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At 1MW we try to see the positive in everything, even when the news surrounding climate change can be a bit doom-and-gloom. But there are success stories out there, and it’s important to know that good things can happen when we work together.
This week we published an article on the Dutch people suing their government for not acting fast enough on climate change; we were so amazed with their passion for change! So in the spirit of that, we want to send you more good vibes. Keeping your spirits up can be hard when the goal seems out of our reach, but these stories will hopefully remind you of what good can be done, we just need to keep going!
Solar energy costs about the same amount – if not less – than fossil fuels in 79 countries
Every hour the sun provides enough energy to meet our energy demands for an entire year. It's predicted that within a week, the sun could produce enough energy to power us for longer than our own life-span – 168 years, to be exact. It seems like a no-brainer to be harnessing this incredible solar power. Hopefully we can keep going and put fossil fuels out of business!
Even North Koreans have started generating their own solar power
When photographed from space North Korea comes up dark against the city lights of the South, but this may change in the years to come. Apartment blocks on Pyongyang and other cities are increasingly adorned with solar panels, hung from balconies and windows. The demand for electricity is high, so installations of cheap, homemade and easily-installed solar panels are skyrocketing. Obtaining data from the country is difficult, but it is believed that roughly 10-15% of urban apartments appear to have small solar panels attached. The concept of locals taking renewable energy into their own hands is great news coming from a country like North Korea.
The car industry is going electric. Green electric.
Electric car sales in France have risen over 50% in France, and more hybrid cars are being sold than ever before. Tesla Motors struggled with sales for over a decade, and now that the awareness of sustainable electric-powered cars is on the rise, sales are soaring!
As the energy industry grows, so does employment
We need all of you bright sparks to keep our wind farms in check! In 2013, 6.5 million people were employed by the renewable energy industry. Iowa's wind-power industry employs 6,000 people and provides 30% of Iowa's electricity.
The people working against climate change have been scientifically proven to be good people
A study published last year questioned 345 Americans representative of their country in age, ethnicity and gender. It found that pro-environmental behavior is closely linked with: openness, conscientiousness and extraversion. This doesn't mean that you don't care about the environment if you're an introvert! These traits to not apply without exception, but instead exist as statistical predictors.
“Compassion elicits moral actions and judgments across different moral domains which should also be applicable to the environment. Therefore, we expect compassion for other humans to relate positively to pro-environmental tendencies.”- Authors note.
Caribbean women are protecting their crops through green technologies
With support from the UN, The Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) has focused on female agricultural producers' role in sustainable development in the Caribbean. They now hold workshops, teaching women in Barbados, Grenada and Jamaica, how to harness sustainable farming techniques in order to secure their livelihoods, and pass their environmentally friendly skills down to younger generations.
Targeting urban families with greener alternatives in cooking has improved their livelihood
In July 2010, the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a project to improve the food security of families in urban environments. Palestine Tomorrow for Social Development (PTSD) worked with FAO to support female-headed families in order to set up sustainable food production activities. These have helped to combat malnutrition of women and children, and have subsequently taught them to be self-sufficient.
Feeling better? It's been a bit gloomy what with bad weather news and stories on the negative effects of climate change, but it's important to remember why we are fighting for a brighter future. Stories like these give us hope, and we need to keep pushing to make change, and using the power of the individual to obtain it. Look at the Dutch people suing their government, just because they want change sooner! Look at the North Korean citizens taking renewable energy into their own hands by making their own solar panels to generate electricity. These are the success stories we need, and hopefully one day, we will be one ourselves.