The Evolution of man is one of my favorite subjects. I think about my grandfather’s lifespan of 70+ years, my father’s lifespan of almost 90 years and now I’m in my 7th decade of observation. What each of us has witnessed in technological changes in and to our lifestyles is mind-boggling. Yet, each of us had our pessimism fueled by the news media of our generations. Now, more than ever, “if it bleeds it leads” type of news is on 24/7. The news from every corner of the globe is 98% pessimistic; wars, tsunamis, diseases, climate changing extreme weather, economic collapse, unemployment, drug wars, terrorist plots, police brutality and riots in the streets all over the world. Is it the end of the world?
Actually we have reason to be more optimistic than any other period in the history of civilization. This entire week I will count the ways.
The one problem that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the water supply for our globe. There isn’t any more to be had. What we had when the earth started forming well over 4 billion years ago is all we will ever have. The earth only has 1% of its surface made up of fresh water. Here in the Central Valley alone, we have ongoing water-rights fights continuously happening. Some parts of the world have no safe drinking water, like Africa, and people are dying because of a lack of clean drinking water. Statistics tell us over 900 million people are in desperate need for drinking water.
That problem is very close to being solved forever.
That wonderful entrepreneur, Dean Kamen, who gave us the famous zero-emissions Segway rider, has been working for over 10 years on a water purification device. Now it’s not only developed but ready for deployment. The device is called a “Slingshot” and is the size of a dorm-room fridge. It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make the first one but now mass quantities can be produced for $2000 each. The Slingshot will convert 1000 liters of clean drinking water per day out of latrine water, salt water or any kind of waste water. The cost of conversion is 2cents per liter. The unit is run by his other invention, the sterling generator, which will run on cow dung and also have the ability to light 70 ordinary light bulbs a day. Coca-Cola has agreed to deploy these Slingshots globally in over 206 countries. Isn’t that incredible?
70% of our globe is covered with salt water. Now it will be drinkable water for 2 cents a liter.
Take that Arrowhead!