So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Friday, June 27, 2014
Possible game changers
Visions of the future can be pretty bleak. Resource depletion and environmental degradation are real. Some sort of major financial collapse appears to be baked in the cake. Leaders care more for a tiny elite than the regular citizens. I could go on, but you get the idea.
There are technological breakthroughs that can make a big difference. Solar electric has come down in price to the point where it can compete in some markets directly with fossil fuels. Economies of scale along with the best available processes will drop the price even further. That's all happening now.
Then we Elon Musk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk Sure the guy's rich and is involved in some far out ventures like SpaceX and the Tesla electric car. Now that stuff is cool, but for me a real game changer is releasing over 500 patents to the general public. This is huge. At the very least it will give a boost to other companies. They will not have to try to reinvent the wheel. I'm hopeful that the ramifications will be larger than the patents themselves. He sets a good example that doing things to advance humanity are more important than corporate trade secrets.
Then there's the world of money and investment. I'm encouraged by the proliferation of companies that are looking to profit from alternative energy and conservation. One model is for companies to do energy efficiency upgrades and/or alternative energy projects for homes and businesses. The property owner pays no money up front. The upgrades are paid for with savings from lower energy costs. It's a win win. The property owner saves money on energy and eventually owns the equipment. The installation company gets a better return on investment than they would from a bank.
A few years ago I hadn't even heard the word permaculture. Now I know people with permaculture certifications and who are putting those skills into practice. Sustainable agriculture is possible. The world does not have to starve.
There are tools and techniques available to make a better world. Will we use them?
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.