… continues from last week
WITH the situation evolving as it is now, there is an urgent need to invest into effective short, medium and long terms as a panacea to mitigate and remedy the ever deteriorating situation in order to be able to control, curb and contain the scourge. As this is a global human threat, time is now to take scientific and effective measures and address head-on the causes of both El Nino and La Nina which by implication are man-made. Understandably, to solve what man has created would need more effort than how the problem was created.
Among the possible effort to solve that problem, particularly, in the long run, is to exigently reduce the emission by introducing renewable energies. Among the known renewable energies are, hydroelectricity, tidal power, solar, wind power, etc. While renewable energies help to control, curb and contain the emissions, it must also be noted that, their applications shall also come with their price tags.
Renewable energies are those electrical powers generated from sources that do not have a finite end or those that can be renewed. The world is doing all it can to reduce carbon emissions and limit the global average temperature change. To move forward, there is need to realise that there is so much that can possibly be done in limiting output as the human population also increases and puts more demands on our energy requirements. More significantly, the world must not lose sight that the need to secure the environment for future generation is of paramount importance.
It is also interesting to note that, before the discovery of coal deposits during the time of the Industrial Revolution, renewable energy was the only source of power that was available. It was only gradually discarded when opted for coal generation power. Throughout most of human history and pre-history, what would today be commonly known as biomass was the main source from where energy was generated. Biomass is plant material such as wood, grass, mosses and so on. Even though this is no longer necessarily for industrial purpose, it is still regularly used in the developing world, particularly, by the rural poor to eke their living.
It must also be noted that, energy security has been a major concern to world leaders since the end of the 20th century, and continues in the 21st century, specifically when the world is faced with serious climate change as the atmospheric is so polluted by emissions. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, the increase of amount of electricity produced from renewable sources increased from just over 13% in 2012 to 22% the following year. They also predict that that figure should hit 26% by 2020. In terms of total generation, renewables accounts for 19% of the world present usage. Notably, renewable energies are by their definition unlimited and more environmentally friendly than non-renewables.
With the ongoing climate change and the effect of global warming to the world’s economies, the multi-million dollar question we must ask ourselves is shall we be able sustain ourselves as we navigate through the 21st century? In the process of continuous drought in Namibia, there are scores of farmers who lost and continue to lose their crop production and animals to drought so dearly without any compensation to recover.
As the economy is the driving force, should it slump, shall there be a chance for a Harambee Prosperity Plan to achieve its goals and objectives within a set time frame? Further, if the current drought that is affecting Namibia will continue unabated for another, for example, two years or more years, what are the mitigation and remedial actions in store for agricultural sustainability? The underlining factor is, economic sustainability is a critical hallmark for the survival of human beings and states. Are there alternatives to economic sustainability? I guess there is no substitution to that.
Economic sustainability is the means of balancing between the competing needs. In 2005, the World Summit on Social Development identified three core pillars or areas that contribute to the philosophy and social science of sustainable development. To achieve the goals and objectives of those three pillars namely, economic development, social development and environmental protection as the most backbone of economic sustainability and development for today and tomorrow, that demands strategic thinking and approach.
Economic development is all about availing people with what they need in order to ensure their quality of life. It is also a means of reducing the financial burden and red tape. Social development on the other hand, is multi-faceted discipline that includes but not limited to education, awareness, access to basic resources and sustainable housing. Environmental protection is the third pillar which primary concerns with the future of humanity. It defines how we should study and protect ecosystems and ensure sustainability of our resources by focusing on the elements that are detrimental to the environment. Environmental protection also concerns how technology will drive our greener future by recognising that developing technology is key to this sustainability.
In 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development met to discuss and develop a set of goals to work towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that claimed success in reducing global poverty. It was also during the same conference that an acknowledgement was made that there is still much more to do to address economic sustainability.
It is worth noting that sustainable development is not a new phenomenon. It has a long history with humanity. However, there were times when there was no real concept of sustainable living, even if the people of the distant past understood that soil had a maximum fertility that could be exhausted and replenished. Sustainable development started time immemorial when societies were more nomadic moving from one place to another in search for survival. It was after societies started with the concept of food surpluses when they finally settled. Cultural change often led to survival of those societies beyond what might have been expected under the circumstances.
… continues next week
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