I love renewable energy. Not biofuels, but actual renewable energy like geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, wind, tidal, and wave. I also am very intrigued by the different micro energy generation techniques that can be used to harness human activity, like dance floors and gyms that generate their own electricity.
I believe that enough studies have been done to prove that air pollution causes breathing problems, which affect health care costs and people's quality of life.
I believe it's been significantly proven that being a coal miner is bad for your health and even in modern times coal mining accidents happen and black lung is still an issue.
The activity of mining coal and drilling oil also can tear the earth apart in other ways and cause other catastrophes like mountain top mining, the gulf oil spill, and the Juan Valdez oil spill in the arctic. If we were not reliant on fossil fuels then these accidents could not occur, because we would not be dealing with transporting those items.
However, there are downsides to switching to an entire electric infrastructure, including transportation.
1. All of the renewable energy items require less employees to maintain them than the current fossil fuel infrastructure does. Once the energy plant is producing energy, there is no longer a need for all of the employees that were used to harvest oil/coal, or to transport it. The number of people employed by the energy sector would shrink. The number of train cars and semi-trucks on the road would shrink, even the number of ships in the ocean would shrink because they wouldn't have to transport oil/coal/natural gas. The greener the Energy sector is, the fewer employees that it will require.
2. Roads are currently paid for by fuel taxes. An entire electric infrastructure, including transportation, would mean that the government is no longer collecting any taxes to maintain the roadways.
The positives outweigh the negatives. Without even getting into why some people don't believe in global warming, there is no doubt that pollution is the cause of smog and health problems in large cities. With that in mind some of the benefits are:
1. Cleaner air, especially in large cities.
2. Reduced health costs. I understand that this point can be argued. Only removing the pollution element may not technically reduce health costs because another factor could cause them to rise, but at the very minimum it would reduce health costs related to pollution.
3. If done right where each building has their own battery then power outages should be a thing of the past. Even if a storm causes power lines to go down, there would be time to get them repaired while the houses run off of their own local storage of electricity.
4. If buildings can all store their own power, then we power companies do not have to be able to cover as high of a max capacity load.
5. If roads become solar roadways, as is being tested in France, and Iowa, then instead of fuel taxes roads could be paid for by the cost of the electricity that they produce.
5a. Roads should not stop with solar energy, kinetic energy has already been shown to be able to be generated in different tests, it should also be built into the solar roadway. That would allow even more electricity to be generated from the same square footage.