Whilst many of the worlds governments and leaders courageously acknowledged the urgent need to address climate change in Paris last week and sought to act on reducing greenhouses gasses as a matter of urgency, corporations and business groups around the world have taken the lead and are making extraordinary progress proving the efficacy of employing clean green sustainable energies, such as solar, wind and geothermal techniques to generate electricity.
It is a creatively inspired energy paradigm already proving itʼs worth, not only regarding the efficacy of the power generated but also the $ʼs generated. And, not a moment too soon. King George Island, Antarctica is the fastest warming region on the planet - 90% of the glaciers are retreating. One ice sheet has retreated 1.8km in the past ten years. NASA has been documenting the disintegration of the glaciers since 2009. Ice is also melting in Greenland and the Arctic and the sea level is rising. The science is in: climate change due to human activity is irrefutable.
In Miami, South Florida the water level is rising each year. Keren Bolter a geoscientist who lives there, says "there is a huge sense of urgency". In recent years $10 million dollars has been spent on a 1/2 mile sea wall to hold the water back. The wall they anticipate needs to be built is much longer, itʼs a race against time. Simultaneously, a region in California has been in drought for the past four years. It is their worst drought in a century; rivers and wells have run dry. In one region 22,000 people have no water. It has to be brought in from the country authorities and big retailers who donate the water.
Some countries are exceptionally innovative, successfully addressing climate change. Costa Rica, Central America, is on the brink of being carbon neutral. Their aim is to be free of fossil fuels within 6 years. Their power plants run on solar, wind and water, using only natural sources to provide energy for the entire country. A volcano powers a geothermal plant, whilst eco-tourism is their biggest source of revenue. They will be carbon neutral by 2021. In Germany families pay a $300 levy for renewable energy. Some years wind farms generate 50% of Germanyʼs income. Biogas and solar panels are used for winter heating. Many wind farms are owned by local communities. They grow much of their own food. There are also large off shore wind farms. Their first off shore wind farm with wing spans of 20m were built 20 km out to sea. There are now 22,000 wind farms across Germany. They are more expensive than nuclear, but involve no other costs other than for dismantling. Wind farming has turbocharged the German economy. They are exporting the technology to other countries including the US, Britain and France, and also producing sufficient energy to export to other countries.
Californiaʼs fastest growing industry is solar technology. Renewables now provide 25% of their electricity supply. Now they are aiming for 50%. They are also providing energy to people in Africa, India and other countries who require energy - virtually lighting up these peopleʼs lives from a grid relayed from offices in California. Amazing! China is also developing renewables at a very fast pace. So are Tanzania, Morocco and many other countries around the globe. This is very exciting good news for the whole world!
Last, but not least, a big THANK YOU to the ABC, who produced an excellent documentary ʻHow To Save The Worldʼ from which I drew the information herein.