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From Ethereal to Real

1 November 2016


In the early twentieth century, Fritz Haber, pulled ammonia and nitrogen from the air, and fed the entire world.

Recently, scientists working on carbon reduction pulled ethanol from air, creating fuel and reduced carbon. No drilling. Perpetual regeneration. Sustainable, predicted to be economical, and no one is talking about it.

In the last couple of years, a plane flew slowly, ever so slowly, using solar power, around the world. Setting a record. This thing will get faster. Once the technology supports 70MPH, or 100KPH won’t cars be fueled this way?

Elon Musk is promising standard roof shingles, or something similar, that will provide solar power, solving a number of problems at once.

Clean water is a critical requirement for all of us. Kopo and Rorus are at least two start ups addressing this for parts of the world where getting clean water can be a challenge, due to lack of sufficient infrastructure.

Aquion has developed a safe battery for storing solar power. It doesn’t explode, it stabilizes power. It is a simple saline solution.

What if the power goes out?

Wouldn’t you like cleaner air, cleaner water, and healthier options? These innovations point to ways of addressing problems in ways that work regardless of beliefs. Ultimately, these solutions need to be cost effective relative to the status quo in order to eliminate the economic barrier to change. In other words, innovation needs to improve the chances of cost savings not only in the long term, but immediately. Most of us will not change simply because it may be beneficial at some point in the future, we want economic neutrality in our solutions, don’t we?

For me, all of these are solutions to some of the issues facing the developing world, and this may not even be a consideration for the people who invented these technology advances. While visiting Blantyre, a city in Malawi, a country in Africa, I asked why all meals were cooked over charcoal on what I would call a type of light weight stove, they call it a brae, when they have an electric stove. “Why Bern, the electricity goes out all the time randomly. What if the power goes out? It may not go on and the food is wasted.” Wouldn’t you know it, we were heading to a dinner party that night, and the electricity did indeed go out for the next two hours. Solar, batteries, clean water, even in remote villages can address those problems.

We have the ability, in our minds, to mold our future. It is within each of us to develop plans and concepts that can revolutionize our own lives if not the lives around us, and just maybe create a global solution that will propel mankind forward.

(also published on LinkedIn Pulse)

One Comment
  1. A beautifully written peace.

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