Jordan’s Green Future
Growing the circular economy 🌸
The Amazon forest is on fire and our Planet’s lungs are being chopped down to pave way for farmland. Brazilian cities are hotbeds for crime. But I want to talk of an other effect from Brazil:
“Brazilianization of the world economies”, (Alex Hochuli American Affairs) a trajectory noticed by politologists and summarised as: flagrant poverty, explosion of the rift of inequality, creation of oligarchies, privatisation of riches and failure of the modern ideal of progress.
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Brazil has been considered the country of the future, and always will be.
This phenomenon can be witnessed in a lot of emerging economies (especially those that are cursed with a lot of resources)
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is at a crossroads in its development and I would like to show how by adapting green goals, the economy can develop sustainably and equitably and fulfil its promise of getting out of the “neck of the bottle”.
Jordan’s impact to global warming is minimal, but the impact of global warming to Jordan will be huge with some forecasting more extreme weather and droughts (except for Oman that will witness more rain than usual). Jordanian CO₂ emission per capita is one of the lowest in the world at 2.4 CO₂ mt/cap vs ~15 for USA, Saudi. It has been going down in the past few years (more efficient cars, natural gas for electricity production, renewable energy).
But even if you think Global Warming is a globalist scam to enslave humanity for the reptilian overlords, I want to show how a green Jordan would actually benefit the economy and what actions can be taken in all sectors and across all levels (briefly):
We import 90% of our energy (for power production and transportation), and now we import from our so called “cousins”. Our share of energy is per small but there are ways to become more efficient and cutting our electric bill while maintaining the same standard of living.
Individual: Upgrading house appliances. For example, your 30 year old fridge when changed with a A+ fridge will use 90% less energy.
Even your PC is wasting a lot of energy (when not mining for Bitcoin): a 2010 PC usage was 150W (for 8 hours/day, 20 days/ month at 0.1 JOD/kWh, cost = 2.4 JOD/month) . A new PC uses 25 W, or 0.4 JOD/month.
Households can benefit from various funding sources at 0 to low interest to upgrade their appliances to more efficient ones and the loans will simply repay themselves from the savings:
JREEF and banks such as Etihador Cairo to name a few.
Corporate: Same as above. Upgrading all PCs and appliances (and instead of throwing them away, find ways to recycle/upcycle)
National: Energy independence would require using local resources. We have oil shale (plant already built) and uranium. Maybe going further and looking into other sources such as geothermal and hydropower. The grid in itself needs further research to cut on loss in transmissions. An e.g. would be upgrading to a smart grid, Danish style.
I wrote about government institutions cutting their electric bill here.
Companies that could benefit: Solar power (hybrid systems that include inverter+battery), appliance manufacturers/distributors with BNPL fintech, LED lights, IT hardware sellers, Nuclear Power Station, Oil Shale Power Station.
Same as energy, we are water poor, and rely on neighbour’s (except Syria) water. Our share of water is 145 m³ per capita. 50% of our water is used for agriculture. 90% of rainfall is evaporated.
Individual: Use Dishwasher instead of cleaning dishes. Use water efficient taps and shower heads. Other water saving techniques can be found on social media:
Corporate: the agriculture sector can benefit from the latest technologies to monitor water consumption and use drip irrigation. Industrial sector could benefit in recycling brackish water.
National: Build/encourage the building of water reservoirs across the country. Increase the water bill based on usage (low-medium usage, relatively free. Wasteful water consumption, higher bills).Upgrade the water sector by lowering evaporation and energy used in pumping.
On average, your car is used 2 hours/day. That means that 90% of the time, it sits idle, taking up space.
As with electricity, transportation sector relies heavily on imports.
Individual: If you believe that the price of oil will keep on rising in the next decades, switching to an electric car would make sense. Adding also a photovoltaic system would make you completely independent. Some in Lebanon have done this before 2019 and are not regretting it.
There are over 1.5 million automobiles in Jordan, with the majority of them being older than 10 years. They are less efficient. Simply upgrading to a hybrid or plug-in hybrid could be beneficial.
Another way to use less fuel is to consider buying a scooter (average mileage is 2 L/100 km). Or better yet, an electric scooter.
