In “A Vision of a Sustainable World,” three associates try to take a forty year leap into the future and try to explain how far our world will have developed and changed from a non-renewable energy dependent world into a sustainable one (Brown, 1991). In the nearly 20 years since this article was written, progress in sustainable living or even sustainable energy has been very slow throughout the world, although some progress has been made.
For instance, development and innovation has been slow in the energy sector for the solar panel industry around the world until recently. Recent funding has become available in the U.S. for the research and development in renewable and sustainable energy sources. For those who can afford installing a sustainable solar panel system to their house, they are also enjoying the benefit of selling excess energy to the electric company.
Another example of recent attempts to conserve energy and live a more sustainable life is the compact fluorescent light bulb. More and more people are seeing the benefit of buying a light bulb that will last for years. Others throughout the world are saving energy by buying more energy efficient appliances.
When gas prices soared all over the world, people bought smaller vehicles or reduced the number they had. More and more people are starting to learn how to begin to live in a sustainable society by shopping online or learning to create their own small garden.
Some developing countries in different parts of the world have already successfully planted acres of trees while other smaller communities around the world are building permaculture communities where a sustainable lifestyle and the efficient use of energy is the key to their survival.
With a new administration in the White House, progress toward a more sustainable country and world seems hopeful. Funding has already been provided for research and development in renewable energy sources and grants and incentives have been provided to certain businesses for their future development in the clean energy industry.
I believe as more money is redirected towards this area more jobs will be created, which will also help reinvigorate the economy. As more of these jobs are available, this in turn will open opportunities for new jobs in the renewable energy sector and will help nurture the growth toward a more sustainable world.
Unlike these authors, I do not believe that we will reach clean energy independence within the world by 2030. Switching from gas, coal, and oil to sustainable energy practices will take decades and we have just begun the transformation process by funding R & D in clean energy.
Along with the authors, I do believe that the world population will have or come close to stabilizing because trends are already showing this. I do suspect that economic policy in a future world will need to focus on how to create a sustainable economy, environment, and community if we expect to create and live in a sustainable world that will provide all our energy needs.
For related articles see
“Is Permaculture the Hope for a Sustainable Future?”
“Advertising and the Consumer Equals Environmental Disaster”
“Save the Environment: Why Government needs to Focus More on Large Population Cities Rather than on Wilderness Areas”
For other articles written by Teresa Erwin please visit http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/743371/teresa_erwin.html
Authors’ Disclaimer: While every caution has been taken to provide my readers with the most accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this article.
Brown, L., Flavin, C., & Postel, S. (1991). A vision of a sustainable world. In Pojman, L. & Pojman, P. (Eds), Environmental ethics: Readings in theory and application (pp.760-768). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.