Strandengen 1, 8305 Samsø
Hello - can anyone help me??
By Mikkel Bruun, Foto: llaszlo – shutterstock.com
Everyone talks about the green transition, but where and how do you transition?
Back in the sixties, my mother worked as an operator at a telephone exchange somewhere in Copenhagen. She helped people find those they wanted to talk to – and then she put them through. It was before Google and the iPhone.
But how should we change today, when change is not about telephones, but about the climate, the environment, nature, and resources? Who should create the right connections and guide us, and how should we start a conversation that may be both uncomfortable and difficult?
Because we have reached the “how”! The big “why” has long been answered – we must reduce our impact on our common home. We know all the numbers, the arguments, the goals, and the necessary reductions that are needed if the Earth is to be able to bear. And we talk a lot about the technical solutions that must change one form of energy to another and that must prevent the worst consequences of a changed climate or changed living conditions. And maybe wind turbines and solar cells and biomass and other good inventions can help in the short term. But the best way to reduce is to reduce, right?
We live in a growth paradigm and in a convenience that my mother and others of her generation helped to create. Me and many others benefited from that, but we did not consider the consequences. We are doing that now, better late than never, and therefore we are also well underway with the “how”. The great, political, technical, bureaucratic green revolution is actually underway – both in Denmark and in many other countries. The UN’s Paris Agreement, the EU’s Green Deal, the government’s 2030 plan, the municipalities’ DK2020 climate plans, and Samsø’s own plans are all ambitious, but must also ensure that we – the citizens and the voters – do not suffer during the transition.
This of course makes it difficult to reduce, as we have seen, for example, in relation to the gas supply to Europe, the oil supply to the USA, and the global supply of goods. And that is why we turn to technology. And here comes “who” into the picture.
Yesterday I attended a meeting about the Samsø Energy Plant. There was a lot of talk about the supply infrastructure, the renewable energy solutions, and of course both the local and national need for energy. Strong attitudes were also expressed against having solar panels and wind turbines in one’s backyard. There was less talk about our shared responsibility to reduce, do things differently, and perhaps save. A single participant argued that we should cycle more and drive less. And that we must act locally, help each other more, share more. When I left the meeting and came out to the parking lot, there were at least 100 cars – including my own (electric) car, and we all drove home one by one.
My message is that we are on our way, but that we are missing the important “who” – or perhaps “me”. Where can I as a person make a difference? How do I remedy the inertia and fatigue of the green transition when it comes to actual action? How can I contribute to translating the overwhelming data, facts, knowledge, and threat into concrete changes in my daily life, and how can it inspire my surroundings?
At the Energy Academy, we try to ask difficult questions to find the difficult answers. There are no easy answers, and you cannot separate “why”, “how” and “who” from each other. It may be about creating better connections between all of us, who are a necessary part of the solution. The Energy Academy is perhaps a kind of switchboard that can try to start the conversation. We do this on a project level and not on a political level. And we do that on a daily basis, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Then give us a call – we’ll be happy to change!