By Sophie Knight
‘Temporarily, we would all have access to energy, but in a few years’ time we would see that it increases climate change, induces war and conflict over scarce resources, et cetera. For a few decades we would be solving energy poverty, but we would increase poverty on many other levels.’
‘On the other hand, if our efforts today were directed towards mitigating climate change, the implication would be that all of us have to consume less energy. Which is saying, you guys in sub-Saharan Africa are doing the right thing and we in Europe and North-America are going to adapt to your way. Many of us wouldn’t be happy.
‘So, in the short term there is no way to solve the problem in either direction using the realities of today. Which means that we have to create a new reality. We have to jump into our solar-powered helicopter and climb a few miles and look down and see that all of us are fighting over scarce resources, while in the meantime, abundant resources of energy are already available to all of us. We’re just not making use of them.’
It’s all solar
‘The sun is shining, providing 1,400 amounts more energy than mankind is using today. If we could find the technology and economic and legislative models to make sure we’re capturing 0.06 percent of the sun’s energy hitting the earth at this very moment, then humanity’s needs of today would be met.
‘In essence, I’m saying something very simple: all energy — coal, oil, gas, solar, wind power, hydroelectric power, geothermal power — is a form of solar power. It’s all solar.
‘The thing we need to do, the big design question, the task ahead for our investment agendas and our R&D agendas is: cut out the middle man. The more we can utilise the power of the sun to answer our needs on a day-to-day basis, the more we have the energy to answer all the other demands and needs mankind has. Humanity could benefit enormously from natural abundance.’
This is an excerpt from an interview with Arash Aazami by Sophie Knight as part of STBY’s research in preparing briefs for the WDCD Climate Action Challenge. It first appeared in the WDCD publication: Good News for the Planet – 31 Brilliant Ideas for Climate Action (available for order).