Renew our Energy Vows

Once again, dear reader, we have the good, the bad and the ugly. As expected. But with a greater degree of hope now, as President Obama vows to do so much more for the climate and the country in his final four year term. Remarkably, the US has been making great strides, without skeptics and Republicans noticing, with advances in energy efficiency and the switch to cleaner fuels. Hope for the world too, as we hear on good authority that renewable energy can be as productive and as economically viable as any of the old and dirty fuels we have been producing to date. There’s a global map coming up to let us see for ourselves the renewable energy opportunities. The Middle East – location for the last climate change conference in Doha which didn’t exactly give a lot of hope – is where things are happening now. The World Future Energy Summit and Masdar are getting global attention, and it’s where the newish International Renewable Energy Agency – IRENA – is starting to show its true, and clean, colours. Of course we still have some dirty places. The air needs to be a lot cleaner, in China and elsewhere, and black carbon or soot is a problem. But even that has a brighter future. It’s easier to clean up than CO2. So let’s do it. There’s a Hackathon happening to get the young at heart to look for solutions and a call for designers to devote their skills to produce less consumables and more good cool design for the planet. Less is more! – Ken Hickson

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