We are developing so fast that death and destruction of humankind is also approaching us fast!
Humans have an ingenious capacity to sit on the branch of a tree and chop the branch off.
Our policy makers and politicians are still unable to walk the talk. Our people are still to understand the costs of development. Never mind, suicidal attitudes require more courage and we are becoming more brave!
One report that shattered the expectations of large number of people interested in ‘sustainable development’ – the often misused word in today’s world – was that of the International Energy Agency (IEA) that focused on global energy and carbon di-oxide status report, 2017.
The key message is that world economy is recovering from recession and the carbon emissions are increasing!
According to the IEA report, global energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017, compared with 0.9% the previous year and 0.9% on average over the previous five years.
More than 40% of the growth in 2017 was driven by China and India. Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, reaching a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt), a resumption of growth after three years of global emissions remaining flat.
Improvements in global energy efficiency slowed down dramatically in 2017, because of weaker improvement in efficiency policy coverage and stringency as well as lower energy prices. Global energy intensity improved by only 1.7% in 2017, compared with an average of 2.3% over the last three years.
The growth in global energy demand was concentrated in Asia, with China and India together representing more than 40% of the increase.
The increase in carbon emissions, equivalent to the emissions of 170 million additional cars, was the result of robust global economic growth of 3.7%, lower fossil-fuel prices and weaker energy efficiency efforts. These three factors contributed to pushing up global energy demand by 2.1% in 2017.
(Source IEA, 2017)
This means, our ability to combat climate change is severely compromised.
Thanks to our quest for development, a mantra of the big and small, our policies for better environment are letting us all down.
I never realised that Joseph Schumpeter’s creative destruction can be understood this way by our people. We are really creative in destroying our Planet. Again, never mind, our next generations will clean up the mess we are creating – should they survive the onslaught of development.
If economic development and raising GDP numbers will play havoc on our inability to deal with inter-generational inequity, I can only echo Tom McMilan when he said, “For 200 years we have been conquering Nature, now we are beating it to death”!