5 environmental wins to celebrate

Where have humans made progress on energy and the environment?

3. Clean energy

Ajit Solanki/AP/File
A security guard walks amid a solar power project near Gandhinagar, India.

Wind, solar, and other new sources of renewable energy make up a small fraction of the global energy mix, but they are expanding rapidly. Since 1990, worldwide renewable electricity generation has grown an average of 2.8 percent per year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Solar, in particular, seems poised for a boom. Global capacity has jumped an average 50 percent every year since 2006, according to McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm. Prices continue to drop, making the technologies competitive with traditional forms of generation in many markets.  

Still, the rapid expansion of carbon-heavy coal in developing economies has largely offset clean energy’s gains. The average unit of energy produced today is basically as dirty as it was 20 years ago, according to the IEA.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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