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  • Writer's pictureMaanasa Mendu

What is sustainability?

Lately, all we hear about is sustainable. Sustainable cities. Sustainable social ventures. Sustainable refrigerators. What actually does sustainable mean (beyond its role as a buzzword augmenting the most promising tech companies and clean tech innovations)?

Immediately after seeing the term sustainable, it’s inadvertently linked to the “greenest” or most environmentally friendly option. In reality, sustainability is much more complex. Sustainability should be defined as a balance between providing energy access to all and preserving our environment. In order to achieve a “sustainable” global future, we must start with the building block - the individual. Through proper education on the role, advantages, and disadvantages of different energy pathways, we can shape the individual who will shape the local, regional, national, and even global energy future.

The major concerns we have with energy are as listed:

1. Depletion of the nonrenewable energy supply

2. Environment impact of emissions and pollution

3. Security issues resulting from the uneven geographic distribution of resources

4. Providing access + energy infrastructure to 1.2 billion people of developing countries**

Relating to goal 4, the key to driving socioeconomic change in developing countries lies in energy access. It’s quite interesting to note that the trends of per capita energy demand demonstrates a strong correlation with the GDP per capita. We must morally ask ourselves why does the US, a country which accounts for 5% of the global population, consume a quarter of the world’s energy supply? What is the balance we must strike between environmental preservation and energy access in this developing countries?

Answering these questions will undoubtedly shape the future of energy.

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Aug 07, 2019

I never knew about this.


Aug 07, 2019


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