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Some Awesome Renewable Energy Ideas


Big Cities With Big Ideas

Some of the greatest progress in developing renewable energy and mitigating the impacts of climate change have come from our greatest cities.

Seattle, Chicago, and New York have all developed visionary plans that are improving sustainability and livability for their citizens.

Little Cities With Big Ideas

But what about the rest of us? If we don't live in a large, forward-thinking city, are we destined to live in hot, dirty, coal-plant hell?

Maybe not so much.

Here for your consideration are some examples from Kansas and around the globe of small towns just like yours. These regions are taking their energy and climate futures into their own hands.

  • Greensburg, Kansas, which rebuilt after a tornado to run on 100 percent renewable energy.
  • Kalisari, Indonesia, which runs its cookstoves on tofu byproducts.
  • Tayebat Village, Egypt, which was developed with built-in solar roofs.
  • Ashton Hayes, Britain, which attacked the issue through battling citizen apathy.

There are more. Read the full article for ideas that might work for you.

The Missing Ingredient

None of these examples, whether in large city or tiny village, would have been possible without one critical component of the human capability: visionary leadership.

Consider: it took vision to recognize the crisis that is climate change; it took vision to tie climate change to non-renewable energy; it took vision to chart out solutions to the problems.

Similarly: it took leadership to garner the resources necessary to implement the strategies; it took leadership to bring the community on board with the proposed actions; it took leadership to follow through until the action was achieved.

So who is a leader? Well, one leader is William Kamkwamba. As a child, he became The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, helping his village avert drought and famine.

Could you do that?

Most likely, behind every success story in any endeavor is a visionary leader or three. There was once a time when any given individual had a choice as to whether to be a visionary leader or not. But that time is passing.

None of us have such a sheltered life that our children and grandchildren will not be impacted by climate change. None of us have such a pristine place to live that our children and grandchildren will not suffer the impacts of pollution--or heat--or water shortages. The list goes on.

And make no mistake. It will be our EDM community, and all citizens with an understanding of EDM concepts, that will be leading the way in developing clean energy and climate change solutions. We're the only community that automatically links plans to actions. We have some of the strongest leaders humankind has ever developed.

Review the successes. Examine the opportunities. Envision what would be a success for YOUR community. Then act. There's too much at stake for any of us to be sitting on the sidelines.

Randall Cuthbert Dr. Randall Cuthbert is a retired APUS Professor of Emergency & Disaster Management. He has also worked as a Red Cross Shelter Supervisor, and spent a 20-year career as a US Air Force Civil Engineer Officer. His blogging interests include: protecting & enhancing the EDM profession in the areas of integrity, honorable public service, and social justice; education regarding the 'big picture' role of EDM in our society; educating our professionals and neighbors with regard to the greatest threat to our civilization--climate change; and in general terms, creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.