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The Quest for Sustainability #1

Ramesh Ramankutty's picture

This is my first blogging experience.  While I have facility with technology, and I read political blogs, I have never felt compelled to share my thoughts out on the world-wide web as a younger generation does. However, I am excited that I am tip-toeing into the blogging world in the context of the activities of the Development Marketplace.  This is an exciting window that the World Bank (with several partners) has established over the last several years to support innovation in hundreds of places around the world.  I am happy that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is associated with this effort.  From my perspective, the problem of global commons presents an interesting challenge for humanity.  We still have millions of fellow human beings who do not have the basic necessities to lead a decent life.  How can we go about creating goods and services to improve the quality of life of the poor without increasing the pressure on our local, regional and global environments?  How do we begin to create a disconnect between increasing provision of goods and services and the natural resource base? This quest for sustainability, while theoretically elegant, is still practically very difficult.  I see glimpses of hope in the proposals that have been considered over the years by the Development Marketplace.  While not all of them could be funded, they are evidence of the bee-hives of innovation around the world.


How do we begin to create a disconnect between increasing provision of goods and services and the natural resource base? Renewable Energy and Recycled Materials. are not exactly a new idea, but it is the correct answer the old question fielded anew. At a risk of being unpopular, I think we need to discuss family size and quality of life.. A man may be able to have 14 children, but why? The Chinese realized this problem a bit late, but are active in Adaptive Management. A man may have the right to have as many children as he wants but is that wise? Such an unpopular subject but a problem we ought not forget. Incentives and disincentives ought to exist with education on this matter. I am active in Solar Energy and it is a rather predictable resource. It is direct energy that is distributed globally even if not perfect. Solar Energy has cooperated with the Earth by natural processes such as the growing of plants and trees. These Biomass items are renewable and represent stored Solar Energy. Biomass is not available everywhere, however it is transportable and can provide a 24/7 renewable energy generating resource. With proper management it could be a zero carbon footprint.

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