“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen” – Jeremiah 29: 11-12
When we have gone to the great beyond, our children will inherit the Earth. We therefore have a responsibility to ensure that we leave behind a legacy of which we are proud. Each and every one of us must play his/her part and collectively we shall contribute to the world being a better place.
Research – www.thecleanrevolution.org – reveals that by 2050, there will be 9 billion people sharing one world. In the next 20 years, China alone will build another “United States” in terms of homes and commercial buildings. Simultaneously, the world’s middle class will grow from less than 2 billion to 5 billion. Raising the prosperity of so many people will be an extraordinary achievement. But this growth will come with an enormous demand for resources and energy.
By mid–century, we need to reduce emissions by around two thirds of today’s level. Failure to meet this challenge could mean severe economic upheaval, widespread famine, dangerous sea–level rise, droughts, floods, wildfires and storms. The fundamental driver of our modern economies, our energy system, remains based on climate–warming fossil fuels. For the most part, the way we heat our homes, power our industries and move around the planet, remains reliant on a system first developed in the 19th century.
We simply cannot keep on this way. We have to move on and embrace a new way of producing and consuming energy. We need to cut emissions and stop climate change. But we need to do it in a way that protects people’s livelihoods, creates jobs and ensures worldwide economic growth. And to get there will take nothing less than a new, clean industrial revolution.
A Clean Revolution – a massive scaling-up of clean energy, clean technologies and energy efficiency – will create jobs, boost economic growth, protect the environment and secure clean energy access for all. It is a viable, sensible way forward for humanity’s future and it needs to start now. We urge the world’s business and government leaders to join us in supporting The Climate Group’s campaign at TheCleanRevolution.org and help create a better, smarter, more prosperous future for the citizens of the world.
One of my colleagues sent me a message last week “Hey, check this out from CNN:
World’s largest solar bridge underway” http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/05/world/europe/solar-bridge-london-blackfriars/index.html.
It was a story of the new solar roof spanning Blackfriars Railway Bridge above the River Thames in London which will cover more than 6,000 square meters when finished, according to developers. Over 4,400 individual photovoltaic panels are expected to produce around 900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year, providing the station with half of its energy needs, according to Solar Century, the UK Company installing the solar roof. Annual carbon emissions are also expected to be reduced by more than 500 tons thus contributing to a clean energy future. Constructed in the age of steam, the station is now bang up to date with 21st century solar technology. In addition to the solar panels, the station will also include rain-harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting.
These simple applications of common sense are manifestations that the Visions of cheaper energy, innovative lighting, water conservation and a cleaner environment have been converted into Action.
In Barbados, and indeed in every country in the world, we must set about playing our part in the Clean Revolution. We need to apply our selves and He will listen. Procrastination is the thief of time. A colleague recently said to me that each day that passes now brings you that much closer to your last day on earth, so why not act now and make a contribution to posterity. One can argue that this statement is true at any time in your life but as one gets older the psychological impact of the statement invokes a sense of urgency and hopefully this will produce immediate action.
In Barbados, we may not have a solar roof spanning a Blackfriars Railway Bridge. However, we have many roofs tops and I put out the challenge that we should cover each of these roof tops with solar panels and feed the energy into the national grid to boost our energy supply. These roofs should also be designed to collect water to supplement the supply in a water scarce country. The natural lighting system is so obvious yet few architects build this feature into the design of the top floors of their buildings as an energy saver. Architects should be aggressively proposing that all buildings be clad with solar collectors using the more sophisticated materials, technologies and designs that are now available.
The recently formed Barbados Renewable Energy Association must start beating the Clean Revolution drum and where better to start than on the doors of the Barbados Social Compact to influence the impact on the policy which leads the way forward in the vision to which we aspire.
We need financial capital to implement these innovative initiatives. Look out for the Barbados Entrepreneurship’s Financial Pillar Forum on Tuesday 25 October when you will have a chance to respond to proposals and give your own innovative views on how we can mobilise the liquidity in our financial system to protect the holistic environment for future generations for a sustainable financial and socio-economic return.