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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let´s "waste" our future

When the Roman Empire was at its peak, a million people lived in Rome.
Once it collapsed, and Rome wasn't able to get the resources from far way places, within a very short period of time slumped to about 50,000 people.

That was all what Rome was able to support from it surrounding ecosystem, no more able to get resources from far away any more.
This is the best historical example.
There are three areas on which we must focus: the first is understanding what we consume and how much we presently need.
Book keeping doesn't avoid bankruptcy, but it helps understanding where you are.
The second area is what we call "infrastructures".
Infrastructures should last for decades.
Think about the way how your cities are built and that will determine how and how long we will live in them.
For example the insulation of a building will determine for decades how much energy that building will consume.
The third area is to focus on innovations.
Innovation is the biggest tool we have to solve our problems.
But if not focused on the right direction, the problems will not be solved.
Knowing what and where we are, will allow us to invest in the right direction.
I can tell you what kind of energy we will be using in a 100 year, that is pretty obvious.
Right now we are using in the order of 15 terawatt of energy to power the human economy.
The Sun provides 175,000 terawatt to our planet.
For sure 100 years from now we will be using predominately the Sun, as we did in the past, during the first 1,500,000 years of human existence.
We will realize that garbage is not the end of the cycle, but the beginning.
Our waste could become a significant resource for our economy: the worst thing we can do with the waste is mix the various materials, therefore downgrading its use.
By separating out all the various waste streams, we will give a huge value to them. Paper from recycled paper, metal from metal, etcetera.
The organic food can become soil again through composting, without contaminating the rest of the waste streams.
A part of the waste might have a high energy value and could be burned very cleanly. Waste could become a huge opportunity rather the problem it is today.
The future is in OUR HANDS.
Let’s "waste" it.
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