In search of pleasure and affluence, mankind has exploited nature to an extent that it has been rendered almost incapable of sustaining healthy life for posterity. Invaluable natural resources have been polluted and it is irresponsible and morally wrong to commit a polluted planet to future generations. We should act with a sense of responsibility towards nature, fellow human beings and the future generations. It is important to find an appropriate environmental ethic to prevent further aggravation of the present problem. Therefore, there is a need to develop eco-wisdom and to grow eco-friendly attitudes.
Change is the perennial principle of nature. Everything with a form is dynamic and kinetic and in a constant process of change. The world is passing through alternating cycles of evolution and dissolution. The resources of nature are not unlimited. Unfortunately man's greed knows neither limit nor satiation. For instance, the vast non-replenishable resources of fossil fuels which took millions of years to form have been consumed within centuries to the point of near exhaustion. This consumerism has given rise to the problem of energy crisis on one hand and pollution on the other. Man's greed affects the environment. It is high time that mankind changed its outlook towards nature so as to utilise natural resources optimally and live harmoniously with nature.
Mr. B M Bansal,
Chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
Talking realistically, today the problem is of uneven distribution of resources. Those who have enough, seem to have an indifferent attitude and do not care about wastage. Imagine this, a person sleeps in one room in his house, but keeps the whole house cool in anticipation that he may have to get up and walk upto the other room. What a criminal waste of electricity! Consider a situation when we drive a car and it is cooled. It may be worthwhile to stop the air-conditioner than slowing it down, as it may save more energy. Take another instance of man's behavioural idiosyncrasies. When we shake the branch of an apple tree, all the fruits--ripe as well as unripe--fall. We collect only what we need, leaving the rest to rot. Such a wasteful attitude is not only anti-social but criminal. As responsible citizens, it is time we took a long, hard look at our attitude towards natural resources given as gifts to us, to use in a responsible and sustainable manner and leave behind enough for generations to come. Our attitude towards energy efficiency needs a re-look as human beings on this planet unite to take on the scourge of climate change.
A blend of better technology coupled with an individual's attitude to conserve at the end point of energy use can deliver wonders. The International Energy Agency has estimated that focus on energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world's energy needs by one third in the year 2050, and help control emissions of greenhouse gases. The focus should shift to demand management rather than energy production/generation.
We believe that energy efficiency and green energy are the twin pillars of a sustainable energy policy. Without additional measures and taking into account economic growth, it is certain the absolute energy demand will increase further. However, the silver lining is that increasing energy efficiency to higher levels could reduce overall energy. Given the imperative to reduce greenhouse gases considerably, our society needs both supply-side and demand-side solutions. Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources are complementary. In the business-as-usual case, alongwith improvement in energy efficiency, zerocarbon energy sources like wind, biomass, marine or solar energy will have to be brought in and commercialised to sustain growth.