I’m back after a wonderful break, and excited and ready for 2012! Hope everyone had a great holiday break and here’s to a great 2012 for all of you stopping by! Thank you again for your comments and support.
I began updating my numbers yesterday, beginning with Sustainability and came across some interesting but apparently overlooked information. I’m using the stats from the World Bank on the percent of energy each country uses which is alternative or nuclear and was happy to see that several countries had increased their overall percentages, notably the European and East Asian countries. (Albania went up nearly 10%!) As I kept entering data, I became increasingly amazed at the changes: most of the countries only changed by a few percentage points but they seemed to be mostly increasing and added together, it was starting to look pretty significant.
So I clicked on the “graph” button just to see how significant and my jaw dropped. (Below is what I saw — you can click on the image for a clearer picture but the trend is pretty visible!)
What the chart is saying, as far as I can tell, is that our alternative energy use has increased around 5% over the last year. (One caveat: I am not entirely sure this chart takes into account countries’ total fuel consumption — China should be weighted more than Uruguay, for example — but it is still impressive.)
Despite this positive change in our global energy consumption, however, the media seems to be focused on the usual doom and gloom of continuing gas and oil dependence. (It was nice to see this article recently, pointing out some of this blindness, The future’s never looked brighter for the global solar biz.)
I am not sure what to make of this seemingly deliberate ignorance of the facts but maybe when we’ve gone up another 20 or 30 percent in the next few years, the “doom and gloomers” will be pleasantly surprised. Meanwhile the rest of us will just keep going, adding solar panels, maybe a wind turbine or two, and exploring ways to become more energy efficient; and alternative energy R&D (including tidal, wave, geothermal, biogas, etc..) will continue to expand and mature into new options.
Thanks for stopping by!