Much before the time human beings started calling themselves as 'Human Beings', the need and search for the Energy that can be converted into various mechanical forms, from the power of muscle energy to the turning of wheel, all the way to the discovery of fire, energy has stayed and developed as one of the most important need for the civilization, and the one that probably placed human beings at the top of so-called hierarchy among all other beings. It took thousands of years of knowledge to know that energy is convertible from one form to the another, as later the Newton’s first law explained, ”Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed, it can only be transformed from one form to another".
This is the same need that in the past 19th & 20th Century led to massive extraction of coal and other fossil fuels.
As of 2007, fossil fuels contributed 86.4% of the primary energy consumption of the world
However, in the past few decades, we have learnt more and more about the harm we could be causing to the ecosystem and environment, until eventually that progressive realization led to a movement towards Green Technology, with introduction of alternatives such as harnessing wind and solar power. Along with this, various other new endeavours and inventions started attracting financial funding and support from numerous private and public institutions for more research and innovation. Research revealed the humongous damage that had accumulated in the previous centuries through various forms of pollution and mismanagement of waste, with increasing population and human habits having a multiplier effect. It's time to realise the damage and the worst possible outcomes we could face in the form of catastrophic natural devastation if not controlled and cured.
In the recent past, there has been a growing need to find an alternate source of clean energy that can compete with energy generated from other petroleum products
And there are massive perks for finding it first in the race. Such endeavours led a company to reach heights many businesses could only dream of. Tesla, a company led by Elon Musk, revolutionized the automobile industry that was dependent mostly on petroleum products, by launching cars (Tesla Roadster) that run completely on battery an area currently explored by many auto makers. Another major scientific advancement could be to explore the capturing of solar energy in most efficient light weight and easily installable batteries for various purposes. There are already plans in work and prototypes in the form of massive Solar Power Grids that can provide for the complete energy needs of small cities are considered, and hopefully such initiatives may fulfill the entire energy requirements for future generations in the most clean ways.
However, these alternate solutions fail to provide for most of the needs of the world which continues to heavily depend on traditional sources of energy.
In retrospect, this need in humans to always keep evolving and finding better and most efficient sources of fuel is boundless. With growing demands, the need shall keep growing. And alternate sources that are still being researched and developed might not be seen as an immediate solution to a problem which is nothing short of a crisis.
Scientific findings clearly point out that the greed to capitalize upon resources has taken its toll on the natural ecosystem and climate.
The emission of carbon resulting from the use of fossil fuels have depleted the ozone layer and has resulted in global warming, and further led to odd climactic conditions in different parts of the world. The question thus arises- What is the extent of urban development and industrialization that can be sustained? How far can we go to reach the maximum…if there is any…?
Graph showing the increase in temperature in the period ranging from 400,000 BC to 2013 AD.
In the 1950-2013, there is a sudden surge in temperature, leading to the mass scale of carbon emission.
Even though the momentum to address the climate change was building for many decades. Leaders and concerned authorities along with dedicated individuals and prominent personalities like Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo with many others recognized the urgent need to conserve and protect the one planet we've got and voiced their concerns. President Obama went all the way to bring it to the notice of the whole world and constantly urged people to stand up for what was right.
Very recently great leaders and many other concerned environmentalists from across 200 nations gathered at Paris in the month of December, 2015 to present the first of its kind Universal Climate Agreement. The agreement was welcomed by the whole world and representatives were invited to sign the agreement.
The Conference of Parties (COP) in its 21st session agreed to enforce upon limiting the greenhouse effect by limiting carbon emission and keeping the rise of temperature throughout the century below an increase of 2 degree Celsius. At the same time, regions with higher emissions- particularly some developed and rapidly developing countries were advised to limit the rise to 1.5C.
One look at the greenhouse gas emissions particularly in the northern hemisphere, demonstrates the extent to which the countries in the northern half of the planet exploited the resources for many decades without proper checks and safeguards while the Arctic Glaciers kept melting and giving rise to an alarming increase in sea levels.
A comparative analysis of the increase in emission and its effect on the environment,
beginning from a few years before the First Earth Summit to the Abu Dhabi Eye on Earth Summit in 2010
Greenhouse gases that control the temperature of the Earth.
Now, when it is obvious that southern hemisphere of the planet is sure to grow rapidly in coming decades, the need for rebalancing will be required more than ever. The path of development needs to be sustainable with nature and ecosystem. Growing African and South American countries have this responsibility to set better environmental friendly development by learning from the mistakes of other developed and developing nations. While the journey would be tough considering the current political and economic scenarios but the outcomes results are sure to help every living being on this planet.
Many times this debate is raised that Climate Change is not real or humans are too miniscule to cause any harm on Natural Ecosystem or maybe earth is too huge in size and complexity to be affected by humans! Scientific findings clearly shows that there has been adverse effects of human endeavours on environment and on all the living beings, and although nature is smart enough to rebalance but it's our duty to protect it and give our coming generations a healthy liveable planet.