In light of the recent Australian federal election, many of the Australian youth are left thinking to themselves: is it even worth it when the privileged refuse to listen to the current global climate emergency? Leaving many with a strong sense of uncertainty towards their own future. Perhaps a wake up call to take things into our own hands? Away from a cloud of vested interest and unprecedented bias? With the topic of environmental sustainability quickly becoming a political issue.
The Earth is dying at last, after being over exploited and mined to the brink, and what are we going to do about it?
The issues and factors affecting climate change all point their finger at the dirty fossil fuel industry with the only real answers coming from sustainable energy sources. The relevance of coal in our new society is harshly debated and has been supported by ill-fitting facts and bias, but let’s look at the facts…
Even in our enlightened age, people are being dangerously misled by corporations and politicians who are just figureheads of a coal profiting society. Coal stations plague us with dangerous emissions that impact our day to day lives. Coal power provides 73% of Australia’s energy generation and there is no doubt that it has some major financial supporters that won’t back down without a fight and this has been shown time and time again. However renewable energies made up a 17.3% in 2016, which is almost 3% more than the previous year and that number is growing dramatically each year, as reported by the Australia Clean Energy Council. The world has seen the vast destruction that these coal mines hand out to us locally and globally, without any second thought. How? Leaving the land to waste, expecting us to clean up after them. Producing harmful gases and expecting us to breathe from them. While they create a world overwhelmed by an ignorance to the importance of a healthy environment. By the words of environmental activist and singer-songwriter Richard Williams, it is clear that “to betray nature is to betray us.”
The coal industry, an epidemic of controversy and the global powerhouse of capitalism is powered by the only currency they deal in: greed. The fictitious reality created by these multinational corporations depicts our futures going hand in hand with Coal. However, these are rash attempts to brainwash our ability to innovate and progress into the clean new world. Nowadays, the mighty innovations in renewables resources should see the phase-out of the dirty coal industry and a boom in in the right direction.
The climate is changing, so why aren’t we?
Well, with global movement away from old-school and outdated fossil fuel industries and towards prosperous new and emerging energy sources, you would think it would not be that hard for change. We all yearn for simple, affordable ways of providing a high quality of life for our children. We all know it’s not as simple as it sounds but at this stage sustainable developments do seem like our only viable option. Unless we are happy to live in a planet with no fish stocks, arable land decreasing every day, increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and mass extinctions, all becoming a norm. But who cares? Who wants to live by the coast, or eat natural food anyway? The fact is that we are seeing most if not all of the effects of climate change happening in our own generation. You might think sustainability is not the cape-wearing hero we all dream of but that doesn’t mean it can’t still hold the answer to some of our hopes and prayers. 97% of scientists agree that climate change is a threat and is happening now. Designing and innovating clean technologies seems to be something we all should be getting our hands on, before they are swept under the carpet by some government faction or a fossil fuel corporation covering their ass.
In April 2015, leading renewables company Tesla Australia, figure headed by well-known entrepreneur and renewables advocate Elon Musk, released the ‘powerwall’, a device that could power an entire home from a single battery. This lays a new baseline for the endless possibilities that sustainable innovations can offer. This allows weather dependent renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro to have their power stored and easily reused. The long-standing problem with solar power is that it is dark consistently half of every day, and also the period with the largest energy demand. This new invention supplies stored power to be used on demand during night time and then can be recharged during the daytime all the while still powering your house. This cutting-edge tech puts outdated, chunky, and inefficient batteries to shame, and reduces our need for dirty power generation. Could this be our holy grail for renewables?
Competition and our future
Sustainable development holds many great features that we as a nation must embrace, if not for us then for our children. The possibilities of sustainable innovations range from Tesla’s ‘Powerwall’, to even just the common solar panel. Our goal must be to come together to tackle the threat of the fossil fuel industry that promises luxury and comfort by stealing from our future. Yet competition for the energy market remains a primary issue. Origin’s 2015 Energy report states that the world relies heavily on coal power purely because of its cheap price and existing infrastructure. Therefore, renewable energy sources are competing on a purely financial playing field. We must encourage our own governments and corporations to invest in this worthwhile and valuable resource we call sustainability, creating a clean world that we can be proud of. The days of blindly accepting dirty, unwanted coal power are over.
We must now not let corporations control our lives and merge Australia’s alliance to them, removing our chances of a flourishing future for ourselves and our children. Let’s progress forwards not backwards, acknowledging coal as a building block of our past. Let's farewell our old friend and join the sustainable revolution. After all the worst that could happen is that we unite to great a safe clean world.