Good morning on this Good Friday! I see something beyond my office window, through the hemlocks, pines and oaks, out over the hills and farm fields on this lovely Spring morning in April… I am not however, schooled in energy technology or in politics and I don’t claim to be any sort of an expert in either discipline! What came to me strongly though, in view of the increasing unrest, political divides and recent natural disasters in our world is that there must be a way to continue to move forward in our lives, for the good of all populations, and to be able to do so in a way that minimizes and/or manages conflict. A simple Utopian view? Maybe…..but why not offer it?
For our world, I believe that increasing global awareness of renewable energy technologies such as wind turbine, hydro-electric facilities and solar facilities, in addition to using energy efficient products, we, humanity can grow in our universal evolution in a more appropriate and useful way. From the macro of states and governments right down to individual households, if we all begin to focus on understanding how renewable energy, as a concept, can improve our lives in many different ways and sustain our growing energy consumption, I believe we’d be considering a positive choice in minimizing conflict with the added benefit of regenerating our earth. Using energy that is not a limited resource, is more easily transferable, and less susceptible to the negative aspects of acquiring materialism, which in turn can cause conflict.
Through the concept of renewable energy, conflict can be minimized and make our earth a finer place to live, for our health, and the health of the earth’s land masses, waters, creatures and vegetation, which we, humanity need to survive. This would be a way to support the sustainability for basic human needs on a larger geographical scale with less conflict.
If we begin now increasing awareness of what renewable energy is, how we would use it, integrate it into our lives, and why it’s a more universally appropriate choice for our energy consumption than our existing limited natural energy resources, then I believe that this concept can propagate many more opportunities of community. The concept of renewable energy would enable us to conceive a broader vision of how to find ways to make our earth’s resources more available in shared or relationship building aspects and this would spill over into other aspects of our lives. Further, the hurdles of building these energy technology infrastructures, and planning for long term financing for these projects will become more organized and less challenging.
Additionally, the impact to people’s lives world wide, when they are faced with living through a natural disaster that in turn can cause a man made disaster to our existing energy structures and lives is monumental. Can one agree that Japan is a valid example? Maybe the earthquake and tsunami in Japan would also have taken out a renewable energy structure if they had one, but the Japanese wouldn’t be faced with a death causing situation from nuclear fallout. We can learn from this situation.
I see the concept of renewable energy as an opportunity to make a global commitment in choice to live in ways that regenerate our earth, thus our lives. Let’s face it! We need energy to live! If we can approach this choice in a way that creates more abundance and opportunity for the greater number of peoples, then the opportunity to see ways of facilitating renewal in other areas of our lives becomes available to us simply by the example of choosing renewable energy. This will become more visible to us. Beginning to create strong awareness globally, of what renewable energy is, how it can make our lives, and our earth a healthier place to exist, is also a way to find alternative methods to minimize conflict on a greater scale.
Being too dependent on natural energy resources that are valuable and in limited supply puts populations and geographies at risk for conflict and ensuing degradation of people’s lives and our natural environment. If we add to this situation, the risk of weather related events and natural disasters, the combination of these negative life circumstances causes a harmful spiraling of energies in politics, economics and environmental instability to multiply sharply.
So I ask the question to cyberspace, “Can a global renewable energy campaign and subsequent planning and implementation of renewable energy technologies worldwide, reduce conflict?” What are your thoughts?
Where there is an acutely valuable limited resource, there is always conflict that erupts as a result of the fundamental concept of materiality. In terms of conflict in the context of fulfilling basic human needs, where the earth’s energy resources apply for our daily living, I believe that new ways need to be forged to manage earth’s energy resources at the fundamental material level. How can we promote our natural resources in ways where we as societies have a better chance to continually renew our ecological environments for the benefit of our lives, instead of causing competitive political and economic power plays over the ownership, production and distribution of the limited resources we are currently using? A valuable resource economically and poitically mismanaged for the profit and power of a limited few organizations harms the entire circle of life from the macro level of global and state, into the pro-democracy social movements manifesting connections for the healthy fabric of societies, and down into households and individuals. Advertising, planning and implementing renewable energy resources as an addition to or long term replacement of oil, natural gas and nuclear energy resources is cause for valid economic and environmental consideration from a conflict management perspective. This is a wider spectrum green choice for our lives that helps the majority and is a major common interest to living participants. Awareness for a global sustainable development plan for such an initiative should be aggressively considered.
