DISCUSSION ON THE TOPIC AT TABLE 3 | SCIENCE SESSION, CUMIPAZ 2017
There is one of the issues that was addressed about the energy issue, which undoubtedly this solar energy, this wind energy, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric energy, the hydrogen (as we see in NASA), the energy of the oceans and how many energies will come; not for innovation. The entrepreneurship issue, the topic on innovation is placed on this challenge of sustainable development, the Millennium Development Goals that pose all public and private policies.
I come from a very beautiful experience, I am closing the cycle of assuming the presidency of an association of executives and it was 50 years, and our challenge in Social Responsibility, but above all on the management issue, is to have a private sector infrastructure dedicated to the fight of climate change.
So, they were sustainable executive compromises: to have an infrastructure where possible with solar panel projects, also all of the bioclimatic part of the infrastructure, the concept of the personnel, the affiliates, the associates, the businessmen; all this does not faint*, and even it is not only the public part, it is also the private part.
I will be asking these questions as I am being asked, and this question goes to Jesus Amadeo Martinez: How can indigenous knowledge be integrated to fight against climate change? I believe he was quite explicit, but maybe they want to delve into how that knowledge can be integrated.
When we speak of integration, us the indigenous peoples say: “It is not what needs to be integrated,” because sometimes it has also been proposed even by governments: “it is that you must integrate into society,” so sometimes that is losing the identity itself, the cultural identity of oneself.
What we must do is: how to talk and try to join and compliment the knowledge of the indigenous peoples and of the scientists as well; in other words that there may be a complementarity, not an integration, which sometimes what that makes is for one to pull another to where there is more; but what is tried is that: to complement; and we have done it in forums where we have been at, what we have led are proposals to complement and strengthen all those existing processes.
Because sometimes we are also told: “Look, it is that you guys are against the technological issues.” No, we are not against them, but rather since those can work for us, a complementarity tool for the same fight we are carrying out.
Short questions, short answers due to time issues. Let us go ahead so Maruthi and Hannah help us in this answer. What does it mean for the panel that the United States got out of the Treaty of Paris?
What can we say? How to live with this administration that the United States is…? But we do not have much time, climate change is there and not only do we depend on the United States, we depend of other countries and that is happening now. Now, now what they have to do is, all nations, give a step forward and take action, that is my opinion. But we know climate change is real.
I believe I agree with the doctor, we have to take this climate change that continues to expand and we have to take innovations, the concepts we have of this Paris Convention. Then we can make and we have to be in the actual situations, and we have to explain some of the situations.
Us college students can see that the global concept, change is happening on a global scale and there is a lot of people that do not believe. It is very important that we move along and that we discover what is happening about climate change, we must avoid those things people close, then we can try to do that.
Maria Luisa Castaño
In order to answer this question, I would like to complement the opinion of Amadeo. The availability of renewable energy and the technology has no limits at this moment, but it has to be adapted to the needs of the societies that use them.
That is why, it is not that indigenous peoples or the people integrate in the renewable energy, but rather that for each society a roadmap and an energy mix exists that adapt to the situation, and it has to be adapted, not only from that economic point of view, but also a social one and, above all, of the distribution of population and of the needs and its uses.
The model of Panama is not the same as the model of Nicaragua nor of the Spanish, nor of the European; each society needs a specific energy model, which responds to the needs the environment has be it rural or urban, or agricultural or industrial.
Thank you very much, I will be asking many questions to Jesus Amadeo:
- What is the management of the Central American countries to counteract climate change?
- Should the care of the environment sacrifice the development of the indigenous peoples?
- Which are the activities of the indigenous peoples for the conservation of the environment during the entire time?
- Being climate change a reality, how are rights guaranteed in countries where territories of indigenous peoples are not protected?
We consider as indigenous peoples not only Central America. I already said it, we have global proposals that allow us to capture the knowledge to face it; maybe not to return, but to face this situation we are living at world level.
We have gotten from the proposal to the proposal. What do I mean with this? Many times it was said: “Look, you are only protesting, but have no proposals.” Of course! Today we are proposing to the international organisms, the local organisms (because there are also the municipalities) and that way as well to the national governments, where we tell them (and how good that the sister here mentioned): Each town has its own specificity and over that is that we have made due proposals; not proposals to confront them, but due proposals that allow us indigenous peoples to capture within them as well the rights that we for many years have achieved in the international level.
At this moment we are building a roadmap as well to take COP in November, COP23, and continue to come into play in governments, where decisions are made. Because neither - sometimes one makes a lot of things, but does not come into play, because where decisions are made are at these international events, where all governments are gathered.
