Energy, Environment And Climate On The Horizon

We can only try to imagine how healthy and clean the air was which our ancestors enjoyed half a million years ago. The entanglement between energy, the environment and the climate is so distinct that with every use of the various energy sources on offer, we affect the environment also and in ways not so visible to all.

Energy first came into use when we started using tools. We would consume food to develop muscles which in turn allowed us to function better. Pick axes, hammers all from the derivation of flint chisels.

Then came fire and what started us on a journey of exciting change. As populations grew the use of fire began having a wider effect on the environment. The burning of wood taken from forests, the ability to heat food, to build furnaces and in turn heat homes.

The discovery of the power of water soon enabled us to turn wheels, for manufacturing, for gold mining, transportation via viaducts and assisting in grinding flour. An amalgamation of fire and water brought us steel objects and glass blowing which allowed yet more materials to invent new items and enabled more ideas to bring to the fore. And then steam engines also - a real combination of both discoveries.

The continual discovery of metals deriving from our new extended human abilities to tunnel underground allowed us to find minerals and as such, fossil fuels buried deep underground. A place we had never been able to get to previously.

These clear gases and so called black gold would offer a whole new bases of use, from soap and detergents to instant power. Which only furthered the industrial revolution so we could arrive today at millions of bustling cities and towns across the world in which reside, over 6 billion people.

The innocent looking flint chisel in museums across the world, doesn't seem so angelic any more but a crucial turn in history which has a knock on effect today. What next for the future of our climate, environment and our energy use?

Some are looking to the stars and to generate electricity from solar waves, spaced based solar panels to harness energy more directly from the sun. Perhaps the Chinese will be the first to mine for Helium 3.

The understanding of climate change and our effects through use of fossil fuels has been known for several decades. Yet only now, thanks to technological advances within solar power and better mechanics can we roll out solar, wind and water powered technological to provide for cleaner energy use.

Meanwhile at CERN and other labs around the world, fusion is starting to take form, an idea itself that was thought of a few centuries earlier.

Whether you think we can power cars from ethanol and ruin food supplies or capture methane from cows farting, your ideas now and in the future will help mankind find new energy sources and mechanical processes to better harness earth's natural giving energy and that of the solar system and other planets.