2014/05/17 ISEPP Lecture: Ramez Naam

by Gene Kim on

#devops

Watching @Ramez Naam, author of awesome book "Nexus", speak: "Can Innovation Save The Planet?" http://www.isepp.org/Pages/13-14%20Pages/Naam.html

  • His books:

  • Pictures from his lecture: https://plus.google.com/photos/109697686983715659184/albums/6011069388038248625

  • .@ramez holds 19 patents from his 9 years at Microsoft

  • .@ramez: "It's not so much that the planet needs saving; it's us [as humans] that need saving"

  • .@ramez: "Infant mortality: Egypt 1973: 15%; Egypt 1940s: 25% (3 dad's siblings died during infancy); US 1900s: 25%; US Today: 0.7%

  • .@ramez: "Shanghai was a fishing village 30 yeras ago

  • .@ramez: "We need to grow 70% more food in future, as population and meat consumption goes up

  • .@ramez: "ROC: 4th largest body of water on earth; now it's nothing.

  • .@ramez: "Fossil water: formed by repeated melting and retreat of ice age: hundred thousands of years old"

  • .@ramez: "we've now pumped 25% of it; half will be gone by 2050; refill time: 100K years"

  • .@ramez: "Himalaya water: 1B people competing for it: China, India, Russia: all have nuclear weapons

  • .@ramez: "We have to work 10x harder to get fish than decades past

  • .@ramez: "European heat wave 2013: worst heat wave in 1540s; 70K people died in Ukraine

  • .@ramez: "1/5 of Pakistan underwater, evacuated; warm air carries more moisture, then dump it hard other places; more drought & concentrated rain

  • .@ramez: "11K people died in Moscow;

  • .@ramez: "Humans have long history of overcoming limits; sperm whale almost died out by 1950s; premier energy source for lighting; clear, odorless, flickerless lighting

  • .@ramez: "Moby Dick based on true story of hunting sperm whale, enraged whale sinking ship

  • .@ramez: "Invention of kerosene: geologist;

  • .@ramez: "physical resources are vast; 10,000x hourly sun has same energy of an entire year's of humanity's use of energy

  • .@ramez: ".3% of land area of planet could power all humanity

  • .@ramez: "Water? 70% of surface is water; .3% accessible to humanity

  • .@ramez: "Food: farms convert sun into calorie form; 35x incr is possible, but tech isn't good enough yet

  • .@ramez: "Not resource limits; innovation limits; inoviation can multiply access to resources

  • .@ramez: "20x solar power than 1980

  • .@ramez: "First Solar: Macho Springs: 50MW @ 5.7 cents per kwh: first plant at/near 6 cents per kwh, wholesale process

  • .@ramez: "We need storage; electricity at night; in some ways, bigger challenge than creating energy

  • .@ramez: "cost of batteries: dropped by 15x over last 20 years;

  • .@ramez: "Energy is the master resource; we crack taht, and we can crack food problems: need to grow 70% more food by 2050

  • .@ramez: "Corn made a breakthrough that enabled higher calories; can we take that gene and move to wheat?

  • .@ramez: "Soybeans take less fertilizer, b/c they can take nitrogen out of the air

  • .@ramez: "Salt water: energy to boil it, desalination energy: dropped by 10x; every cell in our body desalinizes; $0.01 per 5 gallons; enables agricultural use of water

  • .@ramez: "Airplanes use 3x less fuel vs 1960; we use 3x less oil; water use peaked in 1970s, down to 1950s level (farms more efficient)

  • .@ramez: "When children/mother hits 2.1 (replacement rate), population bomb defused; US only country with positive population growth; Iran is at 1.6

  • .@ramez: "Only way to get rich is to trash the planet; not true anymore, b/c resource usage decoupled from population growth

  • .@ramez: "iPhone 3 using ENIAC technology: 2 mile cube, using all power in state of California

  • .@ramez: "iPhone not use of steel and plastic; it's made of accumulated human knowledge, with thin veneer of materials

  • .@ramez: "I give you an idea, I can't take it away; it's duplicatable; they accumulates

  • .@ramez: "It's a big race: between consumption vs. innovation

  • .@ramez: "$22 trillion of assets we can't burn: fossil fuels

  • .@ramez: "If climate change only took 100 years longer, then it's be no problem; for now, it's going to be close

  • .@ramez: "we need more education, poverty reduction, technology acceptance (GMO and nuclear power is being tossed out), fix the market

  • .@ramez: "Fix the market: fix market failures: we can accelerate solutions tremendously

  • .@ramez: "Market failure: dumping in the river was free: companies moved there where it was easy dump it downstream (does damage to someone, but downstream suffers)

  • .@ramez: "What changed? River caught fire for 11th time; songs written about it; 1969; by 1973, passed Clean Water and Clean Air Act

  • .@ramez: "All environmental failures is a market problem: public lands or international waters where no one owns it; climate problems are due to tragedy of commons

  • .@ramez: "Cleveland 2x richer than 1969; can drink out of Cayahoga river now; decoupled growth from pollution -- it's about rules, not resources

  • .@ramez: "Ozone layer: 1989 warning: Montreal accord; now 2028 to recovery

  • .@ramez: "Why? CFC release banned it; 100x easier than climate change problem; objections: people will die from lack of AC, hospital medicines will go bad

  • .@ramez: "Acid Rain: SO2 emissions: created cap and trade (an innovation); clamp down on emmission permits goes down until S02 levels decrease; both sides hated it

  • .@ramez: "It's worked: SO2 down by 4x

  • .@ramez: "Our big challenge: put a price on carbon; phase out coal, then gas, then natural gas; built last coal plant in US

  • .@ramez: "China to cut coal use, shut polluters, in bid to clear the air; now has internal carbon market larger than all of Europe

  • Pictures from his lecture: https://plus.google.com/photos/109697686983715659184/albums/6011069388038248625