The conventional paradigm considers only the magnitude of energy consumed per capita as an indicator of the country’s “progress,”1 but it does not take into consideration the social, environmental, and security impacts of energy consumption.2 With this paradigm based on increased consumption of fossil fuels,3 the resulting environmental, social and economic costs, are enormous.
Today, the world is facing massive environmental challenges. Global warming and climate change, ozone depletion, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and air and water pollution are global problems with wide-ranging impacts on human populations. In addition to environmental problems, there are also serious security issues associated with the large-scale use of fossil and nuclear fuels. Tensions arise from depletion of global fossil fuel resources,4 uncertainties in energy prices and energy availability,5 geopolitical tension caused by the concentration of oil and gas resources in a few regions of the world, and the risk of nuclear proliferation threatening global security.6 Political pressures surrounding fossil fuels can lead to unrest, regime changes, and even war.