The Rise of Extreme Energy

Enter the age of extreme energy. Since humans started using fossil fuels, we've mostly used what's called 'conventional' oil and gas. You know those old videos of grimy roughnecks in Texas celebrating as oil gushes out of the ground behind them? That.

Conventional oil and gas is easy to get and easy to process, and we've known how to get it for a long time. That's why we're running out. Extreme energy is different. It's hard to get, hard to process and is much, much dirtier and more dangerous than conventional oil and gas.

To save their profit margin and expand their shrinking reserves of fossil fuels, the fossil fuel industry has recently started switching their focus to extreme energy. Big Oil has already branched out into an extreme form of oil and gas development, fracking, that poisons water, fills the air with toxic smog, and is creating one of the worst public health catastrophes in American history. Those same companies are converting vast swaths of Boreal forest in Alberta, Canada into desolate, toxic wastelands to extract filthy tar sands oil. Big Coal is blasting the tops off of mountains in West Virginia and touting plans to invest billions of dollars in a new generation of coal plants while, less than two years after the worst oil spill in human history, BP expands its drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Extreme energy includes a pretty diverse bunch of nightmare technologies, but they all have one thing in common: they use and poison tremendous amounts of water. They poison water when they work the way they're supposed to, and they poison even more of it when they malfunction.

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