Sunday, August 18, 2013

Balancing Sustainability with Reducing Energy and Economic Poverty

In developing nations there is a desperate need for energy to sustain life, educate and advance the nation. For most of these nations burning coal to provide power is crucial to survival. Recently, president Obama has decided to no longer fund projects in the developing world that will rely on coal fueled power generation with the exception of nations in extraordinary circumstances where they have no other way to generate power. The world bank has also followed suit and embraced the new focus on sustainability.

This is a deathblow for most countries in the developing world and while it’s a great choice for the environment it’s a bad choice for the ability of these nations to sustain the lives of their people.  For those of us in the developed world these things are the basics of life. Therein lies the problem, what is sustainability really about? Sustaining the lives of humans or maintaining the balance of nature so that future generations have livable earth? There is not really a right answer. But here’s what’s being left out, sacrifice. More specifically, who can afford it? It’s not the developing nations, they are literally drowning in their poverty, it’s us, the developed nations. We can afford it. The United States has the ability and the innovation to create alternatives while the developing world does not. So why isn’t Mr. Obama saying that we will no longer burn coal to produce electricity in this country?  That is the question we need to start asking ourselves as well as our government.  

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1 comment:

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