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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

COLUMN: A true sustainable United States will not happen in an instant

Reports this week claim Costa Rica has been getting all of its energy from renewable resources since Jan. 1. Thanks to heavy rainfall and hydroelectric infrastructure, the country has remained independent from fossil fuels for 75 days.

Costa Rica has even been able to drop electricity rates by 12 percent, according to the Costa Rican Energy Institute.

Of course, this has prompted several people on the Internet to spout comments comparing Costa Rica’s energy capabilities with our own. If Costa Rica can do it, then so can we. Ideas like this are falsely based. It would be awesome if the U.S. could run solely on renewable energy, but right now it’s unrealistic.

The U.S. population is 65 times larger than Costa Rica’s, which means our energy needs are much greater. I guarantee Costa Rica’s renewable sources would not be producing enough energy for 318.9 million people. Also, much of Costa Rica’s energy came from heavy rainfall and hydroelectric infrastructure.

Several parts of the U.S. are currently going through a drought, and it would be up to the other sources to not only produce a lot of energy, but to also make up for where ?hydroelectric falls behind.

I’m pro-energy. I would love to live in a place that completely relies on renewable sources for energy. But that’s not possible in the U.S. right now. Our population is too large, and we’re not ?willing to give up gas.

That doesn’t mean it’s our fault we’re dependent on fossil fuels. Oil and gas are just too convenient to give up for most of us, and current technology hasn’t made other sources all that convenient.

So maybe the lesson isn’t that we should play like Costa Rica and attempt the ?impossible. We should be investing in companies that deal with renewable resources so they can produce the products we need to eventually live in a world free of fossil fuels.

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