Twenty-four weeks ago, I began to post a series of columns on the renewable revolution that’s going on in the world. I thought, at the very least, it would make me feel less depressed about the sorry-ass state of the environment.
I called it Brand New Day, and as I researched it, I was astonished at the overwhelming number of new businesses that are starting up and flourishing in the area of renewables.
The world as we know it is no longer the same place it used to be even a couple of years ago. The pandemic that has swept right around the globe has caused many of us to realize just how interconnected and vulnerable we all are.
The levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are rising at an alarming rate but the problem with taking serious action to do something presents a number of serious challenges.
- Greed. The fossil fuel industry controls the planet’s energy at the present time, and because of the way the world’s market economy is structured, the companies that control this market are reluctant to do anything that will devalue them, which cutting back on supply or the investment in diversification certainly would.
- Time. The businesses that will displace these fossil fuel behemoths are still in the early stages of development, This means that there is no real const advantage for them to offer at this time. Because they have not yet hit the critical mass numbers that make prices competitive.
- Ignorance. The vast majority of the people in the world have been distracted by the current pandemic and are doing whatever they can to make ends meet and avoid getting sick. They simply do not have the bandwidth to really absorb the issue and get on board with the alternatives.
When you put all these things into a hopper and mix them up what you end up with is a slow train leading the people to a change for the better and environmental salvation. But the train is slowed by the powers that be who are unwilling to relinquish control of the energy economy.
And so we trudge on. But the real challenge we face is that we simply do not know where the breakpoint is, when it will come and how much we will have to do to push it back. There are many who argue there will be nothing we can do, hence the incredible urgency of the situation.
The reality of where we need to go is simple. We need to create a sea change in the way the world works. We need to become one world where the best minds from everywhere are let loose on the problems we face and the solutions are shared equitably right around the world.
If you are chuckling to yourself over the last paragraph you just read, please be advised that I am too. But part and parcel of all the research I have done on the sustainable and renewable worlds also came with dire warnings about how quickly we need to implement these required changes.
Without a collective, unified, science-first, no politics plan for the whole wide world, my fear is that we will simply, slowly but surely slide into an abyss out of which we will not be able to climb.
I know this sounds quite alarmist, and I apologize for that. But most of us, who are older have kids and grandkids who are going to have to live in this world, long after we are gone. My hope is that we all wise up before wising up won’t matter.