Climate change has become a great concern for the whole of humanity, for a good reason. In the past years, we’ve witnessed many natural catastrophes that have become ingrained in our collective psyche. Forest fires, tornadoes, and violent storms are only the beginning because according to certain research papers, climate change future’s consequences are yet to be seen and felt in the future.
Luckily, there are many initiatives and innovations that shine a bit of light on grim prospects, which gives everyone hope that the future is, actually, bright. In this article, we’ll present you with five global trends that are slowly shaping our climate future in the upcoming period.
1. Renewable electricity will exceed coal use
Coal is definitely the dirtiest of all fuels, but its usage is slowly starting to slow. The reason for that lies in the fact that many countries, like India, have decided to use renewable energy as their source of power. Solar panels and battery storage have been shown to be more cost-effective when it comes to energy production. There are numerous benefits regarding solar power energy, the main one being its positive impact on the environment.
However, it’s essential to point out that coal is not going anywhere soon, since there are multiple coal pants being made in Asia. The good news is, that current policies are favored toward renewable energy, so if nothing changes, we’re expected to witness wind, solar power, and hydropower surpassing coal by 2030.
2. The whole world is looking at Africa
Africa has been known as the least developed continent, but that’s about to change soon. Africa is going to experience a very fast urbanization process, even faster than what China went through in the past 30 years. If Africa opts for the same path as China, we can expect more pollution in the future, which is something we, as humanity, should avoid. But, as progress also requires certain sacrifices, finding the fine balance in between will play a major role in Africa’s development.
Nevertheless, if Africa opts for fossil fuels as their main power source, that means that greenhouse emissions will also rise. But, there’s a silver lining there: Africa also possesses huge potential for solar energy production, even though it has less than 1% of solar panels. This is a big opportunity, so it’s crucial should remain hopeful and optimistic, while also being cautious.
3. Harvesting energy will become more efficient
Due to many technological advancements, the whole world started relying on energy more than ever. Since traditional forms of fossil fuel energy are harmful to the environment, focusing on renewable energy has become a top priority. Over the past years, many discoveries have come to be, and their unique benefit revolves around harvesting energy in an efficient and safe manner.
Some technologies, such as robust triboelectric nanogenerators are specifically designed to harvest energy even in harsh weather conditions. This is possible thanks to a new device that combines various technologies that can work smoothly in low temperatures. The generator uses a slippery surface which can enhance the efficiency of energy harvesting. This will surely speed up the harvesting of energy and make it more accessible to the masses.
4. Plant-based eating will become more common
Many people are becoming aware of the negative consequences that meat eating has on the climate. Even though veganism might not be the right solution for everyone, it’s safe to say that reducing the consumption of animal products can help the environment in the long run. Therefore, cutting down on meat and animal products is a great place to start a personal journey toward achieving a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Some reports claim that there are multiple negative side effects to meat production, the most common ones being greenhouse and the use of water and crops. The conclusion states that in order to reduce the harmful consequences, it’s essential to drop the consumption of sugar and meat by 50 percent. This is not impossible to achieve on an individual level, but it requires a lot of education and adaptation, especially among families with small children who heavily rely on meat as their main food ingredient.
5. Electric cars are expected to be surpassed by SUVs
Electric cars have become popular, and some believe that it’s due to Elon Musk and Tesla. On the other hand, there are those who claim that electric cars have been around forever. Some countries, such as Norway and China, have already adopted tax policies that allow consumers to purchase electric vehicles more easily.
But, unfortunately, there is a downside to all of this, because, despite the rising popularity of electric cars, there’s also been a steady rise in purchasing SUV vehicles. And since such large vehicles also use more gasoline than regular cars, it’s important to implement knowledge and find a way to create battery-powered SUVs that will be less polluting and detrimental to the environment. Promoting electric vehicles and their benefits is the right place to start, but only if there are other technological advancements in store, mainly those that will positively impact people’s existing consumption practices.
Climate change is here to stay, and even though some sources believe that we’ve surpassed the point of return, there are still resources and technologies that can reshape our energy consumption and, thus, improve the environmental conditions. However, some of these technologies are still in the early stages, meaning it’s important to remain hopeful and vigilant. Also, it would be useful to remember that progress is not a linear activity, so it will take some time for these technologies to take off and become available for mainstream use. Hence, patience and professionalism will definitely play a large role in the future, but people should definitely continue to be optimistic and open to new discoveries.
Finally, we should all remember that tweaking personal behavior, consumption, and shopping habits can be of serious help, especially in those places that already struggle with pollution and other environmental hazards.