I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m getting tired of hearing about all the fires, hurricanes, and floods—especially when there’s something we all can do to curb the incessant warming of the planet. Has anyone heard about the impending doom of the oil industry lately? Yeah, neither had I. That’s because they don’t want you to know. Look into the Federal Lands Freedom Act, as discussed by Jimmy Tobias of Pacific Standard, and you’ll see what I mean.
How can we help? We can start by teaching our children, friends, and family by example, education, and discussion. We can continue our support by starting or supporting companies with strong sustainability guidelines written into their CSR policy. Change and innovation start with each of us—they don’t merely materialize out of thin air. It will take a concerted effort from each of us to change the system in which we currently live—but it is changing, albeit slowly.
If the corporations you invest in don’t have a CSR policy—or even if they do—you may want to take a closer look at what they really mean. The green-washing of ‘sustainability’ policies has been rampant, in the past. However, some outdoor companies and alternative energy companies want to do something about the dwindling fossil fuel supply. For example, check out more information about fossil fuel divestment and invest in 100 percent renewables.
Some have argued that the fracking industry only exists because of the dwindling reserves of oil and other natural resources. Most of us can agree that regardless of the cause, the fact that we’re running out of natural resources like water and oil, as well as faced with an excess of solar energy—too much solar energy, in fact—it’s plain what we need to do. The cost of inaction is becoming catastrophic.
We can teach our children the benefits of living sustainably through books and stories, as well as by example. It’s easy to organize a carpool or walk to the bus together, and there are lots of motivational lesson ideas that don’t need to feel like lessons—such as a trip to the zoo or watching nature-based shows like Life or Planet Earth.
One company that’s harnessing the power of solar energy for good—Elon Musk’s brainchild-company Tesla—is not only providing electricity for a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico but also proposing a complete overhaul of the highway and interstate system as we know it. Solar roadways may still be a decade away, but in the meantime, civil engineers are working to find ways to solve the problem of a lack of infrastructure (i.e. highway maintenance) funding by installing new subway and railway systems.
In addition, the concept of battery-powered engines that also help power your house and vice versa are all in the future smart home model. The solar roof is coming, and it replaces the traditional notion of installing solar panels because it functions as both roofing material and solar panel material—as does the concept of solar roadways—which has, of course, received a lot of bad press (gee, I wonder why). But solar roadways and electric cars could change the way we do business, track mileage—even determine where we can travel based upon expenses.
Although the future of facial recognition technology may still be in its nascent stages, but the future of solar technology is also looking more viable and affordable than ever before. This technology can be harnessed for good, but we must also remain vigilant to ensure our privacy is not needlessly invaded at every turn. It’s up to us.
We are the future policy makers and corporate business leaders. Are you ready?