Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's the Millennium, It's Goals, It's Power

In 2000 the United Nations introduced eight Millennium Development Goals to encourage global development while improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries.

The idea behind the MDGs, as they are routinely called, was to assist people still living in a grinding poverty. Sustained work and effort by institutions like the Asian Development Bank has seen the world's population living in extreme poverty halved since 1981. This is an extraordinary achievement, but also indicates that many millions of people are still somehow, out of reach of the efforts of governments and international institutions.

The MDGs focus on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger by introducing universal educations, empowering women, eradicating devastating disease (like malaria and HIV/AIDS) and ensuring environmental sustainability.

That’s where energy comes into the picture. Providing energy access to billions of poor people can help people stay in school, work at sustainable rural and urban jobs, seek better health care, eat better, safer food. Schools, hospitals, factories, cities and villages can all function better with power.

With emphasis on providing “energy for all” has come real and growing interest in how individuals can benefit from energy, yet be aware of global warming.

Renewable power in work places and homes has become more available and more user-friendly. Many people think that using renewable energy requires an enormous time commitment as well as great personal inconvenience, and the sub-standard energy. It’s true that renewable energy is being developed to be more efficient and user-friendly, but the greater the knowledge people gain about renewable energy and how it impacts global warming, the more confident they are about it.

The four recognised primary sources of renewable power are:
  • Wind power
  • Solar power
  • Hydro-power
  • Geothermal energy
As you might imagine, the wind and the sun are extremely popular and have been used to create energy for centuries. Both wind and solar powered energy have now developed so that can be stored, for use long after the sun has set or the wind has died down. Magic!

In our My View About Energy section there are some great sites to start exploring. Once you look at those sites, you’ll find links to other sites and can browse for hours. Happy Earth-friendly surfing!

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