End Of The World?
"There's always an Arquillian battle cruiser, or a Corellian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague about to wipe out life on this miserable little planet. The only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO. NOT. KNOW ABOUT IT." — Agent K, Men In Black
Heard the News?
We’re all Doomed. The End is Coming.
- Global climate change is melting the ice cap, flooding the top of the gulfstream with fresh water, functionally stopping the planet’s circulatory system. We could be living under 40 feet of ice and snow
- Insane leaders have nuclear bombs.
- Deadly plagues are everywhere, AIDS, SARS, H1N1, and something new called Golden Staff are growing, changing, mutating.
- Oh - The asteroid is coming. One hits and wipes out life on the planet every 40 to 50 million years and it's been 65 million since the last one. It's late. It's coming.
- The plankton's dying, bees are diminishing, frogs are being born with seven heads, jellyfish are clogging our oceans, our political system is completely constipated and the world's economy is in total collapse.
Surprised? Don't be. We've had plenty of warning. In fact, the Mayans saw this coming 5000 years ago.
Worried? Don't be. Turns out shouting "Doom and Gloom, the end is Coming…" has been a favorite human pastime for all or recorded history.
- Imagine what a blast they had with the year 666, called the Year of the Dead.
- We did it again in 1666: Preachers after the Great London Fire were calling it 'the beginning of the end.'
- 1000 – Undoubtedly the end of the world. And we did it again in the year 2000, fortunately the world was saved by a handful of geeks pulling an all-nighter or two.
- 1910: Halley's comet. The tail contains hydrogen cyanide, and earth was going to pass through it.
- 2012 – The Mayans. Can't argue with them. They built pyramids! Their 5 digit, base 20 numbering system makes our 2012, their year 999.
Rather than doom and gloom, I see a future based in fact that over the past 200,000 years, man has overcome whatever difficulties he has needed to and not only survived, but thrived.
Indeed we do have some problems; climate change, overpopulation, pollution, disease to name a few. Watch us solve them – one by one. For the most part the solution is Energy – Where there is energy, there is abundant life. Add sunshine to a terrarium or walk into a greenhouse in the springtime and see the impact of abundant energy.
Energy is cheap now. What do you pay for electricity? A few hundred dollars a month? Well, what do you think we're going to do when the electricity bill is $1000 per month? We're going to turn off the bathroom light when we're not in there, invent TV's, refrigerators, and air conditioners that consume a fraction of the power. We're just beginning to try.
Look at the trend. 20 years ago we concluded that "Information was power." So we developed hard disks to store unlimited amounts of information. Then we connected them all at high speed so that we have all the information we need whenever and wherever we need it. That's ubiquitous information. When we have storage and connectivity, everyone on the planet can be brilliant.
Now, we've concluded that "Power is Power". And we already have all the connectivity, our grid, but we can't really store power. And remember we need both storage and connectivity. So we're inventing storage; battery technology, storing energy in ice, super capacitors, our cars, and in a hundred different ways. And if we can't figure out how to make a decent battery we'll tap that big battery in the sky (the sun). We're on the road to ubiquitous energy.
Imagine what the world will look like when everyone on the planet has all the energy they need -- we can grow enough food for everyone, clean all the air and water we need, and even if another ice ace occurs, we can survive and even thrive.
But it doesn't happen by itself. It happens because we make it happen.
Instead of focusing on the problems, we need to watch for the solutions. Look around. Pay attention. Identify the people and companies inventing the technologies we need. Great ideas need to spread like wildfire in order to grow – and each one of us needs to be a part of that. We all know the world-changing power of word-of-mouth to drive and support innovation. Use it. Spread the word by email and on social networking sites in any we can. Become an early adopter. Buy solar energy systems, hybrid vehicles, high efficiency appliances. Invest in innovator's companies. Support legislation, like renewable energy incentives and carbon credits that build these industries. We need to actively support the innovations that will bring about the era of ubiquitous energy.