Zero Net Energy Living
University of California Davis – West Village Apartments – California – USA
Photo Credit: UC Davis West Village
Earth Day 2014, held worldwide on April 22, focuses on helping cities to accelerate their transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable future through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology, and regulation reform (Earth Day Network).
As a resident of the City of Los Angeles, I’m heartened to learn that our city continues to make numerous strides in reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. You can learn more at Environment LA.
In the United States, 83 percent of us live in cities; urban dwellers worldwide make up more than fifty percent (The World Bank). Over the years, there has been a steady increase in the urban population, pumping more and more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. UNICEF’s graphic of An Urban World, plotting urban population growth projections to 2050, demonstrates the urgency to re-create sustainable cities.
If you haven’t yet lost your home or livelihood due to rising sea levels, Frankenstorms, devastating floods and mudslides, or years of drought, you probably aren’t concerned about climate change. Like most of us who are not part of the privileged One Percent Power Elite, you’ve probably got challenges of your own that keep you awake at nights. But it’s just a matter of time before rich and poor alike will feel the forces of Mother Nature run amok.
Ever since the human species became addicted to fossil fuels, we steadily began pumping carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, destroying Earth’s forests, and acidifying our oceans. Giant transnational financial corporations, fuelling the economic engine, feed on our perpetual indebtedness.
Giant transnational fossil fuel and petrochemical corporations have grown rich and powerful. Usurping political power, they are intent on extracting the last drop of fossil fuel, wherever it may be found, regardless of the dire consequences for survival of the human species. Their addiction to greed – it must be an addiction to drive them to self-destruction – has not only destabilized our climate and weather, but also created mass inequality and human suffering. Protests and civil unrest worldwide are manifestations of growing discontent and instability.
The latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that we’re not doing enough to reduce our carbon emissions. Our failure to act more decisively has already led to breakdown of food systems linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes. While it’s too late to stop the climate changes already set in motion, we still have a chance to mitigate climate change.
We’ve Got the Power to replace fossil fuels with clean energy that’s not only healthier for us and future generations, but also economical for businesses. If you haven’t already done so, get on board and take action. Changing our habits and way of life will not be easy. But change we must.