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Robert Bryce’s “The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence” Essay

In the article The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce, Bryce argues that energy independence is unachievable. This topic of discussion is important at this time because global warming is a big issue among environmentalists, and most Americans believe that if we have energy independence, then that will solve our global warming issues. Bryce wrote this article to show us Americans that in his opinion, we will never be able to have energy independence. I believe that though we may not be able to ever become completely energy independent, we may be able to cut down on how much we depend on other countries by using other renewable energy sources.

In the beginning of the article, Bryce writes about how we Americans are stuck on this idea of independence. He points out that “The phrase “energy independence” has become a prized bit of meaningful-sounding rhetoric that can be tossed out by candidates and political operatives eager to appeal to the broadest cross section of voters” (488). He then describes Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and how he states that foreign oil has a lot to do with global warming. Bryce brings up all of the Democratic and Republican candidates that have talked about energy independence in their stump speeches, saying how much we need energy independence and how much it would benefit us. Then, Bryce changes directions and goes into what he believes. He states that “Energy independence is hogwash.

From nearly any standpoint—economic, military, political, or environmental—energy independence makes no sense” (490). Bryce then states that we all need to realize that our world is becoming more interdependent, and that we will continue to get more interdependent as time goes on, so we must simply just accept it. He writes that “the U.S….is married to fossil fuels” (491). In all, Bryce basically says that it is inevitable that we are going to have to depend on other countries for most of our energy sources because covering the Earth’s surface with windmills and solar panels simply wouldn’t compare to the amount of energy that is provided by other countries.

Bryce used all kinds of statistics to support his arguments. For most of the data that is supporting Bryce’s points, he went to www.eia.gov website, which is the U.S. Energy Information Administration website. On this website you can find all kind of information about imports into the U.S. from 1993 up to now. This website seems to be a dependable source because it is not like Wikipedia, where random people can go on and edit the information that is on the website. This is a government website, which uses information that the government collects. Bryce made his point very clear with the use of sarcasm throughout the article. He makes everyone that believes energy independence is achievable look stupid. For example, you can look at the transition between opinions in the article.

He says: “While Harman may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, there’s no question that the concept of energy independence resonates with American voters and explains why a large percentage of the American populace believes that energy independence is not only doable but desirable. But here’s the thing: It’s not and it isn’t” (490). This shows how blunt and sarcastic that he has been all the way throughout the article so far. It really hits you hard, as a reader, to see such a drastic change in the way that the author is speaking, especially with such a serious topic. As a reader, his sarcasm somewhat makes you realize how stupid the idea of energy independence is since it is such a far-fetched idea.

When it comes to global warming, importing foreign oils and other kinds of energy resources such as fuel, many people have many different opinions on what we should do and where we should go from here. Many people are in favor of solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power. I think that these are all types of energy that would be very beneficial for the U.S. in our attempts to lower our dependence on other countries for oil and energy. Using our natural resources would be the perfect way to go if we want to reduce pollution and cut back on imported foreign oils and gases. I do believe, however, that it is crucial that we get our country to the point to where we can survive without the help from other countries, that way if there was a big fallout with one of our big importers, then we wouldn’t be too set back.

Then again, I also think that Bryce is very correct when he states: “…the plain, unavoidable truth is the U.S., along with nearly every other country on the planet, is married to fossil fuels. And that fact will not change in the foreseeable future, meaning the next 30 to 50 years. That means that the U.S. and the other countries of the world will continue to need oil and gas from the Persian Gulf and other regions. Given those facts, the U.S. needs to accept the reality of energy interdependence” (491). By saying this, Bryce means that there is no way possible in the near future that we will be able to not use other countries oil and gas with the amount of energy help that we use and depend on now.

In conclusion, Bryce makes his views on energy independence very clear. Yes, energy independence is something amazing that we Americans can dream about, but with the facts given by Bryce, we can clearly come to the conclusion that energy independence is not something that will be achieved in our lifetimes. Bryce does a very good job at making this fact very clear. He does not beat around the bush, he is just blunt and to the point a dream is simply all that energy independence can be at this time. We, as humans, depend entirely on oils and gases, and the downfall to this fact is that the Americas cannot supply the amount of oils and gases that we need, leading us to rely on other countries.

Works Cited
Bryce, Robert. “Chapter 13: Green Power.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. By Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 488-94. Print.


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