We have reason to be more optimistic than any other period in the history of civilization. This entire week I will count the ways.
There are constant fights about the usage of air-polluting fossil fuels. Those problems will go away on their own as we see clean energy costs get cheaper exponentially. Why burn dirty coal to create electricity when we have 5000X more energy than we use per year on this planet? We humans on earth use about 16 Terawatts of energy every year. I’ll repeat that…every year we use a total of around 16 Terawatts of energy. Every 88 minutes there are 16 Terawatts of energy hitting our earth…free. Engineers and Scientists are bringing the costs and usage of this mostly free sun-power to our door.
Solar energy is riding the rocket ship of Moore’s Law. I’ll talk about Moore’s Law extensively tomorrow, but suffice to say it’s getting cheaper very quickly. For us lucky people living in sunny climates it will be silly not to use solar energy. By 2019, it is predicted that the cost of solar energy will be 6 cents per kilowatt hour vs. 15 cents today. How do you like your Smart Meter spinning backwards PG&E?
Let’s take a quick backward glance to another technological innovation.
The Second French Empire was ruled over by Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, basically our pre and post-civil war years. Napoleon the 3rd hosted the King of Spain for a royal feast. The troops of Napoleon dined with Silver utensils. Napoleon dined with Gold utensils. Wanting to show the very best to his royal guest, the King of Spain dined with aluminum utensils. Ugh! BUT, aluminum was much more valuable and expensive then. It only constitutes 8% of our earth’s mass. Technology brought about Electrolysis and not only did we bring down the cost of producing aluminum, we now use it in our rain gutters and have a throw-away mentality about aluminum. Aluminum is cheap metal.
Tomorrow I want to talk about the most exciting part of my optimism about the world’s future. Bring your party hats.