Earth Care for Mother’s Day
I’ve had this post ready for a while, intending to go back and flesh out more solutions. Instead, I decided to publish it as a tribute for Mother’s Day. Earth is in fact the mother that feeds and supports us all in living on this beautiful planet. It would be nice if we learn to treat her as the precious mother she is.
This year of covid has given us time to ponder our lives and see how nature can rebound with less consumption, manufacturing, and human activity. Unfortunately, the trends are still toward destruction of our beautiful planet, and I wonder if we will wake up in time.
This post explores some interesting ideas for helping tackle climate change and related challenges. I was interviewed by a young woman working on her master’s project in sustainability. Her questions helped me realize that I want to further align my actions with my values about living gently on this beautiful planet. And writing about environmental solutions is one way that I can help.
I believe the main drivers of climate change are our modern way of living with two key stressors on the planet; too many people consuming too many resources. Most of us have consumption-oriented lives with the majority of our energy sourced from fossil fuels. On a broader level, the environmental problems are also caused by our economic systems that value profit and corporations over people and planetary health. Those are the root causes of many of the world’s problems ranging from environmental to social justice, poverty, and food scarcity.
Deforestation along with growing areas of desert and drought are two symptoms of this over-consumption. A competition was created to motivate teams to address the global water crisis with energy-efficient technologies that harvest fresh water from thin air. Specifically, they were challenged to create systems that would extract at least 2000 liters/ day of drinking water from the atmosphere. Two California designers, David Hertz and Rich Groden have built a system that integrates a biomass gasifier and an atmospheric generator called WEDEW in a creative energy-efficient way. The Skysource WEDEW system converts biomass into freshwater while sequestering greenhouse gases and generating excess energy. They won the $1.5 million prize for the most innovative approach out of 100 teams. Hopefully, they will be able to help decentralize water access by an equally creative way to bring this technology to people in need. They have in mind to use low-cost loans to set up micro-businesses related to water and biomass.
Big Ideas to Save the Planet
This Washington Post article offers 11 policy changes that could help mitigate climate change. Most suggestions I see aren’t big enough to make the impact needed to address the problems we face. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that we have until 2030 to implement “rapid and far-reaching” changes to our energy, infrastructure and industrial systems in order to avoid catastrophe. The article features short articles on each policy idea that you can review.
The ideas that resonate with me are smart nuclear, carbon offset farming, alternative fuels and materials, electric vehicles, reduce meat and dairy use, pass a new green deal, and of course, consume less. Hemp and bamboo are two amazing plants. They are fast growing, use less water, and need little to no fertilizer making them ideal replacements for trees, cotton, and much more to make food, fuel, building materials, paper, clothing, and medicine.
What do you think we need to do?
In honor of our planet,