- In your opinion, is it possible to maintain current energy consumption by substituting non-renewable energy sources with renewable energy?
*The ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not necessarily of the OAS nor of its member states. The opinions expressed are the responsibility of the authors.
No it's not possible, because each country is heterogeneous and have different needs, structures, culture, population, resources and the list goes on. It may be better to group countries based on their commonality and develop models for these groups then apply them accordingly.
It is not possible to apply current development models to all countries of the world. The reason for this, is that we are already aware of the numerous errors made by developed countries on their way to development—a major one being the pollution of the earth's environment. Small countries who do the same thing may find themselves damaging future children through excess toxins in the air and water. It is therefore imperative that alternate models of development be constructed. Heavy earth-moving equipment, to use the African proverb, may build a road much faster than manual labor, but it will put many out of work who have no other skills, and training by itself does not buy bread. The desired rate of population growth also is not necessarily the same in developed and developing small countries.
2. When we speak of "sustainable development" we generally refer to the need to balance economic production with nature. In your opinion, what are the economic, political and ethical parameters of such a project?
Economic: Provide meaningful employment without displacement of peoples and alienation of lands. Such employment should lead to self employment producing marketable products; Political: Educate people to believe that the land is their land and they as citizens of any country have basic rights, that do not include the buying of votes but a movement to and embracing of full participation in the government of the country by all its people; and for this to occur, education becomes both a beneficiary of and a requirement for full political participation. Ethical parameters must include and awareness of the value of the eco-system of small countries, educating the people to protect them while benefiting from them, and providing for community inputs into planned projects so that large outside corporations cannot come in, gobble up the land and resources and parcel them out to their supporters while posing as micro-enterprises. Again here, an educated populace is essential to sustainable development, and the education must include pride in culture, and its preservation.