Progressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.
By: Ty Forman
Clean energy is an avenue of development that the world cannot afford to neglect. The issues that surround the need for a change in energy generation and use are fundamental to the wellbeing of citizens of every nation.
We are at a point in history where we as a human race possess the technology and knowledge to accomplish wide scale development and deployment of renewable energy resources. Leaving that potential untapped due to political disputes or arguments over climate change will only result in further strife among nations and needless loss of life concomitant with the overreliance on fossil fuels. No matter one’s views on climate change, the importance of increased reliance on renewable energy is a source of good jobs and an important part of our economic future.
Renewable energy is defined as carbon and pollution free energy sustainably collected from renewable sources, including wind, solar, hydro, tidal, and geothermal. Development of renewables is very much an existential matter that is facing humanity at present and will continue to affect humanity well into the future.
There are many routes that can be taken to promote the development of clean energy and those pathways must be actively pursued. Prevailing currents deterring the development of renewable energy solutions have to be seen as what they are — fabrications of the truth.
Arguments against renewable energy come from outdated institutions and outdated mindsets, severely limiting the progress that we can and should accomplish toward a more hospitable global environment for this and future generations. These perspectives ensure the continuation of the use of fuel sources that directly and adversely influence living conditions and health in negative and unproductive ways.
Many of the consequences of inaction are immediate and yet easiest to ignore. Pollution of resources vital to life such as air, drinking and bathing water, and the food we consume contribute to lowered expectations about our health and our living standards.
When our silence gives tacit permission for drinking water to become polluted to the point where consuming water can cause bodily harm, we need to take a look at why that is being allowed to happen.
The health of the people who live in our communities should be the very top priority in a highly bureaucratic government. When the good health of people is put on a back burner, many of the minute and abstract concerns of government departments should be reconsidered and given a lesser priority.
Development of clean energy has the potential to provide a lush economic and social landscape that will be a crucial component of our progress in the 21st century. Making the transition to clean energy will lay the groundwork for society to make the most appropriate recoveries from economic and environmental shocks experienced in the past decade.
This will require the undoing and re-creation of policies and practices that led to environmental catastrophes the world experienced during the early 2000s. The world is still dealing with devastation and pollution from the Fukushima disaster in 2011 – problems that could have been prevented if the quick gains from nuclear energy were weighed fairly against the benefits of more sustainable and safer renewable energy development.
Continuation of unbalanced decisions that result in perpetual loss of life, whether through wars driven by energy needs, climate disasters, or disruptions of food supplies caused by climate change, are unacceptable when there is a clear alternative.
As a race, we humans have not arrived at the epitome of equitable and sustainable energy policies. It remains up to us to create a world that is better than what we have experienced in the past. Accepting harmful consequences of energy generation and use leads the way to more harm and negative consequences.
We must stand up and push successfully for energy generation and use that guides us into paths that will move us forward in sustainable ways. Making the development of clean energy a top priority can mean the flourishing of life and heading off escalating destruction of lives and life as we know it. Renewable energy can dramatically improve the health of nations, living standards, and wellbeing of the inhabitants of our community and our world.
Ty de Porres Forman was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1995, and is a student at Northern Virginia Community College studying Political Science. Ty’s home state of Louisiana has experienced significant ecological changes in the past decade, making environmentalism an issue close to his heart.