Maybe I’m a cynic, but it seems that many people have trouble connecting reality with the ideal. Energy, as an issue, is a top of priority worldwide. However, it’s a small part of a larger cycle.

Industrialized economies rely on a consistent interworking of supply and demand. Successful economies are incrementally matched with rises in demand for goods and services, i.e. energy.

As of July, with record high oil prices, the term “green” became volatile. Green energy and green collar jobs became part of the vernacular, especially among politicos in the United States.

The City of San Jose, Calif., is now calling itself the “capital of America’s clean tech revolution.” Mayor Reed claims to have a “green vision,” and the city is now pursuing the country’s top green companies to locate within San Jose.

Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of high end electric sports cars, recently moved to San Jose bringing with it 1,000 new “green collar jobs.”

What exactly defines a “green collar” job? The most likely answer is any manufacturing position concentrated on so-called sustainable energy systems or components. Solar and wind energy are the big ones. For transportation purposes, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity are most often proposed as alternatives to fossil fuels.

Wait a second…did someone say electricity? What generates electricity? Would it be coal? Or, even crazier, could it be natural gas? Aaah, so what comes first…the chicken or the egg?

The important point here is that alternative forms of energy are good. At some point in the future, fossil fuels will no longer be profitable to find or to produce. While experts disagree on exactly when this might take place, both sides of the energy industry must stay on course to determine a safe path to the future. The oil industry is the only bridge we have to the ideal world proposed as the “green revolution.”

Our modern scenario is much like the early 19th century when wood provided most economies with a major source of energy. One would wonder if a “peak wood” theory was devised from this era? However, the introduction of coal supplanted wood as a much better source of energy. Later oil would do the same, and is now the highest net energy resource we know.

Technology and innovation will improve our means of reaping more benefit from all known sources of energy in the future. For now, we must concentrate our efforts on oil and natural gas. The problem with a “green revolution” is that many of its supporters are under a false impression that alternative forms of energy will supplant our current demand for fossil fuels. Many tout this change as if its possible right now. It’s not.

What are the current drivers of improved infrastructure and mass manufacturing in today’s industrial environment? The answer is fossil fuels.

Green energy will have a place in today’s market as long as the oil and gas industry is healthy. At $147/bbl, wind and solar are feasible endeavors, but at $58/bbl investors are wise to proceed with caution. The expectation of a wide availability for investments and job creation within the “clean tech” industry will be short lived if the price of oil remains low.

Could “green tech” be the next big bubble? Hopefully, it won’t suffer the same fate as many of the previous examples like the or the sub-prime real estate markets. It is possible that an extended slump in the oil and gas market could prevent many “clean tech” start ups from getting off the ground.

To provide sustainable energy sources for the future, industries should understand that it will take collaboration between those who wish to break away from the dependence on fossil fuels and the operators and service companies who currently produce these resources. It is very unlikely that the former will survive without the continued performance of the latter.