Promising News on Environment Front — From Europe and Elsewhere
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 1 Oct 2018
Most of us who have visited any European city are amazed at their cleanliness and orderly traffic. The rivers, which many years ago were dirty like any Indian river, are clean and have become cultural hubs with presence of painters, musicians and roadside cafes — attractive and appealing. Breathing In these places is enervating since air quality is also good. There is also greenery either in the form of large trees or in the flowerpots kept in the nearby homes.
It is now encouraging to read the various efforts made by the several countries to maintain a clean and green environment. Perhaps Germany is at the forefront. The country has installed solar panels for producing clean energy on many official buildings as well as in individual homes. They have also decided to stop nuclear energy production because of risks involved. Now comes the news that hydrogen powered trains have started commercial service over short distances from stations near the northern city of Hamburg. Hydrogen fuel cells will produce electric power without the harmful emissions associated with conventional forms of power generation and this will keep the city clean without the risk of climate degradation.
The trains have been built by the French multinational company Alstom which is involved in passenger transportation and production of locomotives and related areas.
It may be mentioned that the UN had met in Paris in December 2015 to discuss the problems of global warming and climate change. Towards that end, France is boosting its tidal waves power generation as well as solar energy. To increase production of clean solar energy, the President of France and Prime Minister of India recently instituted the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and are the current governors of the Alliance that has 121 countries located in the sunshine regions as members. The headquarters is located in India in Gurugram (Gurgaon) a few km south of New Delhi.
Already some metro trains in New Delhi are running on solar energy.
Wind energy is also clean and renewable. The state of Gujarat in western part of India has hundreds of wind mills for generation of energy. A report published recently refers to Google approaching Finland for tapping wind energy. It was not clear how this energy would be transported out of the country.
Another interesting and incredible source of energy generation is the human body. It is said that the digestion process of humans will be able to produce a tiny amount of energy sufficient for simple applications such as charging one’s smart phones. Since there are billions of people in the world, a reasonable amount of clean energy would be produced if the experiments under way are successful.
Wonderful that scientists are coming up with clean sources of energy to deal with environmental pollution and climate change.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 Oct 2018.
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