Man’s Last Stand
Sustainability constructs and sustains the settings under which humans and nature can exist in fruitful harmony, that permit satisfying the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations (EPA, 2006). Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. Sustainability has developed as a result of substantial concerns about the unplanned social, environmental, and economic penalties of rapid population growth, economic growth and consumption of our natural resources (EPA, 2006).
The material requirements of modern industrial economies are colossal, as are the environmental impacts of such consumption. In industrialized societies, an average person consumes many tons of raw materials each year, which must be extracted, processed, and ultimately disposed of as wastes (MacKay, 2008). There are many energy sources today that are extremely limited in supply. Some of these sources include oil, natural gas, and coal. Very soon they will be depleted. Climate change concerns, coupled with high oil prices, peak oil, and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. New government spending, regulation and policies helped the industry weather the global financial crisis better than many other sectors (Encarta Corporation, 2011). According to a 2011 projection by the International Energy Agency, solar power generators may produce most of the world’s electricity within 50 years, dramatically reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases that harm the environment. Estimates are that they can only meet our energy demands for another fifty to seventy years. So in an effort to find alternative forms of energy, the world has turned to renewable energy sources as the solution (MacKay, 2008).
There are many advantages and disadvantages to this plan (Yergin,...