9: WHITHER PLANET EARTH?
people who have looked ahead have given up already. They conclude
that the earth is
and that the
future of our civilization
is literally “toast”. It’s true that we’re
in for some “hard times”, with plenty of hot weather
ahead no matter how quickly we change our ways for the better. But
we are a resilient species, and we shouldn’t just give up
without applying our ingenuity and giving it our best shot. We
must dedicate ourselves to conserving the energy that is presently
to us, and to finding more efficient ways to harness wind and
solar energy. There is some encouraging news on the horizon.
instance, there is interest in building a new type of windmill that
has circular rotating blades mounted on vertical shafts that could
reduce both manufacturing and maintenance costs well below those for
conventional turbines mounted on tall towers with aviation-type propellers.
There is also a possibility that the new “nano-technology”
can provide important benefits to the future development of solar
power (9). Once a consensus has been established among the people
of the world that we must pull together, there may be a new awakening
of the human spirit to pull together toward our mutual survival. We
see turmoil and lack of leadership around us today, so it’s
easy to be demoralized. But just as Lester Brown reminds us of our
willingness to sacrifice and mobilize during WWII, it’s possible
that widespread public perception of the common threat of climate
change, coupled with effective leadership, could have a similar effect
again. Surely we won’t sit around like the Easter Islanders
and consume our dwindling resources as we head toward our own demise?
It’s time to form grass-roots organizations and work steadily
toward a better future, with our eyes on the longer goals of a clean
and healthy planet!
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