Reflecting On A Sustainable Ontario for Earth Day 2014
Nothing inspires worry or anxiety quite like when we think about the environment. Ever since Earth Day’s origin in 1970, the environment had just entered public consciousness as a serious issue. Forty-four years later and our concerns about the environment haven’t changed. But have our efforts? Earth Day 2014 is celebrated on April 22nd, so Ontario Energy Group would like to see what about Ontario’s energy community is worth celebrating.
Renewable Energies Are on the Rise
As part of it’s commitment to create a sustainable energy grid by 2030, Ontario is leading Great Lakes communities by broadening the reach of environmentally friendly energy sources, lessening dependence on coal while making huge developments in hydro-electric, solar, wind, and nuclear technologies.
In fact: wind alone, long considered a soft or weak solution to energy concerns, has finally surpassed coal-fired power in 2012 and become a significant source of energy in it’s own right. Sustainable energies are on the rise as fossil fuels become increasingly less prevalent in Ontario’s energy industry. That’s good news for anyone concerned about climate change and the carbon footprint we’re leaving behind.
Lessening Our Dependence on Energy
While industrial developments to create cleaner energy solutions are heartening, there’s a moral factor involved with the energy we use (or waste) every day. What’s surprising to realize, however, is that while Canadians still generate on average more greenhouse gas than our American peers – this trend is on the down slope.
Between 2000 and 2015, residential energy intensity has lessened approximately 20%, while commercial energy intensity has lessened close to 25%. For a province as large as Ontario in the midst of intense sustained development and industry – this is very good news.
Not only is Ontario lessening our dependence on finite energy, we’re actually decreasing our dependence on energy on a while in incredible ways. It’s estimated by 2030 that our energy intensity will equal approximately two-thirds of our 2000 levels of consumption.
Are We Doing Enough?
It’s all well and good to pat ourselves on the back every year and know we did a great job helping the environment, but is it really enough? As we all know, the realities of climate change become harder and harder to deny each year, as global emission rates continue to climb if not exponentially, but logarithmically.
As and individual day, Earth Day may not seem like cause for celebration or awareness. But in a world increasingly etherized to the plight of it’s own environment, it gives us the rare opportunity to realize that despite how far we’ve come – there really is so much more that we can do.
While it can be difficult to imagine the state of the environment generations or centuries down the line, and to envision our impact on it – nature will always outlast us and that’s inevitable. What many of us don’t realize or dare to appreciate is that the Earth, and everything in it, will continue to thrive with or without us.
For that reason, Ontario Energy Group asks not that you save the environment as a way to save the world. Instead, consider that Earth Day is our chance to reflect and appreciate the better world we’ve created on behalf of ourselves and our children, and to guide the changes we will continue to make in the coming years.
If you would like to read more about the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s 2013 Energy Report, please click here.