Then, we are already also taking concrete proposals to the governments, so these can be and complement, as I said, the work, the vision of the indigenous peoples with the western vision and even the same one, thus the issue of development concepts: what does development mean for them and what does it mean for us.
To Maruthi, to whom I delivered a question, but for you to complement it:
- How do you plan to use biomass without compromising goods and food sources?
- It is raised that for 2050 or 2030, renewable energy will have a boom, what countries do you think are creating projects for this? (Maria Luisa could also help us in this question).
The question about biomass, I can tell you: When we see different countries.... Renewable energy now in China: there are a lot of electrical vehicles there, and during the period of Obama we invited him and saw there are vehicles that can make 20 miles per gallon.
Now the challenge is to make vehicles that make 30 miles per gallon and now we are going to change it from 30 to 40 miles per gallon. We have the technology and we have the renewable energy that we must implement, and we are going to implement that in different fields; and one of the things we need is a good policy and to push the Government to know how we have solar energy. We know Texas is working with turbines, that are functioning, and there are many farmers as well that using the turbines.
Look at the agriculture industry, all those turbines that being put over land; if the farmer is and he uses 5% of his land to put the turbines, he will be getting the money and will be receiving it at his mailbox, they will be getting close to, between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars once they install those turbines in their land.
So we have that potential before the world, because currently we can use the renewable energy in all these areas. On the contrary, we can see that the biomass… we are also using a lot of water, which is a great commodity.
Biomass compared with solar energy and wind, those are fields much more clean, and more efficient.
I also have a question: When we have greenhouse like gasses, we see that carbon monoxide is as bad as carbon dioxide, because you can have carbon dioxide also from water and this comes from the rice fields as well, in all those parts in Asia.
That is a time bomb that is going on as well, a danger for the oceans, because when we see the oceans, we see that is a solid mass, and the oceans are getting warmer and this is becoming a gas. Then, is oceans are getting warmer all this gas is released into the atmosphere, and all that gas is emitted into the atmosphere and which comes to result in climate change.
María Luisa Castaño
When we talk about biomass, one may think that we are talking about energy crops, and that is not exclusively so. First, energy crops do not interact or limit the capacity of crops for the food sector, but biomass is also considering the use of agricultural remains, such as the use of olive trees, the pruning of vines, the use of remains of almonds and different species.
In the concept of biomass there is in addition to the use of a living material, the reuse of agricultural remains, which can be interesting; biomass waste is also considered as the use of urban organic waste, from which bioethanol can be obtained.
Then, I believe that the concept of biomass will never hit the food concept and will depend on the region where it is used; probably, remains of forest cleaning of agricultural aspects can be used.
In the case of reaching in 2050 a percentage of missions as small as those that Europe has assumed, we will necessarily need the combination of different energy sources: biomass can be one of them, solar energy without a doubt, and the use of small devices that even at the urban level are used, not as a centralized generation, but as distributed generation.
It is a challenge even in Europe, which may seem to be a set of homogeneous countries, each country will have a different energy mix; because heating houses in southern Europe (for example, in Spain) is not the same as heating them in Finland, which has very different temperatures throughout the year.
Then, again, the adaptation of renewable energy, which are the only ones that are possible to manage according to the needs of society and its climate aspect, are going to be the key to reach that level by the year 2050.
For Hannah Jurado: Knowing the problem, what would be the most effective individual action to start having a tangible and immediate change?
To be more clear, what is my perspective on… how do we make changes as quickly as possible, of what we are talking about today?
I'm focused on my work, which is about how to maintain the international space station; and this I have to see from a good perspective, how we move forward, according to processing all the information we have on a global scale in the international space station.
The fastest plan to get information is definitely through education, it is through our children, our kids; and students who are often representing countries, who do not know what is happening around them, pass on as much information as we can, as well as what we are doing here at CUMIPAZ. Concepts… and that will trigger the imagination, it will inspire them to move forward.
I believe that it is through our children that we can move forward faster for a better world, for a better environment, because we will be developing better people, new individuals who want to do something better for our environment with that passion and that knowledge, with new innovations to do that.
For Jesus Amadeo [no audio]... that the product of science we have seen a fall in the indigenous population in Latin America.
I think that is also one of the aspects that we have discussed, how this has been prefixed to the same life situation. I think not all. There are brothers who are very committed and who have also collaborated and helped the communities themselves.
