Sustainable Technologies

  • Alan J. Sangster


The presence of almost seven billion people on the surface of planet earth has disturbed the biospheric thermostat. Resetting it will principally require the widespread adoption of renewables to provide energy for sustainable economies. Unfortunately the current reality is that modern industrialised civilizations show no sign of being ready to contemplate giving up their fossil fuel addiction. Furthermore, the dilemma that faces mankind, in any attempt to reset the global thermostat, is undoubtedly exacerbated by the ever expanding global population. Nevertheless, by coordinated action at the world level, it is suggested here that it still remains possible, if we are not too dilatory, to reset it at a level which may just be enough to avoid disaster. This does not mean a regression to the ‘middle-ages’. But it does imply drastically curtailing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide so that we limit the accumulation CO2 to a level which gives us a good statistical chance of avoiding a disastrous +2°C global temperature rise. This will dictate a serious throttling back of fossil fuel consumption over the next 25–30 years. Full thermostatic restoration will also entail the widespread re-introduction across the planet of bio-diverse ecosystems such as the rain forests. This latter goal will be immensely difficult without a significant reduction in population and a wholesale adoption of vegetarianism.


Fossil Fuel Augmented Reality Wind Farm Carbon Capture Fossil Fuel Combustion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Physical ScienceHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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