Time to save the world | Breakthrough Funding

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Time to save the world

Innovation is more important than ever as the need to abandon fossil fuels takes on new urgency

There can be few people in the world who aren’t aware that human activity is generally destroying Planet Earth. Over the last couple of centuries in particular, the conveniences and innovations that make our lives better are often doing no favours for the natural world. From the creeping threat of climate change to the sea life caught up in our discarded plastic bags, we have to take responsibility for some massively irresponsible actions.

Of course, there is now a huge push from many quarters to try and mitigate, halt or even reverse this damage, particularly in the area of renewable energy. But a study published this week suggested that the drive to abandon fossil fuels in favour of alternative solutions is even more urgent than previously realised.

An eight-year study by the BIOACID programme revealed that acidification of the oceans – a side effect of our use of fossil fuels – is starting to prevent a range of species from getting beyond infanthood. Atlantic cod, blue mussels and sea urchins were among the creatures that are failing to reach adulthood in greater numbers. When the CO2 from fossil fuels dissolves in seawater, it produces carbonic acid, which changes the pH of the water and raises its acidity – to the detriment of these blameless creatures.

In the beginning, our ability to harness the power of fossil fuels revolutionised the way we heat our homes, run our industries and transport ourselves, creating a generally positive effect on most people’s lives. However, what once represented an amazing and liberating innovation has now become something of a liability. Innovation is called upon once again to evolve human society and take us forward, this time with a greater awareness of how our next big idea could impact the planet we call home.

Are you working in the field of eco-tech or trying to develop sustainable alternatives to current methods? Give the team a call on 0800 772 0800 and let us know how you’re doing your bit to save the world.

There's more you should know