Presidential forum on renewable energy essay contest

We are already embarking on a new phase of technological revolution that will fundamentally change the way we live, work, relate to one another and interact with the external world. The speed, breadth and depth of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent and is disrupting almost every sector in every country. The challenge and opportunity before us today is to begin to think of development through the lens of environmental health.

The environment as a primary concern, not an afterthought. The science has never been clearer. We know the impact, the consequences and the unsustainability of our development model.

Solar Energy Essay Contest

As we continue to connect in new ways, we must also reconnect to Earth. More than technology, doing so will take a fundamental shift in mindset — one that will redefine our relationship with the planet and its natural systems.

Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy Essay Contest

A productive, diverse natural world and a stable climate have been the basic assets at the foundation of the success of our civilisation, and will continue to be so in future. A fundamental issue in the previous technological revolutions has been the lightness with which we have taken for granted the natural environment rather than valuing it as a condition necessary to development. If we continue to produce, consume and power our lives the way we do right now, forests, oceans and weather systems will be overwhelmed and collapse. Unsustainable agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure projects, mining and energy are leading to unprecedented biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, overexploitation, pollution and climate change.


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While their impacts are increasingly evident in the natural world, the consequences on people and businesses are real too. From food and water scarcity to the declining quality of the air we breathe, the evidence has never been clearer. We are, however, in many instances failing to make the link. We act as Homo technologicus, with the mindset of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Alongside the technological revolution, we need an equally unprecedented cultural revolution in the way we connect with the planet.

Every day, new evidence of our unsustainable impact on the environment is emerging. A destabilized climate generates more frequent and deadly extreme weather. This has happened in less than two generations. Forests are under pressure like never before, through unabated deforestation. Our oceans are under great stress. We dump plastic and toxic chemicals into the sea, poisoning our own food.

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Our planet is on the brink. Here's how we save it | World Economic Forum

It opened my eyes that we were not on a sustainable path. Transportation is actually the fastest growing source of CO2 globally, and as such can offset the gains from installed renewable energy. The world car population topped one billion in , and the International Transport Forum thinks it could reach 2. Daniel Sperling, founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, believes that the 87 million barrels of oil produced globally each day could climb to million barrels under that scenario. In the U. Electric cars are currently expensive, but with battery prices dropping, their momentum is likely to increase.

Lower-cost and longer range cars, which cost much less to operate than conventional cars, will be attractive to buyers globally. Lowering emissions becomes a virtuous circle when the power running zero-emission electric cars comes from plants fueled by renewable energy. Making cars more energy-efficient, as in the U. Mass transit is key, but other innovative urban policy is also pointing the way forward: The U. In place of private cars will be telephone-dispatched bus services, ride sharing, municipal bicycles and multiple rail options.

Virtually all the experts agree that the transition to a clean energy economy will be difficult. Moving to renewables could take as long as years, Esty said. It should be said that the movement toward renewables has to be coupled with energy-efficiency efforts. The easiest way to reduce our large-scale carbon footprint is to become a lot more efficient, and there is still a lot of low-hanging fruit that businesses are beginning to recognize.

What can governments and non-governmental organizations do to better prepare for, and aid countries in the recovery from, devastating storms? The heads of two NGOs weigh in. A new book from journalist Binyamin Appelbaum shows how economists evolved from overlooked number-crunchers to powerful influencers who reshaped American policy. Log In or sign up to comment.

Our planet is on the brink. Here's how we save it

I believe that we can remain optimistic that the world can be powered by sources of renewable energy. In fact, this is our only sustainable solution as fossil fuels are finite. We can look forward to a rapid transition to renewables because both wind and solar power have surpassed grid parity. One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. This may mean that we need to reduce the amount of energy we use or simply build more energy facilities.

It also indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources. Interesting article. Renewables at best can supplement conventional energy like coal,petroleum,gas etc. The limitations of Renewables like Wind and Solar is their intermittent nature which requires storage. Storage of power is expensive.

Dust is a big problem in developing countries for wider application of Solar PV. CSP may be a good alternative.

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I have had been advocating Bioenergy as the best option for Developing countries in view of vast waste land and huge man power. There is the case of Ethanol in Brazil. Moreover these plants have multiple uses. Mexico is pioneer in this. Shifting the total global primary energy supply to renewable sources requires a transition of the energy system. In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that there are few fundamental technological limits to integrating a portfolio of renewable energy technologies to meet most of total global energy demand.

Renewable energy use has grown much faster than even advocates anticipated. The most important sector is electricity with a renewable share of There are many places around the world with grids that are run almost exclusively on renewable energy. Unsustainable agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure projects, mining and energy are leading to unprecedented biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, overexploitation, pollution and climate change.

While their impacts are increasingly evident in the natural world, the consequences on people and businesses are real too. From food and water scarcity to the declining quality of the air we breathe, the evidence has never been clearer. We are, however, in many instances failing to make the link. We act as Homo technologicus, with the mindset of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Alongside the technological revolution, we need an equally unprecedented cultural revolution in the way we connect with the planet. Every day, new evidence of our unsustainable impact on the environment is emerging.

A destabilized climate generates more frequent and deadly extreme weather. This has happened in less than two generations. Forests are under pressure like never before, through unabated deforestation. Our oceans are under great stress. We dump plastic and toxic chemicals into the sea, poisoning our own food. In a generation, the world has lost nearly half of its marine species populations.

Biodiversity — the complex web of life made by millions of species, plants, bacteria and fungi — underpins the natural systems that we take for granted; systems that provide us with the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. It maintains the ecosystems that society needs to thrive, ensuring access to essential raw materials, commodities and services. The unprecedented loss of biodiversity we are seeing today is an existential threat to human life and economic development. If the biodiversity index were considered akin to the stock market, our planet would be heading for a spectacular crash.

Too big to fail, you could say. Regular access to quality freshwater is also vital for most businesses and industries — in manufacturing, heating, cooling, cleaning or as an ingredient. Our civilisation finds itself at a crossroads. The equation is a simple one: we will not build a stable, prosperous and equitable future for humanity on a degraded planet. Technology will no doubt change our lives and we are already seeing breakthroughs in conservation. The renewable energy revolution is probably the most impressive example of the positive impact of new technologies.