Alternative Energies


Portuguese

Nine o’clock in the morning and a bright shinny sun lets it powerful rays fall upon the almost barren land north of Guajira.

Abadesa, a 29 year old Wayüu woman, steps down from the donkey upon which she has crossed two kilometers from her settlement in order to fill several pots with the water in the pool at the side of the windmill.

This is a routine she carries out twice or thrice per week in order to stock up the liquid which is so scarce and precious in her region. Once the pots are full, she gets on the noble and faithful animal once again and heads back, but before that she stops by a group of villagers and talks briefly to them.

They hand her a pot made from a sort of local pumpkin and she wets her hair with its contents in order to freshen up.

Goats and cows quench their thirst in a trough in the background, before they continue their search for pastures, which are obviously scarce during the summer. Children play around a pond, while several women wash their family’s clothes.

Two donkeys, three colored demijohns and a trupillo forest complete the picture of the typical landscape of many parts of the Alta Guajira.

The central point of this beautiful view is the mill that is driven by the strong winds of the season. For over half a century the Wayüu’s water supplies comes from the water they get from the deep wells through the use of an energy whose name they care less than they do for its usefulness: wind power.

For different reasons humanity has been forced to explore sources and types of energy different from the ones that it had traditionally used. Aspects such as costs and the need to protect the environment forced investigators to explore other possibilities different from usual ones.

Today humanity has several possibilities in this field: solar energy, biogas, tidal energy, thermal and others, wind power among them, and thanks to which Abadesa gets her supply of water in the mill close to her settlement.

That is what alternative energies are: an alternative which is benign with the environment and in most cases, cheaper than traditional sources.

For example, let’s recall that nuclear energy produces highly dangerous nuclear waste and mutations in live beings. Hydroelectricity produces climate change and alterations in the fauna and flora and the erosion of lakes and rivers, as well as changes in their courses in some cases.

The use of petrol and gas entails air pollution, environmental contamination and changes in flora and fauna.

Alternative energies have several good points in their favor, among which we can mention:

1. They do not consume fuels: and this is indeed good news for the atmosphere and the ecosystem for it means less pollution.

2. Its sources are endless. We will always have an enormous and powerful "lamp", the sun, offering us its light, and we will always have good winds to produce wind power.

3. They do not produce environmental contamination.

4. They do not produce climate changes. Global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer are completely unrelated to this kind of energies.

5. They do not alter the balance of flora and fauna, except for some minor impact which does not endanger the survival of the species.

Sooner or later the fossil fuel reserves will come to an end, but before this happens, we must prepare for the transition towards clean sources of energy that provide us with comfort and well being, without us having to pay a fortune in terms of destruction of the ecosystem and the degradation of life in the planet.

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