The world looks vastly different today than it did even one month ago. Communities are facing new challenges and new threats that we have never faced before. The issue on everyone’s mind is the health and safety of our friends, families, neighbors and coworkers. And with this new heightened focus there has been a new, unspoken, demand for fossil fuel-based solutions.

A recent Forbes article, “To Fight The Coronavirus, The World Returns To Fossil Fuels” points out, almost immediately, as our focus turned to health and safety of our citizens, so did our reliance on plastic-made goods. The author, Daniel Markind, points out that one of the best masks for doctors and nurses is made of polypropylene. It is the more effective protective gear for doctors, which is critical in this fight against COVID.

The article also points out the importance of fossil fuels in making pharmaceuticals, as well as the instantaneous return to plastic bags, a more sanitary way to transport groceries and ensure less transportation of germs.

However, one of the main uses of fossil fuels that goes unnoticed, or maybe, disregarded in this time of crisis, is our energy supply. Fossil fuels are keeping the hospitals up and running at peak levels of usage, moving our food supply across the nation to ensure food access, and on a personal level, powering our homes consistently so we can work, live and for some, teach our kids virtually through technology all powered by consistent fossil fuel energy.

As Markind concludes, finding cleaner avenues for powering our world is important for our future, but we also must balance the discussion with the realities of today. For now, the fossil fuel industry is keeping the lights on in this country.