Limited, valuable resources are a serious causative agent for birthing conflict and perpetuating it. Sierra Leone is one such example. If we consider societal conflict and analyze it in terms of each society’s dynamics of culture, politics, economy and environment, we can better understand the fundamental root of situation that commences the breeding of conflict among peoples and nations. In Sierra Leone, the causative agent of uncut diamonds, or “blood diamonds,” propelled a greedy fight for who gets to control a resource and profit from it. A native people lost their identity and basic human need of security and became refugees in their homeland. Their villages were raided and innocent villagers murdered by rebels and revolutionary forces who killed with automatic weapons and stingers to procure rough cut diamonds to fund arms purchases. Children were stolen and maimed by these forces and recruited to kill with these weapons for the sake of those who wanted to protect the exploitation of a natural resource. In the wake of natural disasters and weather related events, a situation such as this would become even more ghastly and critical to the consideration of managing conflict and sustaining life and basic human needs.
Although currently, the Middle East is not a similar conflict to Sierra Leone, it does warrant some common comparisons. I would consider the Middle East a highly volatile geography due to the fact that it is already a region in conflict, and that its geography holds concentrated locations of oil and oil production and distribution facilities. The Middle East is also susceptible to the possibility of an earthquake event, as a fault line runs through or along East Jerusalem. A natural disaster event in this region would cause even greater conflict that in turn could spread to other parts of the globe simply because the energy products we are importing from this region would stop or be greatly minimized. A situation such as this warrants discussion because of what could potentially occur to geographies across the globe due to energy shortages. If we continue to use energy resources that are in limited supply and which can cause environmental destruction to the earth, the health of our lives on earth will increasingly degrade and be more costly in the wake of conflict and/or a combination conflict/natural disaster event.
A global awareness campaign for renewable energy may be a great economic opportunity to vastly promote energy diversification. This would be a common interest for nations and could gel building better global relationships. If countries had alternative energies that were renewable, that didn’t have to be extracted from the earth and transported, such initiatives could serve as a long term cost reduction for economic growth and energy consumption. It may also potentially help cultural relationships within countries and across to neighboring borders. Renewable energy can possibly be organized as public power generating systems (we already do it here in the form of “municipalities”) to serve a greater number and ownership can be public in form. This may be a way to alleviate the risk of predation for lootable exportable primary commodities such as oil, petroleum products and natural gas, that have to be extracted from the earth and transported. In essence, this could be a way for governments to make rebel predation as it relates to the desire for profits to fund arms purchases from limited resources, much less lucrative. If oil and natural gas use is replaced by renewable energy, then the value of it should decrease and could be a deterance for looting of natural resources. This may also reduce conflict in these situations. An environmental situation such as this may be a way to gel peace talks for economic initiatives that would encompass the environmental cleaning up of multiple nation geographies harmed by oil and nuclear waste products, where more than one state or country could benefit. This appears to me as another common interest to reduce conflict and forge ahead in the concept of regenerating technologies in community effort.
Many areas in the world are either considering, implementing or using renewable energy technologies and energy efficient products. However, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development program, awareness for these energy technologies is not strong because the planning and cost to implement them is monumental. But, we need to start somewhere and I think the impending doom of natural disasters is our wake up call to find renewable, regenerating, energy alternatives and concepts to co-exist.
These considerations can offer an alternative path to forge positive relationships such as satisfaction, cooperation and interdependence between parties based on the concept that something that can be used by all, that is renewable, regenerates life. From macro to micro, this has the potential to occur. This concept that we derive from renewable energy can spread into the very fabric of our living and would help to create opportunity in us to see different ways of looking at conflict situations to heal them. By using these products, globally we are committing as humans to discover ways to sustain healthy living on earth for humanity. The earth benefits too because we will be polluting it less. This means that moving into the future, our common interest is that we begin to help ourselves and our earth on a greater scale.
God Bless to all on this Good Friday!
©2011 Cindy Eksuzian, all rights reserved.
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