We have to take a better care of our Planet

Author: Marco C. Janssen, UTInnovation, the Netherlands

After traveling in Asia for two weeks on my way home I was facing a twelve-hour delay in one of Europe’s major airports as I missed my connection due to a delay at the departure airport.
This was one of those occasions that allowed me to think about my experiences in the world around us. I just enjoyed a spectacular trip with new inspiring experiences and the delay on my return back home almost ruined the entire experience. However, I decided to focus on the positive feeling obtained during my trip.
I once again came to the conclusion that we humans do not respect our beautiful planet - our home. The amount of pollution I saw during my trip was devastating and I am convinced that if we do not act now, we will destroy the planet. I was in the same region two years ago, and it is clear that we have reached a saturation point of how much induced destruction Earth’s ecosystem can absorb.

Earth can survive without us, and Earth may even be better off without us wasting its resources, destroying other species, contaminating the water and air and showing no respect for its ecosystem.
Even though the people trying to turn the tide is growing, there still is a vast majority that does not care, or that is just too ignorant to realize what we humans are doing to our planet. Why is it so difficult to open our eyes and realize that if we do not change our behavior, the late Steven Hawking will be right, and will we have no other option than to leave this planet within the next 200 years, as Earth will become uninhabitable?

Does it really take a cataclysmic event to wake up humans? I don’t think there is any economic benefit big enough to justify the destruction of our home world.
How difficult is it really to change? Can we not live without plastics? Is it so hard to go back to growing crops ecologically, and is it so difficult to eat what we need without eliminating entire species?

During my trip, I had the unique opportunity to stay at a Buddhist temple, and to personally witness how fulfilling a simple and balanced life can be. Our life can be so joyful and plentiful if we do not focus on personal gain at all cost, but rather create happiness by sharing and caring. What is your money worth if you are alone and have no one to share it with? Doesn’t it become just a paper, or a useless number in a digital account? We need to start seeking balance in what we do, and to admit the consequences of our actions.
When we focus on what is important I am sure we are capable of turning the tide. I therefore recommend you to take a trip into nature and witness the beauty of our planet, and at the same time open your eyes and allow yourself to be stunned by the mountains of plastics on the beaches and the clouds of pollution emerging from our cities.
Scientists have calculated that if bees were to become extinct, humans would have 4 years before we starve. It was mentioned recently in the news that the number of insects in The Netherlands has decreased by more than 70%, and although some people would think, ah great less wasps, mosquitos and flies, we should remember that we cannot survive without insects, no matter how annoying they can be.

These are alarming numbers, especially if we consider that the mechanisms of exponential growth in a finite environment apply as can be demonstrated by the “bacteria in a bottle” an analogy so nicely explained by Professor Bartlett. This model is mathematically identical to the case of the exponentially growing consumption of our finite resources as A = Pert, where "A" is the ending amount "P" is the beginning amount, "r" is the growth or decay rate, and "t" is time. Remember that if we put one bacterium in the bottle at 11:00 AM when was the bottle half-full? At 11:59 AM. So, at what time would you realize that the bacteria were running out of space? When at 11:55 AM the bottle is 3% filled and there is 97% open space would you perceive that there was a problem? Based on what we can observe regarding rapidly shrinking populations of tuna, bees, elephants, tigers, etc.
I think we are at a few seconds to twelve and need to act now. Not only for ourselves, but for our children and planet Earth, our home that has given us so much.

Marco C. Janssen is the CEO of UTInnovation LLC and the Director of the Smart Grid PMO at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. He received his BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic in Arnhem, Netherlands and has worked for over 27 years in the field of Smart Grid, Protection, Control, Monitoring, Advanced Metering Infrastructures, Distribution and Substation Automation. He was a member of IEC TC57 WG 10, 17, 18, 19, the IEEE PES PSRC and CIGRE B5 and D2 WGs. He was the convenor of D2.35 and editor of the Quality Assurance Program for the Testing Subcommittee of the UCA International Users Group. He holds one patent, has authored more than 58 papers, is co-author of four Cigre Technical Brochures and two books on Smart Grids and Electrical Power Substations Engineering and is the author of the “I Think” column in the PAC World magazine.

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