This is the first of what I hope will be ‘regular’ guest appearances on my blog, courtesy of Shelly Mirriam.
In the past I received many comments about being ‘anti development’, ‘anti progress’, was trying to ‘deny
Africa her rights’ when reporting about hair brained white elephant projects which would do little else
but cause further debts and hugely impact on the environment of the people living nearby, also of course
on the environment of our wildlife in Eastern Africa. The fallacy of the Serengeti Highway project or the
plans to build a soda ash plant right where in the middle of the sole breeding grounds of East Africa’s
lesser flamingos at Lake Natron are just two such examples.
Enjoy, and as always, do comment …
7 Ways Environmentalists are For Progress
Whenever an environmental topic is up for debate, it is common place for those against it to label those for it as enemies of progress and development, especially by government officials. Nothing could be further from the truth. While environmentalists do not have one sole voice not even Al Gore most want to see technology and progress advanced in a safe and clean manner. To prove it, we have gathered seven ways environmentalists are for progress.
- Green energy From solar to wind power, environmentalists are for just about any kind of progress in this area, since it is both exists as part of the natural world and can be used without sending any toxic fumes into the air.
Renewable energy While fossil fuels have done loads to advance the cause of mankind, it is known to everyone that they cannot last forever. Finding sources of renewable energy cannot only be cheaper in the long run, it can also take the burden off our grandchildren to find them now instead of 100 years from now.
- Cleaner energy Environmentalists are not against the use of fossil fuels. They are just against the pollution that can be caused by them. To that end, if there is a way fossil fuels can be used that does not harm the planet, the wildlife, or the people surrounding the plant, you will find that most environmentalists are for it. Bringing us to:
- Clean coal It was all the talk of the 2008 U.S. presidential race and should continue to be. Environmentalists realize how important the use of coal is in powering homes, and would support a way to use coal that was both conscious in environmental impact and safe in regards to how it is mined.
- Natural gas This kind of gas, often used in the propane industry, is just as useful as fossil fuel oil. It can also burn cleaner and can be found in vast areas domestically. Environmentalists are for natural gas when harvested respectfully and burned in a way that does not damage the environment.
- Nuclear power An issue where many people are divided, including environmentalists, the idea that power can be created through a nuclear reaction can be astronomic. However, like most people, environmentalists are concerned that nuclear plants could lead to catastrophic pollution of entire regions. Until the nuclear option is put forth in a viable and safe manner, it will be hard to get environmentalists to support it.
- Alternative cars Last but not least, no one is pushing more for innovations in automotive technology like environmentalists. It has brought us the hybrid, a car that can go twice as long on one tank of gas as a traditional car. There are also electric, hydro-powered, and other green energy cars in the works to meet the demand of the environmentalist market for them.
And the above seven ways are just a starting point for debate. Going forward, it is up to each individual and the group(s) and/or politician(s) they support to be clear about what they want, what they are willing to compromise on, and how to explain arguments to doubters who believe environmentalists care more about trees than people. Only by conserving what we have now and making progress on what future technologies can offer, can we truly ensure a safe present and viable future.
Shelly Mirriam is a science student and also writes for <a href=http://www.mastersinenvironmentalscience.org/>Masters in Environmental Science</a> which helps students find the right environmental science degree.