Sustainability is not just something I’m interested in as a geographer, but is something that I believe should interest everyone, from all backgrounds and standings in life. It encapsulates and controls our lives, being precedent in energy, water, food and any development, all which are necessities in our ever demanding lifestyles. Sustainability is a key global issue, affecting the richest areas such as California, which is currently suffering from a severe drought, to food deprivation and malnutrition in Africa, and to the far East with Asian development, energy and pollution problems being ever present.
I’m interested in not only the problem that these main factors create, but also how to solve them sustainably for the future and with innovative solutions. A few of these which I plan to explore and research in the future, with my own ideas at forefront, include:
- Creating power from wave and tidal power, which holds so much energy which we don’t utilise
- Software to calibrate the potential of water sustainability in an urban area (ground infiltration, surface run-off, etc.) such as those used in Singapore, but on a global scale
- Development and the planning of cities focused solely around sustainability, considering all the factors.
The plant above represents exactly what I’m trying to bring across. This small plant requires energy from the sun, water from precipitation, food/nutrients from the soil, and space to develop both under the ground through its roots and above with its visual growth. However, it must also conduct this sustainability. If it uses up all the nutrients from the soil or fills up the surrounding space and can no longer grow, it will simply eventually die out. Using this as an example for us as a race it just shows how fragile we are, and how much what we do through consumption and recklessness directly affects us dramatically.
Sustainability is a complex thing, both to understand and to succeed in, and will plague us for many centuries till there is a clear global system and strategy to tackle these problems which will forever arise such as excess population, food shortages, droughts, urbanisation, etc. Therefore in this blog I plan to focus primarily on sustainability and its various factors, while also looking at some of the more obvious and publicised geography-related discussions such as climate change, with the never-ending pictures of sad polar bears floating on small ice-caps dominating national newspapers.