Sunday, January 17, 2010

Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain...Wednesday, October 8. 2008

During the past month, individuals and businesses here in North America and around the globe have been deeply concerned about the state of the economy. Big banks have been faltering, the stock markets have been falling and people in the United States, especially, have being losing their homes and their jobs. There is much debate over bailout packages for banks and the rich institutions and debate over which political party will be best equipped to deal with pending economic downturn.

The one thing that has happened over the past month is that the price of oil has fallen to below $100 a barrel again. The price of gas, which dominated the news earlier this year, has taken a backseat to other issues. I hope we don't lose focus of the need to develop alternative sources of energy. We have a serious problem in relation to climate change and global warming issues. These environmental issues can't be ignored.

We in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world are in for a change in our way of doing things. I personally believe that we are headed for a severe recession on this side of the globe. As the credit crunch and the economy gets worse, we as a society will be more open to different ways of doing things. In some cases we will have no choice but to change our ways. Green energy and alternative energy is one thing that I believe that will make positive headway in the next decade.

I recently was reading an article about the future upcoming employment boom in jobs relating to "green energy". "Green jobs" or jobs relating to alternative renewable energy sources will probably be a desired field to be involved in. Consumers, businesses and organizations will seek green energy souces in order to save money, and help reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity generation and increase our energy independence. Employment relating to solar power, whether it is research or the manufacture of solar energy sources such as solar panels should increase in the coming years. Wind power and tidal power companies are other sectors that should enjoy some growth in the future. We will become more conscious towards energy conservation issues, as individuals as well as businesses try to survive these challenging times. Alternative energy sources will probably be used more.

Also our transportation sector will see changes. We should see a shift to more hybrid vehicles and even electric vehicles. Vehicles that run on methanol and ethanol might be used more. Even solar energy will be explored as a way to power a car. Giving an economic downturn more people will use mass transportation such as buses and trains.
Bikes and scooters will be used to drive short distances and more people will walk. Another thing that may happen is that people will get in the habit of "reduce reuse and recycle" more often. There will surely be less waste in a bad economy as more people keep and repair what they have instead of throwing it out.

It is somewhat discouraging that in our society many people want to switch to alternative clean energy sources for cost and economic reasons before "saving the planet" reasons. But the economic downturn might be the real catalyst in deployment of solar power, wind power and tidal power on a wider scale. The use of bio fuels and geothermal energy will also be used more as we are forced into using alternative energy sources.

I think we are in for some huge changes in North America. You have probably heard the expression; "no pain- no gain". I think that applies to what happens on the other side of the economic pruning we are starting to see. I believe we will see a renaissance of a new era of clean green energy sources in the future. We need solutions and less pollution.
There is no doubt that most of us will experience pain and anxiety in the coming years with a severe recession and shift in how we live in many aspects of our lives. But in the long term we will all benefit in and a perhaps a fairer, less corrupt economic system and be left with a society with greener energy sources. Renewable energy is cheaper and the long term and makes more sense environmentally. We must learn from the challenges that we are facing now and move forward with a healthier environment and society tomorrow.

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