Some of the principles behind Natural Life Magazine since we launched it in 1976 have been conservation, doing-more-with-less, and small-scale, personal solutions to the world’s environmental, economic, educational, and social problems. Sometimes that grassroots, personalized approach has seemed insufficient, even futile relative to the size of the problems. So I’ve always championed – in addition to individual change – the ability of “green” business to be part of the solution, at least to the environmental and economic issues. But as much as I’d like to hope that corporations and governments will eventually do the right thing on their own, I increasingly have my doubts.
And now, there is evidence from Germany that my doubts are well-founded. This article – The Price of Green Energy: Is Germany Killing the Environment to Save It? – describes how the German government’s rapid expansion of renewable energies like wind, solar, and biogas to replace nuclear power is taking a toll on Nature. The issue is also causing a rift in the German environmental movement, pitting “green energy” supporters against ecologists.
Clearly, we need to find ways to use less energy rather than just shifting from producing more using a different industrial process. There are some innovators doing that, including in the green building industry. But we have a long way to go. And the job starts with us in our every day lives.