Al Gore Underscores Wireless Role in Fight VS. Global Warming

Former US vice president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore lauded the initiatives of the wireless industry to help reduce the adverse effects of global warming, but said the industry still needs to strengthen initiatives and pursue higher goals for the environment than just mere profits.

The environmental activist was the final keynote speaker during the annual CTIA Wireless held last week.  According to the CTIA website, the four-day event gathered some 34,000 key players of the wireless industry from 169 countries to launch and explore innovations in the field.

Gore said much of the future will depend on how the environmental problems are dealt with at present. As the world grapples with the seemingly insurmountable issue of global warming, Gore said the wireless technology will play a major role in solving the problem.

“Wireless is going to be one of the key tools we use to solve the climate crisis,” said Gore. “The wireless communications industry is at the heart of the transition we need to make.”

Gore said to address the climate problem, it is important for individuals to have ready access to useful information “so that they don’t have to go to centralized locations and go through a lot of rigmarole… when they can get (information) even as they’re mobile and going about their daily lives.”

Gore recognized the initiatives of the wireless industry to promote the environmental thrust in terms of advocacy and education campaigns. Today, many companies have become environmentally conscious, getting rid of carbon emissions and trimming down wastes. We now have phones made from recycled materials, like Samsung’s Blue Earth and Motorola’s Renew. Samsung’s Blue Earth has add-in solar cells in the gadget, Nokia reclaims old phone parts, while LG Electronics puts up sun-powered phone charging outlets.

Telecommunication companies have also started to reduce power usage in their operations, which reduces carbon footprint. There are those that have built cell sites powered by alternative sources of energy such as wind, geothermal, biodiesel, and solar to get rid of environmentally ravaging batteries and diesels.

Gore said the most important contribution that the wireless industry will make in the anti-global warming bandwagon is to create linkages among green technologies, initiatives, and industries worldwide.

In the field of telemedicine, Gore said patients don’t have to travel long distances to meet doctors as sharing of valuable information can now be done wirelessly without producing tons of paper records.

Eventually, there will be no need for massive centralized power plants as new electric grids fed by renewable energy from alternative sources will be established in localities. The wireless technology will be the key element to connect and manage these grids.

Gore said the wireless industry is “one of the great success stories in the American economy” and that progress in this field will continue to revolutionize the communication processes.

One of the most eye-popping products rolled out during the recent CTIA is Samsung’s first WiMax-enabled Mobile Internet Device (MID) called Mondi.  The pocket-size device runs the Opera 9.5 Web browser and has a 4.3-inch touch screen.

Executives were thrilled by the much-awaited RIM’s Blackberry App Store, which makes it easier for Blackberry users to customize their phones by directly downloading third-party application from an online catalog.