Mankind is hardwired to overachieve. That is why even when we scaled the highest mountain peak, we stretched our hands out to the sky, trying to reach for the celestial bodies. Our progressive nature has led us to the socioeconomic growth and development we are a part of today. We depended on fossil fuels to power the industrial revolution that promised to make our world a more comfortable and convenient place to live in!
And that it did, it gave us better homes, quicker modes of transport, easier cooking facilities, and most of all, it brought light into our homes at night. Undoubtedly, fossil fuels were the drivers behind the progress of mankind. However, all the new wonders of industrial development have blind-sided us to their negative effects. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world – stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution’.
So the main difference between progress and evolution is that ‘progress is the staging point from which we leap towards evolution.’ If fossil fuel usage was a progressive move for us, then the evolution would be a transition to renewable sources of energy.
But, somehow we forgot all about it, and started emptying out the planet’s core to power our homes, fuel new cars, and fly bigger airplanes. This has been going on for decades now. And only recently, the connection between continuous depletion of fossil fuel reserves and its effects on the world have been made.
Today the world over, the effects of rampant fossil fuel usage are visible in the environment and the health of mankind and ecosystems. Mining, drilling, and other processes used to extract fossil fuels lead to abnormal shifts, resulting in disastrous earthquakes, tsunamis, huge sinkholes, soil erosion, floods, and droughts. Burning fossil fuels emits a number of air pollutants that contribute to acid rain, ground-level ozone (smog), formation of harmful particulate matter, respiratory ailments, asthma, bronchitis, nasal congestion, and pulmonary inflammation. And there are more effects being discovered every day.
Energy Evolution is a Necessity
Destruction of our climate is not the only negative aspect of fossil fuel usage. An increasing world population, the unavailability of electricity in many parts of the world, and depleting fossil fuel reserves make energy evolution a necessity. Currently 1.6 billion people do not have access to electricity. So it is easy to figure out that our dependency on fossil fuels is short-sighted. And limited fossil fuels would not be able to satisfy the energy demand that will rise with the population boom. This simple understanding indicates a fatal flaw in our conventional energy powered plans for the future.
On the other hand, focusing on sustainable energy promises to help us construct a safer and more energy rich future without inflicting any damage to our climate and planet.
We have delayed taking action to save the continuously degrading Earth’s climate, and yes, we are staring down the barrel of a gun, but there is still time. Fortunately, this time, the world is choosing evolution through acceptance towards renewable energy, rather than falling back to its conventional “progressive’’ structure.
What Evolution Can Bring?
Renewable energy sources impact the economy very positively, both on a global and local level. That is why developing countries like Brazil and India are seriously investing in renewable energy – especially solar. Renewable energy can create more jobs. The US is expected to create over 5 million clean energy jobs by 2050. 400,000 new jobs have already been created in Germany. India already created 416,000 jobs in the renewable sector just in 2015 – with a focus on creating 1.1 million more jobs! A boost in employment will ultimately lead to improvement of the local economy, initiating country wide infrastructural and social growth. Renewable energy production guarantees to meet increasing demand and will ensure energy price stability.
While our progress through fossil fuel usage has left us with pollution, unstable economies, and diseases, the energy transition (evolution) promises to bring a cleaner environment, better/more jobs, a disease free life, and economic security. These are all simple things, yet they have the power to build a society, adding worth to each individual’s life, and paving the path towards a brighter future.
So, it is time that we trust our evolving perspective on energy usage and strive to bring positive change in our lives and those of future generations.