By Al Mukthar Al Lawati
As if we haven’t heard enough about climate change. That right? Dead wrong!
Reports have been emerging about scientists deciding on whether to herald the new epoch of our Earth’s history: the “Anthropocene”. That term describes a point in history which is being defined with homosapiens’ impact on our Earth. Combining the aforementioned arrogance of ours with the inherent evolutionary nature of our species of using more energy than we could produce brings about a disturbing conclusion; to quote Al Gore, the disturbing conclusion really is an “inconvenient truth.”
But we’ve already heard enough about how the scientific consensus is that we create climate change. With the Earth expecting 3 to 4 billion new human inhabitants over the next 3 to 4 decades, what are the issues that we need to prepare for?
Politically-natured debates are rife when studying topics such as Canada’s first attempt to switch to carbon-trapping technology which efficiently disposes of carbon waste. Or about the global oil price plummeting because the US switched to fracking and will, to quote my college economics instructor, “destroy the planet over the next century.” We could even go on about whether there is a conspiracy within influential international actors like OPEC to curb progress on oil alternatives. Or whether the German failure at switching to wind farms instead of fossil fuels has thrown them in a situation where economic viability is not achieved since Germany would have to use more fossil fuels to maintain the wind farms than they would have without switching to wind in the first place.
You, me – what can the average Joe do here? Simple. Address questions that current politicians and lobbyists wouldn’t care much for, as no short-term profits are at risk when it comes to answering them. For example we may ask: who is going to supply those 3 billion new mouths that are going to need food, water, clothing, and education over the next 3 decades? Economists argue that the basis for a stable economy is a strong foundation of farmers (i.e. our feeders). Whether one is a supporter or an opponent of the EU’s CAT (Common Agricultural Policy) doesn’t matter, just the fact that the policy exists is proof that farming is essential when it comes to building a reliable economy.
Some realist security experts wield arguments against including issues like water and food shortages as part of international security studies. But one can’t deny the first-hand effects that the populations of underdeveloped nations are experiencing because of water and food shortages. Regardless of whether we see this as a security issue, reports coming out of areas hit by droughts in Africa sure lead us to think. The scenario of wars fought for food and fresh water seem to be more plausible than ever. Of course these wars will be good news for countries with GDPs comprising of arms sales.
One very interesting new innovation has already been developed in the Netherlands. The country where innovators’ fear of the low lands sinking in a global warming flood scenario has brought them to innovating floating houses and building structures. Another example of a revolutionary invention is the Groasis Waterboxx, invented by Dutch entrepreneur Pieter Hoff. The simple agricultural invention combines naturally occurring methods that statistically seldom appear in nature. The Waterboxx helps farmers’ trees to take advantage of the air, the sun, and the Earth to grow using minimum water. In fact, the method can be used to water a plant as infrequently as once a year. Now imagine government funds being allocated to support such scientist entrepreneurs to solve our current and upcoming global water and food shortages.
Picture Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Alternative_Energies.jpg