Why are building green solutions so important and why is it such a special opportunity for us. Yes, I said us.
Amazing things have happened on planet earth in the past couple hundred years, especially for industrialized society. There are great challenges for the many people of the third world but for most of us,
We live and work in air conditioned spaces, use transportation that turns hours into minutes, enjoy comforts, food choices, merchandize and services that were previously available only to the very wealthy.
We are at an interesting crossroads at this time however. We have exhausted some of the resources that make this life possible. Most of our current energy resources have side effects that are dangerous for coming generations. Some of the boundless opportunity that appeared in our nation’s youth has been replaced with difficult choices and job insecurity. We are ushering in a generation that for the first time will probably see a decrease in their standard of living.
What does building green solutions have to do with all these ostensibly, unrelated issues? In the pitch of the Great Depression one attempt to feed the economy was provided with a jobs program, road works that provided jobs in the short run. Government ‘created’ jobs to stimulate the economy and some believe this had a measure of success. This was job creation at it’s most direct level, not exactly supply and demand.
There is a consensus that ‘stimulating’ the economy in the form of lower interest rates and greater government spending is a proven way to revive a struggling economy. This too has really nothing to do with the fundamentals of capitalism, supply and demand.
Now we have a call on multiple fronts to find solutions, solutions that speak to many issues, find energy solutions that are economical yet do not create hazardous waste, solutions that are affordable and accessible to most of the population.
Building green solutions addresses all these issues while also creating new technology, new expertise, a whole new area of employment that simply did not exist before. It is exactly, supply and demand. Our greatest sense of creativity, our greatest sense of invention does indeed respond to need and respond to special circumstances requiring special solutions.
It is not a government program design to ‘create’ work but rather a response to a need whose specialty will create jobs in research, production, and implementation. The United States is challenged to compete in factory production with third world countries. Our high standard of living has also made it difficult to compete in large production and agriculture with countries whose labor cost is a mere fraction. Yet we still lead in technology and the technology of living green is in high demand all over the world.
What else is special about ‘green technology’ and green solutions?
Everybody wins. Resources that are kinder to our environment reduce the impact of our lifestyle and begin to reverse global warming. Countries such as China with fast growing economies and faster growing populations now more than ever need solutions to provide their people energy consuming amenities without destroying their environment.
What else will building green solutions provide? This could be the fun part. We don’t know.
We have witnessed a digital revolution in the past decade, an information revolution that has changed life all over the world. It brought with it new energy, new research, new products, new possibilities, and new jobs. Who would have thought they would be sending a picture from the Zoo as they are talking to their friend across the country? Who would have thought they would be carrying more data on their key chain than all the banks in New York in our last century?
We have every reason to believe this same innovation and same new invention will accompany our ‘green revolution’. New ideas are rarely stale and very rarely solutions unto themselves. Rather they open up new pathways, new ways of thinking, new solution that open even more possibility.
Should our government subsidize this research, subsidize this possibility for self-reliance and true economic growth? Of course it should but the green revolution is here and with or without the assistance from our government, energy solutions for the planet will define the 21st Century.
T Boone Pickens has cited ‘the greatest transfer of wealth’ in mankind. It is difficult to imagine the relief for our deficit and the savings we would appreciate if our cars did not require fossil fuel. This same shift away from global warming and pollution makes you wonder why this hasn’t already happened.
It would be wonderful if the United States became a leader in renewable energy, creating new industry, new income, and great employment opportunity. It would be wonderful to see our economic recovery reach America beyond the first few blocks of Wall Street.
This is an industry that will touch every other whether it is better insulated housing or more fuel efficient automobiles. We have reevaluated our lifestyle and the assumptions and extra costs of fifty years of ‘suburbia’. More energy efficient lifestyle villages are common now, offering most of what any family needs within blocks instead of miles. This in turn will significantly reduce driving time, fuel consumption and the pollution it creates.
As we begin to implement greener living, the common cause for all nations will begin to surface. Green solutions belong to lifestyle not geography and can be implemented and enjoyed anywhere. This ‘common cause’ can easily foster cooperation versus conflict which will reduce the enormous expenditure on defense and security systems.
Think globally, act locally.
Would you like to participate? There are literally hundreds of resources and links to how you can learn more, access more, and do more from your home, in your lifestyle decisions. From issues as diverse as green roofs to space heaters, solar lamps to rainwater harvesting, you may be surprised just how easy it can be to make your contribution.
One of our favorite resources on how individuals can learn and do more is the ‘Green Guide’ provide by the National Geographic, www.thegreenguide.com.
Full Moons, Dog Creek, think globally, act locally
Author Tommy Womack is a Web Designer, nature lover, and environmentalist. Living by Dog Creek in Kingston Springs, TN, much of his work is devoted to images borrowed from nature using Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro and other applications from the Adobe Design Suite, and much inspiration from Henry Thoreau.