is certainly within reach during the next few decades. Many alternative, inexhaustible, nonpolluting sources of energy are already being used, although in relatively small amounts, and new ones are being developed. Several major petroleum companies have seen the handwriting on the wall and have made major investments in such things as solar panels, wind turbines, and fuel cells. British Petroleum (BP) is now the leading manufacturer of solar cells. Shell is pioneering research in fuel-cell technology. Because of concerns about pollution, the use of oil as a source of energy will probably decline over the coming decades. As Sheikh Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, put it, "The stone age did not end for lack of stones, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil." It will end because of concerns about rising prices, national security, and pollution.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.