While it is clearly true that no single solution to global warming is likely to solve the problem without implementing the Job One for Humanity Plan, it's also true that technological innovation may be able to buy us more time or smooth the path to this crisis being resolved by removing some obstacles along the path.
I ran across two stories in my news read this morning that I thought I would share with you.
The first is not really a technological solution, but it relies on an important law that has powered the semiconductor revolution for the last 30 or so years. In computing circles, it's referred to as Moore's Law. Discovered by Gordon Moore, this law states that the number of semiconductors on a single chip would double every year into the foreseeable future. Even though he offered this insight more than two decades ago, he has been proven right.
Now, a new report suggests that this principle can be aptly applied to the reduction of carbon emissions throughout the world. This report, which was scheduled to be shared with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, March 24, proposes that rather than the incremental percentage changes adopted in the Paris Accord, we instead adopt a simpler and evidently more effective approach by requiring "all people, cities, businesses and countries to halve their emissions every 10 years."
This would have a couple of advantages over the current approach of requiring percentages of reduction by years. For one, it gets a bigger early start by cutting 50% of carbon emissions in its first year. Also, as years go on, it becomes easier, not harder, to implement,
You can read the entire article on the report here.
The other news story of the day does involve technology as a helper solution to the global warming crisis. Conservationists have long sought, by numerous techniques and approaches, to remove humanity from the equation of interactions with nature were our influences been largely or entirely negative. In the latest development, scientists have developed and programmed underwater robots which will operate autonomously once they're deployed. These robots are featured in an article in the Atlantic today which asks the intriguing question, "We worry about machines going rogue. What if they went green instead?"
the robots in question are programmed to operate in and among coral reefs, where their job is to identify crown-of-thorns starfish, which have a huge appetite for corals, and to inject those starfish with a lethal poison that has been used by divers hunting them manually. Starting from this relatively simple, if adventuresome, idea, a team of three researchers has come up with a "wild" idea for one way to address the damage humanity is doing and has done two habitats on the planet.
From the article: "Landscape architect Bradley Cantrell, historian Laura Martin, and ecologist Erle Ellis have taken this ethos to its logical extreme, and ended up with what they call a “wildness creator”—a hypothetical artificial intelligence that would autonomously protect wild spaces." the idea is that these AI's would do such things as redirect water flow, shut out human-generated light, clean up litter, and in other ways modify the habitat to be more… Well… Habitable.
You can read the entire article here, and if you're interested in this sort of thing I encourage you to do so.
Just keep in mind what I said at the outset. No single technological approach can stave off global warming long enough for us to get a handle on it, at least no technology we've seen so far. But we can make use of technological concepts and developments to help us accelerate the process of halting global warming or to postpone the tipping points outlined in the book Climageddon.
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