It’s a no-brainer: renewable energy means a better future for all kids. Using renewable energy would improve the quality of life for children by making it easier for them to get essentials like clean drinking water, reliable healthcare, and quality education worldwide. However, lack of access to consistent or reliable energy sources can adversely impact children on many profound levels.
Increasing infant mortality rates are still a significant problem that must be tackled immediately. According to UNICEF’s estimates, 13,800 children under five died daily in 2021. In addition, mortality among children under five has increased in the past two decades. It is estimated that 223 million children worldwide did not reach their fifth birthday between 1990 and 2013.
Children are especially vulnerable because they rely so much on adults to provide for their basic needs. Children are the most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of socioeconomic factors such as pollution, unclean water, poor sanitation, child abuse, and illiteracy.
A collective of corporations, ‘Global’s Corporate Machine’ led by visionary inventor and entrepreneur Kenneth W. Welch Jr. has made it their mission to preserve the environment and address these staggering issues for all future generations. By bringing innovative renewable energy solutions to the world stage, Mr. Welch Jr. and his corporate machine comprised of industry titans DIDI, Global Oceanic Designs, Inc., SeaDog Systems, Inc. and Diamond Infstrucutre Development are offering their dedicated effort to transform the severe issues confronting today’s children.
Pollution Caused By Burning of Fossil Fuels
Pollution caused by the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, diesel, coal, biomass, and gas seriously affects human health, especially children’s health. Children from minority groups and low-income families are disproportionately at risk from breathing polluted air and suffering stress. Children are more susceptible to environmental risks than adults due to their size, physiology, and behavior.
Young children may be more susceptible to environmental infections and contaminants because they consume more air, water, and food per unit of body weight than adults. According to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution affects one billion people, primarily women, and children. The pollution levels can be up to 100 times higher than what is deemed safe for humans.
Air pollution in megacities is two to eight times the threshold the World Health Organization sets for what is safe for children to breathe. Several common outdoor pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and volatile organic compounds, are released into the air due to the combustion of fossil fuels, the operation of power plants, and other related activities.
Exposure to air pollution is connected to more than 60% of the disorders associated with respiratory infections. In 2001, 2.2 million children under 5 died from an acute lower respiratory infection. So it’s essential to control these pollutants using renewable sources.
Fortunately, nature provides a steady supply of energy from the sun, waves, wind, water, and geothermal, all of which contribute little to greenhouse gas emissions or air pollution. Hydropower’s immense potential can be put to good use, relieving pressure on the system by bolstering the security, dependability, and adaptability of the energy supply.
Kenneth W. Welch Jr.’s dam-free, wave-driven hydropower system is an example of this type of renewable energy source. His company’s Wave Energy Stalling Device, enhanced with system additions like the Wave Energy Fulcrum Pond Pounder and the X-Wave Tank System, can help transform the power industry and eliminate pollutants that affect children’s health.
Unsafe Drinking Water and Poor Sanitation
Over two billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and nearly 2.8 billion do not have access to sanitation, despite considerable efforts to improve water supplies. Most diarrheal diseases, unfortunately, can be traced back to dirty living conditions and low standards of cleanliness at home, in the community, and among people.
Various diseases are brought on by contaminated water and poor sanitation, many of which are fatal. Diarrheal illnesses kill over 100 children per 100,000 annually in many of the world’s poorest countries. Unfortunately, the rate is around 300 per 100,000 in several African countries, including Central African Republic, Chad, and Madagascar.
In 2017, 1.6 million individuals died from diarrheal diseases, one-third of whom were children under five. Even if diarrhea doesn’t kill a child, it still affects many of them, making them weak, malnourished, and more likely to have other health problems.
More than a billion people live in slums or squatter camps across the globe. Safe drinking water is still unavailable to about 18% of the global population, while sanitation facilities are out of reach for about 40%. Children are especially susceptible to the effects of these situations.
The most effective strategy for stopping the spread of diarrhea is a combination of improved access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education and promotion. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions have all been linked to a lower incidence of diarrhea. For example, investing $1 in WASH solutions can save $4.30 in healthcare expenditures and environmental damage.
Water and energy should work together to ensure everyone can access safe drinking water. Using sustainable energy for desalination plants and irrigation pumps is crucial to water treatment and distribution.
It takes a reliable energy source to pump water to where it’s needed for human consumption and sanitation. Integrating renewable, decentralized energy systems, such as Global’s onshore hydropower technologies and cutting-edge water purification technology, can increase people’s access to electricity and clean water.
Mining’s Long-Term Impact on Children
The world’s reliance on fossil fuels is expected to decline gradually, which should help reduce global warming. Electric vehicles will soon replace gasoline and diesel vehicles on the road. In addition, wind and solar power facilities will replace fossil-fueled power plants. A greener planet has been the goal of many. However, scientists express concern about the potential environmental damage caused by these green technologies.
The process of locating and extracting the materials needed to construct these technologies may have substantial implications for biodiversity and the environment. For example, metals like lithium and cobalt are needed to make rechargeable batteries used in electric vehicles and energy storage.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo sources 70 percent of the world’s cobalt supply. Cobalt is a crucial raw material for lithium-ion batteries, electronics, and electric vehicles, which major tech corporations mass-produce. However, mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is associated with child labor, environmental violations, and corruption.