For example, right now we carrying out a work with some brothers who are also scientists, about community protocols; there that will allow us to, how to face from the community, the entire situation we are in; but there is another one (you know that there is everything in the vineyard of the Lord); what others have tried, instead of supporting us, is trying to displace us for them to do their research there, so I think there is little of everything.
But more than maybe being in that of..., the proposal we have made and we have been making, is to reinvindicate those rights and for us to be respected, to respect the community life that indigenous peoples still have.
There is an experience there, which in some indigenous areas solar panels are already arriving to solve energy problems, and well, we should see how that technology reaches the indigenous communities.
Here is a question, which they want three of panelists to respond: According to these advances, how could promotion and prevention be implemented to motivate humanity? They are proposing that from the indigenous side, energy production and NASA answer this question.
We are going back to what we were saying; we will be passing on knowledge as soon as we can to our young people, individuals who can move forward and be inspired to develop new technologies, innovate in the field they are doing about Mother Earth; and mainly, and most of all, encourage people. I believe that one of the most important things that encourages me is that we move forward, explore other worlds.
It is very important for us to pass on that knowledge and our passion of our Mother Earth, and so we respect our own planet, understand it.
How does it work? This is a time of great challenge, to explore these fields; and it is very important that our future, the astronauts, engineers, scientists understand this, so they can apply it to new worlds, new worlds of knowledge; and that in this way we can learn from them.
I recently said that it is not to displace one for the other to impose itself, but rather to complement it; and there are experiences that we are making: in Guatemala, the early warning that is also being done in the communities. Then technological aspects are being used, such as also the knowledge of the indigenous peoples; they are two things that are being complemented, to be in front of these situations.
Also, another issue is that right here in Panama, in the regions, there are brothers who are becoming technified; in Honduras there are indigenous brothers who are also being technified. Because I believe that technology advances too, and if we as indigenous peoples do not follow the same pace, it is another thing from which we are going to be left behind. But this does not mean that we are going to lose sight of what it is to strengthen our own cultural identity as indigenous peoples.
To conclude, and respond to this concern, but to Dr. María Luisa Castaño, there are three very short questions:
- What is currently the percentage of sun conversion to energy, and what will it be in five years? And what comparative cost of a current solar panel and in five years? (complicated question).
- Is sustainable and renewable technologies already exist to cover the energy demands, why do we still use fossil fuels and manufacture products (cars) that are based on it? What is the interest behind it?
- It is spoken about citizen responsibility, but what capacity of agency does the citizen have when the politician (like the genocide imposed on the sun, in the spatial case) is carried out? (That’s how I understand the question).
María Luisa Castaño
They are short but not very easy to answer.
In regards to the photovoltaic energy, I believe that in the last five years not only the efficiency of the panels has been improved, but the cost has been reduced. At this moment I believe that photovoltaic solar energy will have a reduction of more than 40% in the next five or six years with an increase of 20% in efficiency; so that from my point of view it is an absolutely extended market.
And I would like to have a very simple example, and I'm going to take it out of the Latin American continent: the institution where I work has a project with Guinea-Conakry to install photovoltaic panels in three villages, to electrify three villages; the fundamental problem is where the funds are going to be obtained from to install the panels that would come to provide electricity to the villages.
Well, a study has been made of its base economy, which is the production of coffee: how it is possible to generate coffee in a more efficient way; and with the benefits obtained by issuing coffee and selling to fair-price markets, sufficient financing has been obtained to electrify these villages. A very simple and very concrete example.
Why are we using fossil fuels? (Well that is the question). First, because the economic system is based on arranging coal, gas or oil easily. It is not that the other electricity is not simple, everyone has sun, but it is true that in the infrastructures of gas stations, gas pipeline networks… they are available.
What is certain is that at this moment the owners of the main sources of energy are people, entities, companies, while the renewable energy sources do not have an owner nor will they have it. The sun, the air, the wind will be at our disposal, then, they will be more democratic.
And finally the role of citizens; well, I will also put a very simple example: When one of you is going to buy a vehicle, I do not know if you are considering buying a hybrid, an electric, a plug-in. Those small actions are what make a citizen contribute, and ask: “What can I do for the planet?” Well, possibly, instead of buying a diesel or gasoline vehicle, buy a hybrid or an electric vehicle (if the use is going to be circulating the city, which is 90% of our use of vehicles).
Many thanks to all of our panelists, strong applause to them. Today we have spoken so many things, right? And one may be very clear or more confused; but definitely intelligence, discipline and love for Mother Earth will lead us to many possible innovations that are taking shape in the CUMIPAZ 2017 in Panama; so I call everyone to that deep love, that love with passion to the planet, Mother Earth, which is fundamental.