As Our Common Future insisted in 1987, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Since the Industrial Revolution, human development has accelerated so much that its sustainability has come into question. Here I would like to present my proposal for what we should do to make our civilization sustainable. There are three major problems, namely the restriction of population growth, the maintenance and restoration of vegetation, and the utilization of renewable energy.
How long can our civilization flourish? Will our civilization remain thousands of years hence? During the Cold War the greatest threat to humans was nuclear annihilation, but today it is the environmental problem. Many people are afraid that global warming might collapse our civilization. In 1997, COP3 adopted the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the U.S. and Australia have declined to ratify the agreement. It has turned out a failure. On this page, I analyze the problems of the Kyoto Protocol and propose an alternative feasible framework that reduces greenhouse gasses.
Fuel cells were invented in the 19th century, but their practical application has been extremely limited to date, as thermal power generation has become the mainstream method of power generation. Today, with decarbonization and the hydrogen economy, fuel cells are again attracting attention as a method of power generation using hydrogen. Innovations are necessary for fuel cells to become more practical than they are today, not only in the fuel cells themselves but also in the way of storing and transporting their fuel, as well as in the method of producing it.
Oil and coal, which have brought about modern industry, are limited resources and destined to be exhausted someday. Moreover, combustion of oil or coal causes various kind of pollution. That's why the advanced nations are groping for the clean alternative energy sources since the oil crisis. There are many candidates for it, such as nuclear power, photovoltaic power, wind power, waterpower generation, but it is my considered opinion that methane is the best alternative energy sources. I'll tell you the reason for it.