The future of ecology, dream beyond imagination

By Sergio González | 12:39

Green building has already started to reshape our cities

The time for action has come, it cannot be delayed any longer. We’ve already reached the environmental crossroad and two different paths lie ahead.

One is lost before starting; we accept the world is already in the way of destruction and we’d better be hiding underground. The other one, sees the green challenge as an opportunity to develop a better world, not only respectful and clean but also focused and designed for humans not cars or machines.

Human population hasn’t stopped increasing since the Black Death in the Middle Ages and it’s expected to go on rising -we will be around 10,000 million by 2050- according to UN estimates. However, other institutions, see a less optimistic projection in the long run with the death toll growing due to atmosphere and resources collapse.

Nobody can really tell what our future holds, but we all can affect it, we can make a difference and let it be as bright as we and our children deserve.

Little actions –such as pedestrianization of USA major cities– or the increase of solar cells sales for private households are pointing out that we are on the right track.

In the current economic and environmental frame, green building might be the answer. 

Currently, a great deal of oil consumption is devoted to buildings -from 35% to 50%, varying from countries and studies- because they are highly inefficient. Building green, and obviously adjusting existing buildings to green criteria, could cut oil bill by half providing employment in a profitable endeavor.

To really make up our minds, let’s take Spain as an example. €50,000 million enter each year as tourism profits -the second largest income in the world- but they go straight away to pay oil bills, keeping domestic unemployment rate at 25%  and polluting our environment as if it could take anything we throw.

Green buildings pay attention to every little detail. Starting by the use of recycled materials and adding green control in every step of construction -solar cells covering roofs, intelligent pipe systems recovering rain water to heat or cool the building, chemical free paint and a large etcetera- can not only reduce resources consumption but also be a source of clean energy.

Keeping oil reserves exhaustion in mind, vehicles producers have been increasingly placing hydrogen fuelled and hybrid cars in the market, but it’s not as eco-friendly as it looks like. It’s true these cars or buses don’t emit as much CO2 as conventional ones, but nowadays 95% of hydrogen is extracted from oil and natural gas and barely 10% of electricity is produced from clean energy.

However, huge baby leaps are being undertaken to produce truly clean hydrogen by countries such as Brazil, using biomass, or Iceland, employing geothermal energy. If we look even further, anti-gravity propulsion, based on antimatter inverse behavior, will bring us zero-emission transportation and also the chance to explore the Universe; according to CERN, it could be here earlier than expected.

Hydroponics are the future of eco-friendly food

Another major issue we’ll have to deal with is feeding the world. Expanding fields to produce even more food reduces the forest area in the world, so it’s -as Brits say- penny wise and pound foolish because deforestation only bring erosion, more chemicals into Nature, less and less rain and a eventual ecosystem collapse. Besides, climate change is ruining many traditional agricultural areas.

However, if something defines mankind is our outstanding ability to adapt and thrive.

At the beginning of 20th century, some hydroponic experiments were successfully conducted, booming after WWII in countries such as Japan or Israel where soil is scarce.

Hydroponics is the cultivation of vegetables in a highly mineralized water solution, without any soil or chemicals at all. Greens sizes are usually bigger and environmental advantages are countless.

Imagine it’s 2035, you’re about to end up your working day. As you’re clearing your table, a work mate approaches you asking to go with him to get some vegetables for dinner; you accept. It’s just a 10 seconds journey on a lifter up to 103rd floor.

Why burn tons of fossil fuels delivering fresh food when you can just pick it up from a hydroponic greenhouse or a communal yard in your neighborhood? Taking into account this won’t be enough, get ready to add insects and algae to your daily menu.

We still need to understand one simple thing. We still believe that going green means more expenses but it’s exactly the other way round. Becoming green means becoming efficient, cutting down unnecessary expenses and increasing the performance of limited resources. Slowly, but we’re making it.

Thousands of private organizations and whole nations are already engaged in the green change; consider it as your most plausible career path.

European Union plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 2020 to an 80% of 1990 levels, relying on renewable energies, is projected to need millions of specialized workers. In France, for example, the implementation of the plan is expected to lose 250,000 jobs in conventional energy and pollutant industry sectors but to create around one million new job positions.

Our eyes are open and we’re not going back.

Photo Credit: RachelH_

Photo Credit: Living Towers

 

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