WITH the changing of time, environmental damage, pollution, destabilising soils by uncontrolled cutting down trees, fossil fuels and other environmental issues led to a growing concern about the environmental sustainability. The most worrying factor is whether we are able to sustain the environment or damage the ecosystem beyond recovery. By the late 20th century, the science of climate change was however, firmly established. We knew by the 1980s about the problems of the greenhouse effect and the destruction of the ozone layer. It was from that time that the world became aware about the notion that some of our resources, particularly, fossil fuels were finite and that we should make efforts to move to renewable methods of power.
Despite all efforts to ensure sustainability, the future is still bleak as there are so many emerging problems that are put on the planet earth where we live. Among them are the technological revolution and a massive increase in our power needs that are putting great pressure and strain on the planet’s resources. It is therefore, vital that we develop new, cleaner technologies to be able cope with our energy demands. As a means to help controlling, curbing and containing climate change and global warming, an attempt shall now be made to briefly explain the importance of investing more on hydroelectricity, tidal power, solar power and wind power as mitigating panaceas to climate change and global warming.
Hydroelectricity is a form of energy and one of the cleanest energy. Even though during its process of building and maintaining a dam will release carbon emissions, in the long run of its operation, the environment will be safe and spared from emission. In the aftermath of the erection of dams for hydroelectricity purposes, dams will as well be used as water reservoirs for other purposes.
Tidal power although not yet common used, it has been a source of energy generated at sea by reacting to the ebb and flow of the oceans. Tidal power is a common form of power generation across the Atlantic, in the eastern US and Western Europe particularly being developed by UK around the Orkney Islands. The advantage of tidal power is that it is more predictable than other well-known renewable systems such as wind and solar power that is so because the amount of oceanic water on the planet is fairly constant and unlikely to run out. While there are advantages, there are also disadvantages among them, tidal power bears a technological high cost to the extent that many countries despite of their abundant coastal waters never invested on that.
Turning to solar power, it is one of the best-known renewable energy sources which is also taking a centre stage in Namibia. The technology made it possible to invent cells that convert the light of the sun into electrical energy, which can then be used to power for our electrical needs. The most obvious advantage is that it will last as long as the sun will last. It is a very flexible energy source and not only can it generate electricity, but environmental friendly as well.
It is important to mention that solar power is affordable, efficient, long-term investment, cost-cutting saving measure, low maintenance and no pollution. Notwithstanding of the above mentioned advantages, there are some disadvantages. Firstly, their efficiency drops during cloudier days, during the winter when there is less sunlight generally and during storms. With specific reference to Namibia however, those disadvantages are almost minimal as Namibia has sun arrays sufficient to generate power regardless of time of the year.
Wind power is another reliable power generating source through the turbines. Wind power has no limited space as the system can be put up at sea or on land. While wind power is not commonly used in Africa, it is more popular in Europe with most of the system are at sea where constant wind is being produced. As part of advantages, wind power is that wind is constant as it is part of the planet’s natural weather cycles. Another important aspect of wind power is that weather is predictable and the system is easy to manage once installed.
Wind power has also its disadvantages. Among them, wind sources are best out at sea where end-users are more limited or distance away. Making efforts to transport power generated by wind power to the end-users will be costly because of the distance involved. If wind power is at sea, that would mean greater investment in infrastructure to transport the energy from the sea where power is generated to the place where power will be finally utilised.
In the final analysis, this article was an attempt to discuss and bring out the reality of climate change, global warming and the impacts thereof. It is a reality of life that the survival of any living organism depends entirely on the environment. On the other hand, the environment squarely counts on how we sustain it.
Speaking from experience, Namibia as a country, has been hard hit by drought unabated of which I have full account to share my practical experience of the last season. It is also a well-known factor that Namibia’s past and recent history, is a country that has been experiencing paradoxes as she became prone to erratic droughts and floods. Those paradoxes can have equal devastating effects as far as environment and development are concern. With specific reference to the persistent drought in Namibia that is affecting the agricultural, there is a justifiable fear that, the agriculture sector being one of the major employment creation sector, its output is likely to be reduced to lowest degree in the next years if nothing is done to address the ongoing natural calamity.
In order to avert the kind of situation, there is need for the Government to intervene effectively and avail dedicated financial commitments to the farming industry if the nation is to survive this catastrophe. That must be so because, even for those farmers who tried financially to make their animals go through during the last season, they must now have ran out of finances. As such, they may no longer financially afford to continue and survive for yet another protracted drought period this season.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015