John Shanahan, Civil Engineer, Editor of allaboutenergy.net and efn-usa.org: Fossil fuels enabled the development of the modern world. Without them humans used other humans and animals to do a much lesser amount of work. Two political systems are private ownership versus no ownership. Which of these are better is hotly debated today even though history has provided clear answers. The western world has allowed itself to come to believe that carbon dioxide, a molecule essential for life, is a pollutant. Is it? The answer will resolve questions of do we continue to use fossil fuels or not. Which system do we use to be more prosperous and respectful of the environment. Here is a short explanation and answer.