Considering Human Sustainability

The topic of human sustainability is a vast one. There are many different factors that contribute to our ability to sustain ourselves and there are varying degrees of sustainability from one household or individual to the next. What is regarded as a basic measure of sustainability for one household or individual can be deemed a luxury for another ….

What IS important for all of us, in an era where global warming and its effects on the planet have come home to roost, is that the supply of ENERGY and WATER - two of the most fundamental aspects that ensure the sustainability of humans on earth - is under threat.

How do we know this?

We KNOW that global warming and global dimming are both having a fundamental impact on our weather patterns and therefore the distribution of rainfall across the globe … taking the form of large-scale droughts and floods. These changing weather patterns are affecting and will continue to affect the supply of water to our rivers and dams. This is not specific to South Africa – it is a global problem – but we are living in a semi-arid country that has historically experienced problems with a reliable supply of water.

We KNOW that growing consumerism and technological advancement have increased our need for more energy which, in turn, has put pressure on Eskom’s ability to cope with supplying these energy demands adequately. The current measures - primarily the burning of fossil fuels - used to meet these demands, in addition to the fact that they significantly contribute to global warming, are unfortunately no longer sustainable options. There is no judgment here. This is simply the reality of DEMAND AND SUPPLY and WHAT WE CAN DO in order to ease the impact these demands have on our levels of sustainability and, of course, on our environment and our planet.

What we may not KNOW is that the implications of our ever-increasing energy demands, the use of non-renewable resources to meet these demands and the latter’s significant contribution in exacerbating global warming is AFFECTING US AND OUR CHILDREN RIGHT NOW and consequently our ability to sustain ourselves on this planet.

It is therefore important that we EMBRACE this situation and start to consider RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE measures that will guarantee our immediate sustainability and long term survival by considering alternative sources of energy and water. In doing so, we will lessen our global collective footprint which in itself will have a positive effect on our environment thereby ensuring a future legacy for generations to come.

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