Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – October 2013
by Mark Bortman
I was thinking about my grandfather the other day. When he was alive, we used to talk about what life was like when he was a kid. Electricity had not come to his neighborhood yet. Light came from gas jets, heat came from coal that was shoveled into the basement, and refrigeration came from the iceman or the box out the window in the winter.
It is hard to believe, but that was only 100 years ago. Wow! How much and how fast the world has changed since then!
I wonder what life will be like when my future grandchildren are grown (my own children are only teenagers now, so hopefully that will be well down the road). Will cancer be cured? Will energy be cheap and abundant? Will the air and water be clean?
Just like generations before us, our actions directly affect the lives of future generations. This is where the concept of “sustainability” comes into play. The definition of sustainable is meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
How can we, in good conscience, risk the health and well-being of our grandchildren in order to satisfy our energy hungry ways when it is easy to reduce our energy consumption and help our environment?
There are many changes that can allow us to be more efficient with our energy usage and greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels. These are changes that, once in place, you won’t even notice. With many small changes, we can improve the ability of future generations to meet their needs. All it takes is the will.
Will I be telling my grandchildren stories about how we used to have plenty of clean water before it was all contaminated by fracking fluid? Or about how Pennsylvania used to have beautiful mountains before all the tops were removed to mine coal?
If we can reduce our overall energy use and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, the world for future generations will be a much better place.