Louis Armstrong summed up in his song “A Wonderful World” my vision of the future. “I see trees of green/red roses too/ I see them bloom / For me and you”. My memory of the lyrics may be off, but that sounds like a good world. Louis (and I) see a colorful world with greenery and beauty and people. Sure, I love the worlds of Star Wars and Star Trek with these fancy high etch cities, but most of them leave out one important thing: the green. Coruscant, the head planet of the galaxy in the Star Wars franchise, is a metal metropolis that killed off all of its greenery centuries ago. Is that a worthy sacrifice? Technological advancement favored over the natural beauty of the world? When I grow older, if I have children, I want them to be able to see the world as my grandparents saw it. I want it to be better than I see it, because I am scared of what I see. I see the Amazon rainforest, home to possibly the largest number of different species in the world, being chipped away at by 14 acres a day. I see rivers and streams catching on fire in big cities because of all the toxins and pollutants. I see images of sludge that floats around in the ocean, slick patches bigger than Australia. I want my children to live in a better world, but one that values the environment as an equal to technological advancement.
We are losing this world, and it is the only one we have. We are fighting a menace that is near unstoppable: ourselves. We need to change from outdated and antiquated theories of energy consumption and look toward new technologies that could provide near the power output of fossil fuels. Venice, Italy has been running on tidal generators for four decades now, and are constantly powered. Cities in Russia are running on pebble bed reactors, small nuclear facilities the size of a house that can power NYC for 50 years. We have the technology to switch and release our dependence on fossil fuels. Even now, fusion reactors, mimicking the processes of the sun, are being created in New jersey, France, and Germany. We need to invest our time into these new sources, or risk falling behind the rest of the world’s advancements in the right direction.
The potential dangers of this change are evident to many. Firstly, one danger is that it won’t work. Something as yet undiscovered is causing this climate change, and is affecting people the world over, and the change from fossil fuels to renewable energy won’t combat the right problem. Another worry is that is already too late to save the planet. This is ludicrous, as we know that even the slightest changes can have large effects in our climate. A biggest change would have a profound effect, if not immediately, then in the near future.
I am not the best at making resolutions. I take long showers. I drive to school. But I do my part. I carpool with others. I pick up trash when I see it. I think that my usefulness to the cause of the Solutionary will be the spread of the word. The idea needs to be disseminated to the population before it can truly be picked up by all. I have a loud voice (stating known facts: check), and I believe that I can be of most use in this area. I am the catalyst that drives the change. I am behind the scenes, and yet, I am center stage. For it is the people who need to drive this change, not the government, or a company. It needs to be a social, rather than a political or economic movement.
I feel…well, I feel small. The beginning stages of anything are almost always the hardest, and with this project having the potential for such drastic consequences, I believe that it will be very easy for some to take the hopeless track. However, I feel confident that if the message gets out there to even a few people who truly listen, then they will take up the call. It will take a lot of work, but we aren’t starting from the bottom. We are not at sea level attempting to climb Mount Everest. We are undertaking the challenge midway up the mountain. We have heard the call, and msut now take upon ourselves the duty to effect change in the world. This semester ahs taught me to not give up, especially on our world. We just need to give her stable footing, and she will clamber back up to where she was in her glory days.