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.
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.