Just walking or cycling to your nearest grocery store is cheaper and healthier than all of the above.
Corporate: Driving to work every morning has turned into a nightmare. If you look at the traffic at King Abdullah Park, you notice that all cars are heading to one destination (Shmeisani/Abdali: the Banking, Insurance hub). Most if not all automobiles have only one passenger in them. While waiting in traffic, most cars still have their engines running, wasting fuel and pumping smoke from the exhaust. A quick example to reduce the traffic would be to carpool. 1 passenger in 1 car means average fuel use of 10L/100km/pax. 4 passengers in 1 car means 2.5L/100km/pax.
Banks (with > 20,000 employees) could go even further, as part of their CSR ESG goals, and bring back corporate fleets to pick up and drop off employees (even if to some it would feel like going back to school).
National: Implementing their current transport strategies (inside cities and between different governorates). To speed up the implementation of the heavy goods cargo railway project and dry docks in Maan and Amman. Removing heavy cargo on highways reduces the wear and tear of roads, leading to lower maintenance costs in the long term. Buses for government employees (by scrapping transportation allowance).
Companies: SWVL (for carpooling), automobile and scooter manufacturers/distributors, logistics and distribution and transportation firms.
Individual and Corporate: We have solar heaters and they have been proven to be extremely efficient, but most people only use it in the summer. Hybridisation is key here. Example of having solar heater work during the winter to help your (oil/gas) boiler, maybe with a Jift burner. Solar water heaters have shown to reduce illegal logging.
Some in Europe have already converted to these hybrid systems and are not worried about their heating bills or rationing this coming winter.
National: carbon credits. Enact green building codes.
Companies: Taking into account the above, architecutral firms should focus on building hybrid heating systems and having better insulation. Konn Tech, Hanania, Olive Oil Presses.
Food & Grocery waste
Studies have shown that all along the food chain (from the farmer, to the grocery store, to the consumer), 30-40% of our food is wasted.
Individual: Buying local foods and goods can reduce transportation, lower the trade deficit and help the local economy and possibly encourage local companies to invest and upgrade their facilites.
When hosting a wedding celebration, partner with a local charity that donates the untouched food in the buffet. Or don’t be too much of a generous host.
Corporate: Current trend is towards zero waste. For e.g. instead of buying shampoo on a monthly basis and throwing away the plastic bottle, companies are now encouraging customers to bring their own bottle to refill at the grocery store or having shampoo soap bars packaged in recyclable paper.
As with water, moving towards organic/bio-dynamic agriculture helps reduce the use of expensive pesticides and fertilisers. Farmers are naturally moving towards this trend as it is the most economical and least destructive on fertile soil. (Myth buster: Sri Lanka going organic was not the reason for its downfall. It is mismanagement and corruption)
A lot of consumers also claim that organic fruit and vegetables have more nutrients and better taste. Did your grandmother ever complain how she missed the smell of cucumber and how you could smell it from way across the house?
National: Implement a law similar to the one in France, banning supermarkets from throwing away food.
Implement recycling programs in all directorates (by giving incentives for e.g. no “pick up fee” on your electric bill)
Ensure sustainable agriculture without resource depletion (a good example is Great Zimbabwe in the 15th century)
Throwing seed balls in Nature instead of throwing garbage (and enforcing that law)
Even if you think global warming is a conspiracy theory pushed by cultists and its leader Greta Thunberg (if you are, I hope you are still against air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution and throwing garbage everywhere), I trust I have persuaded you that Jordan could benefit from going green with:
Energy independence and security (power and transportation)
Local organic food/food security
More efficient economy and savings
In the end we get cleaner streets, cleaner air, smaller bills to pay and we are not dependent on hostile foreigners for our basic needs (food, water and energy).
Humanity has been on the constant track of evolution from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic revolution (agriculture, tools and writing), to the Industrial Revolution, and hopefully the next 4th revolution will be the Green Revolution (not IT/AI as some claim, but powered by it).
So let’s “click on our town center” (Age of Empires reference) and give our world an upgrade so we do not devolve to barbarism.
Remember the old Tina (There Is No Alternative): there is no Plan(et) B. Only One Gaia.