Our collective future looks pretty grim when taking into consideration the preposterous environmental devastation caused by a myriad of human factors – from genetically modified food and animals interrupting the balance of ecosystems, to the unfathomable destruction (in both the short- and long-term) resulting from mining fossil fuels. Energy itself is a good thing, and is essential to not only sustaining life, but in facilitating progress of all kinds – especially technological. Now, polluting, deadly energy derived from fossil fuels? Well that’s bad. Very bad.
So how do we reconcile our growing human population and its ever-increasing energy needs? How are we as a species to grow and evolve, yet avoid laying waste to our incredibly unique and stunning planet, with it’s complex, interrelated, brilliantly designed systems and processes? The answer, it seems abundantly clear, is renewable energy. How lucky we are to have such a solution; many mistakes are made which cannot be atoned for, but we still have a chance to address our wrongdoing. We need only to commit to a global, concerted determination to transition FROM coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear, and lumber TO (primarily) solar, wind, tidal, and wave energy. The Sun alone can provide all of humanity’s energy needs – an incredible fact I just can’t stress enough.
Solar energy is used principally to generate electricity through the use of solar panels. However, solar thermal technologies can be improved which would address our need for heating as well. Solar thermal to date is difficult and expensive to incorporate into existing structures, although it is a brilliant source of clean energy for new ones. Oil is a major problem both in terms of pollution and the fact that it is used for transportation. We are beginning to see an amazing emergence of electric vehicles, as well as recent transport innovations that use solar, such as solar-powered buses and boats.
Utilizing the energy from the wind, Sun and oceans won’t pump radiation into our oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems, pollute our water supply, or contribute to the disease and death of countless humans and animals. We don’t have to go to war to fight for renewable resources because, despite what some politicians say in an effort to protect dirty energy interests, harnessing the Sun does not diminish its power – nor that of the wind or the waves.
With access to clean, unlimited energy, there is no limit to our collective evolution. By utilizing clean energy we can ensure our continued survival on Earth, and develop improved technologies to address the damage we’ve caused since the Industrial Revolution. We as a species have unlimited potential – we need only to seize it.