The most important of these trends is a multi-decade shift from fossil fuels to carbon-free energy. The shift will accelerate as oil becomes harder to produce and climate change worsens. Once climate change really starts affecting people’s lives – when it cuts world grain production, for instance – people will demand action. The action will come in the form of regulations and taxes that raise the price of carbon fuels.
The shift to carbon-free energy will be akin to what economists call a “general purpose technology” transition. The modern world has seen half a dozen or so transitions in the past 200 years, including those following the introduction of railways, electricity, the internal combustion engine and the computer microchip. Each produced staggering economic upheaval: companies, jobs and whole industries vanished, while new ones exploded onto the scene. These were periods of startling innovation, rapid economic growth and enormous opportunity for entrepreneurial individuals and communities.
The coming energy shift will dwarf all these earlier transitions combined. It won’t arise from just one disruptive technology but from an integrated suite of many, such as advanced batteries, building reskinning, smart grids, cheap super-thin photovoltaic materials, ultra-deep geothermal power, and perhaps thorium nuclear power. It will spur the invention and delivery of a torrent of new technologies, goods and services in every sector of the global economy."
Multiple, concurrent steps need to be taken to prepare our cities, towns, and suburbs for the future. When analyzing the early adopters of sustainability planning, seven overall strategies stand out. These strategies can be expanded from sustainability planning to resilience planning:
1. Planning: Enable the development of vibrant mixed-use communities and higher-density regional centers that create a sense of place, allow for transportation choices (other than private automobiles), and protect regional agricultural, watershed, and wildlife-habitat lands.
2. Mobility: Invest in high-quality pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit infrastructure with easy access, shared connectivity, and rich information sources, from signage to cell-phone alerts.
3. Built Environment: Design new buildings and associated landscaping—and retrofit existing buildings—for state-of-the-art energy efficiency (e.g., smart-grid applications) and resource efficiency, integrated with mobility options.
4. Economy: Support businesses to provide quality local jobs and meet the needs of the new economy with renewable energy and other green technologies and services. Support local and regional economic decision-makers in adapting to the new world of rising prices, volatile energy supplies, and national demographic shifts.
5. Food: Develop regional organic food-production, food-processing, and metro-area food-distribution networks.
6. Resources: Drastically cut the use of water, the production of waste, and the use of materials, reusing them whenever possible.
7. Management: Engage government, businesses, and citizens together in resilience planning and implementation; track and communicate the successes, failures, and opportunities of this community-wide effort."
Help someone out -
- Plant a row for the needy
- Drop off extra produce at the food bank
- Share food...
As our numbers increase, so space for other animals and plants decreases. Our skills and technological ingenuity seem to know no bounds. Having...”