The mining of cobalt results in massive amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions and uses a great deal of electricity. In addition, the DRC’s numerous uncontrolled mines employ children as young as seven. These children risk dying from lung diseases from breathing in cobalt dust while working in unstable tunnels.
With onshore hydropower facilities, such as the one offered by Diamond Infrastructure Development, Inc. (DIDI), electricity may be generated close to where it is needed. This will decrease reliance on imported fuels, metals, and minerals like cobalt, lithium, and rare Earth. Furthermore, it will lessen the danger faced by the many children who are forced to work in these mines.
Over 70 million kids worldwide work in industries like agriculture, mining, and domestic labor where they are exposed to serious risks. For example, child miners at small-scale gold mines in Africa, Asia, and Latin America often utilize poisonous mercury to process the gold, putting children at risk for brain damage and other significant medical issues.
Children as young as ten are forced to work in hazardous situations in small-scale mining. A shocking 40 percent of the 255,000 Congolese working in the cobalt mines are children, the youngest of whom is just six years old. These artisanal miners help satisfy the energy sector’s need for raw materials. Unfortunately, the green technology revolution increases the demand for raw resources mined by child labor.
Child labor in the artisanal mining sector is still common due to poor economic conditions. It is, therefore, essential to transition to renewable energy sources to combat climate change and child labor. However, the transition to renewable energy should be done in a way that respects and safeguards the human rights of children.
The electric vehicle industry, solar energy, wind energy, and battery storage facilities all depend on batteries and magnets that are often produced using child and slave labor. Fortunately, this can be mitigated by switching to more sustainable energy sources. For example, the energy produced by hydropower plants does not need to be stored in giant batteries.
Communities can be directly powered by onshore-based, wave-driven, dam-free hydropower, such as the one developed by inventor Kenneth W. Welch Jr., founder and CEO of Global Oceanic Designs and SeaDog Systems, Inc., and CEO and President of Global X’s Wave Facility. This hydropower system can be installed underground, beneath the business district, golf course, or central park, eliminating the need for expensive and dangerous lithium batteries.
Critical Problems Facing Children Today Need Innovative Energy Solutions
Children’s safety, health, education, and well-being are the cornerstones of a sustainable society. However, children are at risk due to poverty, child labor, emerging diseases, exploitation, pollution, poor sanitation, and an absence of clean water. Therefore, we must never lose sight of prioritizing children’s rights and overall well-being.
Investing in children is a proven strategy for combating poverty, increasing economic opportunity for all, and fostering unity. In addition, children have a personal stake in clean and renewable power. Health, education, safe water and sanitation, and social policy are some areas that can benefit from investing in sustainable energy solutions.
Energy production, specifically the combustion of fossil fuels for the creation of electricity and heat, is a significant contributor to the greenhouse gases that blanket the Earth and trap the sun’s heat. Around 73% of all US greenhouse gas emissions and almost 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels, including coal, oil, and gas.
All too often, children are the ones who suffer the most from these greenhouse effects. If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to reduce emissions by roughly half by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050. For this reason, we need to shift away from fossil fuels and instead invest in renewable energy sources that meet reduced emission standards.
Fortunately, pioneering companies such as SeaDog Systems, Inc., Global Oceanic Designs exist. Inc. and Diamond Infrastructure Development, Inc. (DIDI) provide alternative hydropower solutions to help create more sustainable energy sources. The company’s founder and CEO, Kenneth W. Welch Jr., has developed a wave-driven, dam-free hydropower system that generates electricity with low emissions and little dependency on resources like cobalt and lithium.
A Better Life for Every Child Through the Use of Renewable Energy
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) acknowledges the inseparable relationship between adequate energy resources and children’s rights. Young people, in particular, have a huge stake in clean, renewable energy. As one of the most vulnerable demographics, children and young people bear a disproportionate share of the burden in places where sustainable energy supply is limited or inconsistent.
The use of renewable energy has a significant impact on essential services such as education, healthcare, and water and sanitation. Cheap, dependable, sustainable, and efficient energy can help advance development goals, alleviate multidimensional poverty, and cut emissions. In addition, it will give children access to clean and potable water, reliable health services, and better education.
For example, renewable energy can be used to run water pumps and filtration systems, improving the availability of clean water in communities. These systems can be installed in outlying locations to help communities fight water-borne infections and reduce child mortality. In addition, using renewable energy sources improves classroom conditions and helps kids learn more effectively.
Fortunately, renewable energy technology has come a long way in recent years. Products like the SeaDog Systems Wave Energy Stalling Device, the Wave Energy Fulcrum Pond Pounder, and the X-Wave Tank System have significant potential to help communities provide reliable and sustainable energy sources. Future generations will be able to live in a better world because of these innovations. Sustainable hydropower is now within reach.
With hydropower, we have the opportunity to tap into a vast and renewable source leading to a greener future and cleaner holistic living, addressing the slew of issues outlined above. Mr. Welch Jr. shares, “We have the best sustainable technology on the market – the one that produces most efficiently with the least environmental impact and even has the best price point. We do this because we care about what happens to the future of humanity – we care about the world our future generations have to inhabit. We want that to be a thriving, healthy place where the suffering of children is behind us.”
“We’re going to create energy inland in places that would never have clean water and power without this technology. And we’re going to change the world for our children’s children.”