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There’s Hope in Clean Renewable Energy Despite Of Copenhagen

December 22nd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Despite the failure of world leaders at Copenhagen, there’s hope clean renewable energy Copenhagen as green investments soar to $200 billion in 2010

These days I can’t seem to think of Copenhagen without thinking of the game charades, which our artsy-fartsy group back in college used to play every weekend – no offense to our Danish friends. But the NatGeo video above showcasing Danish families generating their own electricity through windpower is quite inspiring. I think it shows that clean renewable energy (read: zero to low carbon footprint) is something that we all should work towards from the grassroots up, and that it’s futile to pin our hopes on politicians to legislate any meaningful climate measures.

Dashed Hopes in Copenhagen

Watch: Ian Fry, climate negotiator for Tuvalu, makes an impassioned plea for his country in Copenhagen

If you’re like my friend, Nena, who was exuberant and hopeful that the world leaders would listen to the poor countries who will be hit hard with the effects of climate change and would come to a meaningful accord in Copenhagen, I can relate to how frustrating and demoralizing Cop15 must be for you. Nena works with a fisheries and water resources research facility in Kuala Lumpur and she believed in hope in Copenhagen, crying a bucket while watching the climate negotiator from Tuvalu (a low-lying island nation in the Pacific that will likely be erased from the map by rising sea levels) making an impassioned plea to president Obama and the other world leaders to save his country. We all know what happened in Copenhagen and given the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s useless to dwell on rage and despair.

There is hope.

Soaring Green Investments

Bloomberg reports that investments on renewable energy will climb to $200 billion for the first time in 2010 – INDEPENDENT of results in Copenhagen. The International Energy Agency has stated that investments must reach $430 billion a year by 2020 to reach a 50 percent chance of keeping the increase in global temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial times, the Paris- based agency said, according to the report. If that is the goal, then the clean energy sector is on track.

The rapid growth in this sector is fueled by rising demands for renewable energy from the public and the growing number of clean and renewable energy regulations being enacted worldwide. Ernst & Young has reported that over 250 climate-change regulations have been enacted worldwide including 54 in the US. There is also the growing realization that a green economy would be self-paying, lucrative, and sustainable over the long-term.

The World Turning Green

On the ground level communities like those families in Denmark are gradually shifting to clean energy sources. It’s an unstoppable trend worldwide fueled by the growing awareness of how urgent the problem of climate change is.

In the United States, reports are now coming out practically everyday of communities, counties, and states developing some kind of clean energy project in their area. High school kids successfully brought windpower to Utah, Alaska is beginning to be energized by wind turbines, residents in Sonoma county in California are building rooftop solar panels at a fever pitch, and Oregon is developing the first wave power plant in the United States.

No Leadership Required

Given how such crucial legislation as health care reform dragged on for months of useless debate in Congress only for the Senate to come up with a watered-down bill in the end, I don’t believe the Obama administration can provide the leadership to deliver any meaningful climate change legislation. What would happen is that within the next 5 to 10 years, the US, which now lags behind China in renewable investments and countries like France and Japan in renewable energy technology, will be forced to enact a sweeping climate legislation by big business – no matter who’s in power at the White House.

If the rapid pace of investments pouring into the clean energy sector as reported by Bloomberg above is any indication, it shows that big business is now realizing how rich and promising a clean energy economy would be. For the US to be able to compete in this new arena, a national carbon ceiling will have to be decided soon. That decision will have to be reached not in the Oval office or the capitol, but in the corporate board room of some power company somewhere in the US.

Tags: Environment

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Emma // Dec 23, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Working towards clean, renewable energy is clearly something that needs to be done in every country from the ground up. If politicians also pitch in then we are very lucky, if they don’t – we weren’t relying on them, anyway.

  • 2 Beth Charette // Dec 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

    My problem with Copenhagen was the hypocrisy of our representatives.

    Al Gore maintains a 10,000 square foot mansion in Tennessee. His fuel bill from CO2 producing sources is $30,000 per year. His well publicized use of public air transportation is a lie as well.

    President Obama is one of the single most CO2 producers on the planet.

    Environmentalists such as John Travolta owns and flies five large jets. His footprint is also huge.

    Why the little guy in Poughkeepsie with a 1200 square foot home should jump us and turn down his thermometer to follow these people is a mystery to me.

    When the rich start to do as they say, I’ll start to listen. In the meantime, I’m going to assume that the substantial evidence that ALL the planets in our solar system are warming is an indication that man himself has had little impact on climate.

    Keep in mind also that the eruption of St. Helens through more CO2 into the atmosphere than all the CO2 ever produced by man.

    For all these reasons, I view Copenhagen as less than convincing.

  • 3 Beth Charette // Dec 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Reasons to recycle:

    1) Trash is unseemly

    2) Landfills are overburdened

    3) The oceans are already filled with things, although some of which make excellent homes for animals, also create an unseemly interruption of nature’s beauty.

    4) Man must form the habit of not pillaging every habitat he enters, from burning rain forests to overfishing the seas. His killing of so many of nature’s beautiful creatures is ethically bankrupt.

    5) As man begins to raise his consciousness from the level of the animal, his economic and humanitarian policies will improve as well.

    6) As man raises his consciousness above the animal level, the overpopulation problem will eventually come under control. As it is, Nature herself will treat man’s numbers as an infestation, and will deal with him as such.
    Wars are, by and large, the natural consequence of too many people and too few resources, as well as the programming of an organism that was once dependent on hunting and gathering for survival.