A cleaning environment is one where the pollution of the past is remediated and cleaned with time to remove existing historic risk to the environment and public health. A cleaning environment entails a return of the natural endemic local ecology, and is an ideal to strive for.
We need to create a cleaning environment if our marvels of science and technology are going to be matched, and not outweighed, by many current tragedies, including human starvation in some parts of the world and extinction of other life forms. Global warming is taking place and is an increase in the Earth's average temperature. This, in turn, causes climate changes. Global warming also could cause droughts and disruption agriculture.
A cleaning environment means not despoiling the remaining parts of the world which are still undeveloped. Globally, indigenous people inhabit areas with some of the highest remaining biodiversity on the planet and are actively being engaged as partners in biodiversity conservation. Issues of sustainable development, resource management and ecological restoration all include native stakeholders.
Global harmony is possible, yet confrontations take place more often than meaningful dialogue for peace. Our science and technology has done much good, but if we are not careful its unimagined polluting effects will be matched, if not outweighed, by the many, including depletion of resources which is destroying the possibility for people to bring up children in a clean environment .
In some parts of the world extinction of other life-forms is growing apace. It is ironic that exploration of outer space will now only take place at the same time the earth's own oceans, seas, and freshwater areas while they grow increasingly polluted and their life-forms are still terribly unknown and where known are probably misunderstood.
However, it is not impossible to return to a green and clean environment. Obama will soon take over the Presidency and clearly intends to take very positive action. The world became weary that would ever Bush rein in the polluters and close the so-called grandfather loophole as the air in Texas becomes ever smoggier. Never forget though that Bush may have had his arms twisted, but he did concede that humans are causing climate change. It may have taken many sleepless nights in Bali, but his representatives did agree to draw up a post-Kyoto treaty by 2009.
In the US the general public are beginning to take on-board their profligate use of energy. Just look at recent statistics in the US for big car sales. SUV sales are down by 50%, car sales are down 50%, but small, fuel efficient cars, hybrid cars, diesel cars are up 40%.
So here we can start to shift our thinking. The US may soon start to take her place among the nations seeking a clean, or if not clean, then cleaning environment
Greenhouse emissions do not poison people, or lakes or woods, in the direct or obvious way that noxious chemicals do. But at least in the medium term, they clearly alter the earth in ways that harm the welfare of all and the poor more than the affluent.
One relatively clean energy technology cited as a possible stop-gap while renewable energy sources can be fully developed is nuclear power. It is the rich industrialized countries like France, Sweden, Japan (and many others) who are the largest users of nuclear energy. Although new nuclear technologies reduce the problem of nuclear waste-management, and make it much more manageable, many in the west prefer to force oil-based energy use in oil-poor countries like India.
A method of cleaning technology is carbon sequestering of CO2. Carbon sequestering is obtained by chemically binding the CO2 in a material that will not dissolve in water or release CO2 with time. This eliminates the need to sequester pure CO2. IF the power generators sequester their CO2 they will not need to buy carbon credits. Carbon credits have been called the modern day Papal indulgences for rich people. We do not accept hypocrisy from our preachers, they say, so I do not give eco-preachers an easy ride on this hypocrisy. Carbon credit administration is so bureaucratic and expensive that it is hard to justify perpetuating, on that basis alone, but in reality it will not bring us the cleaning environment we need and seek.
We talked about Nuclear energy as a part of cleaning the environment. Is it really so bad? It brings economic benefits from new jobs created to run new plants. It is like adding $ 500 million a year to the economy for each new plant bought on line. Nuclear current accounts for about 20% of electricity generation in the UK. When all nuclear plants except Sizewell B in Suffolk are closed by 2020, the nuclear contribution will fall to some 4%. Many say that to burn coal would mean replacing this capacity would be a backward move and far from moving to a cleaning environment be the opposite.
Science does not reveal the best course of human actions. It gives us information that is factored into decision making. Now the decision making needs to be that of guiding the scientists away from any technologies that are not sustainable and do not promote a clean environment.