We don’t always do it voluntarily, so these are the times disasters forced us to go green. We had to consider green option because of natural disaster or man-made. The question we want to know is why does it take extreme circumstances for us to look for a new way?
Renewable energy is a great way to power the world we want to live in without totally destroying it for generations to come. These disasters prompted us to change, but sometimes, the writing was already on the wall just nobody wanted to read it.
Well someone was going to take the initiative and it looks as if it will be the Japan, who wanted to be the first country to power its mobile phone network and turn everyone’s mobile phone green by using 100% renewable energy. NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile phone operator with some 90,000 relay stations around the country wants to have all of its mobile phone masts powered by green energy. And it’s all because of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit the east coast of Japan.
It seems they realise the power down incidents caused by the natural disasters such as the quake and the tsunami could pose a threat to their company’s operations. So for sure, their actions are first and foremost an anti-quake measure to avoid the widespread blackouts they faced in 2011.
The benefit is less CO2 emissions and ensuring people throughout Japan can still communicate even when the main power is out. So now, green phone masts running on eco-energy such as solar, wind or biomass, will help put a real dent in the company’s resource use and make headway towards reducing their environmental impact.
Currently, also power their Okayama building with renewable energy which comes from a new solar plant in Tottori Prefecture. This plant is 100% solar and operated by sister company NTT AE. NTT DoCoMo have a plan to reduce emissions to zero by 2030, so this will really help them in that initiative.
So renewable energy can be powerful and reliable. But why did it have to take such a monumental disaster to force companies down the green renewable energy pathway?
Russia vs Ukraine
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 had countries across the world scrambling to stop doing business with them. Apart from trade in Uranium and European (read especially German) oil and gas supplies which we seem to be addicted to.
Thing is, we’ve know since the early 2000s that we were too reliant on Russian fossil fuel and should have been working to use them less. Humans don’t seem to work like that and now we have a situation where we want to sanction Russia and stop businesses working in or with the country. Social media was full of criticism for companies who didn’t stop doing business in Russia, but very little about the fact we’re paying them to help us destroy the environment.
Out of this negative of war may come a positive outcome for the environment in the long-term. More renewable projects, less and less fossil fuel. That means more jobs and opportunities worldwide and a step towards a lot lot more renewable energy in the coming years.
When the town of Greensburg, USA was hit by an EF5 rated tornado in may 2007, the outlook was bleak for this small Kanasas town. Somewhere in the region of 95% of the city was destroyed by the tornado and 11 people died. What happened next will amaze you.
This small town became pioneers of what can be achieved by going green from the ground up. With help from the U.S Department of Energy, Greensburg rebuilt as a model green community, placing sustainability at the cornerstone of the town’s new master plan and the economic development vision of the townspeople.
Reducing energy use, using energy more efficiently and using more renewable energy sources are the ways Greensburg chose to bounce back. The townspeople decided their new town would consume less energy and water and more local food.
The town built more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and allowed residents to build their own generation facilities, bringing more renewables onto the local grid.
Making a commitment to greener choices in all sectors of their community, they:
- Created economic opportunities
- Became a focal point for economic development
- Prioritised new green-collar jobs
- Improved their community’s image
- Attracted businesses and new residents
- Recaptured the values and sense of common identity
Disasters Inspire Change
For us as human beings, it’s only real disasters that make us change. Unless things become extremely dire, we just don’t ant to change anything. The satus quo is perfectly fine, but the status quo is going to destroy the planet. We’ll be fine, but our children will have a harder time of it and their children even harder,then their children…will they even still have a planet to live on?
Let’s make a change today and make a better tomorrow and we’ll surely get our green rewards by creating our own heaven on earth.