Some Thoughts On The Renewable Revolution
The last couple of decades in the life of planet Earth have been very strange ones indeed.
As a writer and observer of as much of the world as I can learn about without extensive travel, I have seen that there very much appears to be a revolution going on. It’s not a noisy revolution with lots of human victims. It is a quiet one that’s taking place inside the minds of people, at least the people who are paying attention.
It’s a revolution In attitudes. A lot of the things we didn’t think about so much are being thought about. And these thoughts are congealing into a new kind of cement that is binding the world together in a strange way.
It starts with the way we think about where the world is going. Right now, it’s divided up into a few hundred countries, each with its own challenges.
But this revolution is congealing around many of the things that all these countries have in common. Like how they are going to keep their air clean and their water supply plentiful. How they are going to grow enough food to feed all the people. How are they going to attract investment for their industries. What kind of world they will leave their children.
Part of the reason for this type of thinking is that for a lot of people, it has become clear that the world can no longer afford to go on creating products at the expense of the environment. The air is saturated with carbon, from the mining of metals to the manufacturing of products to the massive number of fossil fuel-burning machinery operating at any given time.
Truth be told, all these things; air, water, food, shelter, transportation and fuel, are all tightly interrelated, and the old-school fossil fuel-driven processes required to keep this relationship going are quite simply choking us, slowly but surely, to death.
Two Roads Forward
There are two roads we can take from here. One is to continue on the way we have come. To keep using fossil fuels and delude ourselves into thinking that someone, somewhere, at some time in the hopefully near future, will come up with a way to keep these fossil fuels from producing the carbon that is killing us.
Or, we can take the other road, which it very much appears that we are doing, in limited ways, by turning to the gifts the earth has given us, the energy from the sun, the ability to harness wind and water, and the heat deep in the earth’s crust. The ability to use other non-toxic elements, like oxygen and hydrogen in ways that create the power we need to run just about anything but with exponentially less toxic by-product.
All of this is going on right now. Thousands of forward-thinking minds are at work all around the globe developing new and better ways to create power, grow food without the need for toxic chemicals, clean the air and provide us with all the energy we need to survive and thrive here on earth.
The Catch 22
And there’s always one of those. This one is that the vested interests and most powerful businesses on the planet are the ones who are killing it. They are resisting change because the market-driven commodities: oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear, are in almost complete control of the economies of most countries in the world. And the people who run the majority of those energy companies have no desire to see things change. And they have no desire to invest in transforming their businesses into those that would protect our environment from further degradation.
It’s All About The Benjamins
The amount of capital that any of these large companies would have to lay out to change their modus operandi is staggering, to say the least. And it’s always going to be cheaper for them to keep on pumping money into the back pockets of politicians who will keep the environmental laws from hurting these behemoths in any substantial way.
And that’s where it is suddenly very clear that it’s the people of the earth that need to force these companies to change. Through the choices they make in the cars that they drive, in the food they buy, and in the lifestyle they re-shape around conservation and renewability.
You’d be surprised at just how effective a weapon the will of the people can be.
And we are seeing it take hold in certain parts of the world. Like the Scandinavian countries, and countries in the Pacific Rim, including China and Vietnam, that have made massive investments in solar and wind power. We’re seeing it in developments in the steel industry working to reduce and eliminate carbon pollution from the steel-making process. And we’re seeing it in the ever-growing market share that electric vehicles are starting to develop.
The Future Looks Promising
The Paris Climate Accord was a positive step forward for the world, but its progress has been slow and tedious, slowed down to a great extent by the capital that countries all over the world have had to lay out to fight the Covid pandemic.
But in spite of all that, companies in the renewables sector continue to keep coming up with ideas, and continue to refine those ideas to make them workable on a larger scale.
There is progress. There is forward momentum too, You really don’t have to look too far to see it.
Sooner or later, these renewable industries will reach a critical mass and start to displace the carbon-based industries, mostly thanks to the will of the people, and their desire to see the human race survive the end of the industrial revolution and herald the new renewable era in our life here on earth.
I post a regular series of profiles on the industries that are powering the green revolution. Please feel free to share them. If you'd like to read my short stories, you can find brief descriptions and links to them here. https://jimmurraysstories.blogspot.com/2023/02/short-stories.htmlScience and Technology
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