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The System Has Failed. Time for an Energy Transformation That Benefits People


The System Has Failed. Time for an Energy Transformation That Benefits People

Lucy Cadena, Godwin Ojo

The global energy system is powering climate change, making up two-thirds of global greenhouse emissions. This alone should trigger a massive shift in the way we produce and consume energy and spur our leaders to act.

Instead, at the climate talks in Marrakech, we have seen a drive to keep pockets full and corporate interests happy. There has been a rush by rich countries to unpick already-weak commitments so that we can keep the dirty energy dinosaur going right up until its last breath (which might very well coincide with our own).


The 2016 election was terribly upsetting for several reasons, the most ominous is that only 48% of us made it to the polls and that is a huge problem in itself. There is, however, at least one major factor providing a basis for hope going forward. Given touted claims by the President Elect to high-level business acumen, it seems that a strong opportunity to put us on track for a safe, prosperous future would be irresistible. That, mind you is in addition to prospects for becoming a national, perhaps global hero.

A recent article in a series of authoritative global economics analyses confirmed the fact that delaying the switch from fossil to renewable energy options is much more expensive in the long run than starting immediately. The implications are huge and investment capital poised to make that transition is well over $$100 TRILLION dollars. (Ref. "Citi GPS" report; Nov. 2015, pg. 23)

Now to complete the picture, let us implement a nation-wide program to retrain and employ thousands, perhaps millions of workers currently unemployed or trapped in dangerous, dead end jobs. They would be equipped for and placed in well-paying 21st century jobs in renewables and the spectrum of related sectors. Further, we'd be protecting future generations by making critically urgent progress on climate change.

The above vision is the product of robust analysis by global energy and finance industries. The potential to save ourselves from truly unprecedented calamity is real. We The People must awaken to that potential and carry the message to our elected representatives -and keep it in their faces until they listen to us.


It's certainly an admirable theme - energy transformation - but as an American who's spent years in a profession of energy conservation and emission reduction advocacy, the model we need to work with and emulate isn't Africa but Europe and Asian nations. The planning and development concepts of New Urbanism and transit-oriented development may be a trifle boring for most people, but they can and have created healthier sustainable lifestyles with less overbearing control from corporate business interests who'd rather we all kept driving our cars everywhere and air travel as 'getaways' from our dismal commercial centers overrun with traffic surrounded by suburban 'housing compounds' where all are left with no option but to drive. General Motors, Exxon/Mobile and related interests have created a transportation monopoly that works fine for them.