een wereldwijd elektriciteitsnet een oplossing voor veel problemen  GENI es una institución de investigación y educación-enfocada en la interconexión de rejillas de electricidad entre naciones.  ??????. ????????????????????????????????????  nous proposons la construction d’un réseau électrique reliant pays et continents basé sur les ressources renouvelables  Unser Planet ist mit einem enormen Potential an erneuerbaren Energiequellen - Da es heutzutage m` glich ist, Strom wirtschaftlich , können diese regenerativen Energiequellen einige der konventionellen betriebenen Kraftwerke ersetzen.  한국어/Korean  utilizando transmissores de alta potência em áreas remotas, e mudar a força via linha de transmissões de alta-voltagem, podemos alcançar 7000 quilómetros, conectando nações e continentes    
What's Geni? Endorsements Global Issues Library Policy Projects Support GENI
Add news to your site >>

About Us

GENI Opinion/Editorial

No cure for a sick world?
Asking the right question for Spaceship Earth

July 7, 1997

Peter Meisen
President, Global Energy Network Institute (GENI)

Five years ago, the largest-ever gathering of world leaders met in Rio de Janeiro for the Earth Summit. They pledged to take better care of our planet; reducing pollution, protecting biodiversity and saving rainforests. At the United Nations last month, Rio+5 convened to assess our collective progress. In almost every category, any objective reporter would give us a failing grade. The headline nearly screamed, World leaders say Earth is sick, but fail to agree on a cure.

World population has grown by half a billion people. Atmospheric pollution, especially greenhouse gases have climbed to all-time highs. The gap between rich and poor countries has widened. The onslaught against forests continues for their fuel and hardwoods. In addition, Secretary General Kofi Annan summarised the UN Development Program's annual report saying that 100 nations are worse off today than 15 years ago, with 1.3 billion people earning less than $1 per day.

Razali Ismail of Malaysia, President of the General Assembly admonished the Rio+5 delegates saying We as a species -- as a planet -- are teetering on the edge, living unsustainably and perpetuating inequity, and may soon pass the point of no return. Environmental champion Vice President Al Gore declared that we must role up our sleeves and go to work. At the Denver Summit of the Eight, President Clinton bragged about the robust US economy, and was chided one week later for our 5% increase in CO2 emissions.

Five months from now, the world leaders will convene again in Kyoto, Japan to set carbon emission targets and deadlines. Who are we trying to fool? Our leaders convene with good intentions, make terrific speeches and go home to business as usual. The ancient proverb states the condition best: Unless we change the direction we're going, we're likely to end up where we are headed.

Maybe we're asking the wrong initial questions! Of course it's natural to try and put out fires when you see them -- but are we attacking the problems from their cause -- or just putting band-aids on one problem after another?

I suggest a different approach -- one that was developed 25 years ago by the genius inventor, architect and critical thinker, Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller. "Bucky" was called the Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th century, and posed the following global question:
How do we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or the disadvantage to anyone?

Isn't that a better place to begin? Designing the systems to meet the needs of all people, while protecting the environment for the long term is a superior engineering approach. Bucky's World Game™ uses comprehensive anticipatory design science -- assessing all issues and needs, anticipating future trends and then engineering solutions that make many of today's global issues obsolete.

From this global question emerged a premier strategy for peace and sustainable development. Simply stated, the strategy is to link electrically the renewable energy resources around the world. Or in today's vernacular, a world wide web of electricity, tapping renewable resources.

Unknown to most people, half of this energy network is already in place around the world. It is the freeway for electrons that delivers the energy to run our homes and businesses. Yet 1/3 of humanity has no electricity for even the most basic needs; clean water, lighting, refrigeration of food and medicines. Two billion people still burn wood and cow dung to meet daily energy requirements. The global climate problem is rooted in the fact that 80% of energy production comes from some non-renewable energy source; gas, oil, coal or nuclear which produce increasing levels of pollution or toxic waste.

Interconnecting electrical systems east to west levels the daily energy power demand, and north-south linkages level seasonal variations. Our planet is blessed with enormous renewable potential from wind, hydro, solar, geothermal, tidal and biomass -- yet these are often located in remote regions, even neighboring countries, far from our cities and industry. With economic power transmission now reaching thousands of miles, these renewable energy sources can begin to replace some of the aging fossil and nuclear plants, as well as power the economic development of Southeast Asia.

Such a visionary plan may seem fated to future generations. However, the last ten years has seen international connections between the most unlikely neighbors: East and West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel and Jordan from the Washington Declaration treaty, and just this year, cross-border grids are being built between Turkey and Iran, Argentina and Chile, even India and Pakistan. This international infrastructure development fosters trade, cooperation and peace.

Two decades ago, the United Nations and numerous experts corroborated this development strategy. At that time, Cold War politics stymied any real progress. Now the enemy has become pollution, overpopulation and poverty. To put out these fires we've held the Earth Summit in Rio, the Population Summit in Cairo, the Social Summit in Copenhagen, the Women's Summit In Beijing and the Cities Summit in Istanbul. Yet the problems persist and grow every year.

Attacking these issues as separate problems is ignorant to the nature of our interconnected society. Maybe it's time to ask the bigger question: how do we make it work for all humanity and the environment? The solutions are guaranteed to offer a better cure than the recent global prognosis.


Updated: 2016/06/30

If you speak another language fluently and you liked this page, make a contribution by translating it! For additional translations check out (Voor vertaling van Engels tot Nederlands) (For oversettelse fra Engelsk til Norsk)
(Для дополнительных переводов проверяют )