Technology is the key

  • 14/12/1997

Technology is the key the most disturbing spectre on the horizon of environmentalists in the West is the one that they feel most guilty about. They survey the output of greenhouse gases of their own economies and note the evident reluctance of everybody to do anything about it even as summers grow warmer, storms more violent, and glaciers and ice caps melt from global warming.

Countries in the South have large populations and vast untapped coal reserves. Thus when these countries emulate the development process of the North, their contribution to global warming will be more. Also these countries may not heed to calls for protecting the ecology as the developed countries themselves do little in this regard.

News on the technology front is encouraging at least in Europe. This is not to report that European governments have suddenly discovered the appropriate political will. They have not. However, it does appear that market-driven changes encouraged by deregulation (the prevailing Western ideology) may, surprisingly lead in the right direction.

Europe could find up to half her electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030 and that improvements in fossil fuel generation are radically reducing carbon dioxide outputs. And if Europe can do that then the rest of the world can do the same or better. Electricity supply accounts for a third of total greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, progress here would be a substantial encouragement. Europe's electricity supply is structured around large, central power stations which deliver electricity to distribution

Related Content