When one of the most respected business moguls, Donald Trump was making his bid for the white house, he baffled many by stating that he believed climate change was a hoax. Very few could understand how he had come to that conclusion, especially because the effects of negative human interaction with the environment are so obvious.
In places like China, the smoke that is emitted by vehicles and industries is so heavy that the smog creates traffic snarl-ups, it is snowing in the Sahara, the North Pole seems to be thawing over, and the list is endless. Well, it is comforting to know that not everyone influential person in the world of business shares these views. Below is an interview with the entrepreneur, Marlon Kobacker about his views on sustainability.
What is your take on sustainable development?
I have always believed in the concept that we have borrowed this planet from our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. This is a concept that I first heard of from one of the speeches that the outgoing American President Obama gave at a private change conference.
What it means is that when you have borrowed something from another person, you take the greatest care that you can afford for it, because you understand that they will need it back, and you don’t want it to be ruined. When using natural resources such as minerals, we must always remember that we need to do so in a manner that will leave space for them to replenish themselves. Remember that if we dry out our oil wells and exhaust our mines, there is no other planet to run to.
The same goes to matters such as cutting down trees to develop farms and cities. We must realize that it is possible for natural vegetation and modern architecture to co-exist. We must encourage all efforts to marry these two. The interaction between humans and wildlife must be made pleasant, especially for the wildlife. In areas where roads and railways cut across national parks and game reserves, let there be bridges that allow safe passage of animals. In short, let us not focus so much on our development goals and forget that we need to preserve our environment for progeny.
What do you understand about solar and green implementation?
The world has been around for about four and a half billion years. We as the humans only began to industrialize about five thousand years ago. In this tiny fraction of time that we have been around, we have really messed things up. We have overused fossil fuels, our industries and vehicles are powered by petroleum fuels and as a result, the ozone layer has become depleted. Carbon emissions are on the rise, seasons are out of pattern and everything seems out of order. To save the planet, we must try and change the way we are doing things:
- Instead of looking for ways to exploit the fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy, we must revert to sources such as solar and wind energy. Solar energy can be harnessed for lighting and heating in the homes and also in the industries, the same with wind energy. Where applicable, let people also use geothermal energy.
- We should all be very conscious about the concept of recycling. Let us avoid practices that lead to cutting down of trees. Luckily, technology has made it possible to even carry out education without cutting down trees for paper. If plastic bags have to be used, let them be recycled. Recycled metal takes less energy to melt and make into new products than fresh ore. Even if your little efforts at recycling may seem tiny and insignificant, they will go a long way in making things better eventually.
How do you feel about water recycling and waste reduction?
Did you know that the possibility of drinking a molecule of water that passed through a dinosaur is almost 100 percent? This tells you that if humanity was conserving this resource as they should, water shortages would be unheard of. Measures need to be taken to make sure that clean water is available to everyone.
This starts with the protection of water catchment areas. It is sad that while the third world countries are dealing with deforestation as a cause of water shortage, we in the first world are still addressing the same issue. We should know better in order to set a better example.
In addition to protection of the water sources, water needs to be recycled more than ever. Let the water used in the kitchen find fresh application in the gardens. Sewage needs to be treated as opposed to being left to flow into rivers as it happens in the third world. Rivers need to be protected from industrial effluent.
Small efforts such as taking a bath as opposed to running the shower may seem insignificant, but think about a whole city taking a bath for a year, the millions of water gallons that will have been saved will be countless. Even if you can pay the bill, always think about the long term effect of how you are utilizing your water. Make sure that leaking faucets and other water outlets are repaired as soon as possible to stop spillage. Every drop of water that is saved is equal to a more sustainable life on the planet.
About Marlon Kobacker
Marlon Kobacker is a Director at the Australian Sustainable Future Group. He has been working in the construction industry for a while now and understands how architecture can be made in a manner that conserves the environment. He is also a part of the administration at Earthrights international and the Clean Energy Corporation of Australia. He is an alumni of the University of New South Wales and has been working for many other companies before. He has presented in numerous international conferences on sustainability and especially in the design of modern architecture. He hopes that he can influence the building community to adopt practices that will create visually appealing, practical but green structures for the 21st Century.