Friday, May 30, 2008

Will we face a global crisis as a race?

I must admit - I am an optimist. Despite all what is going on in the world lately, and the rather negative forecasts for the future, I believe that "all will be fine". To be precise, I believe that to all the problems we currently face as a race, solutions will be found in time. The reason for this believe is the following line of thought.
As a race, we always had members who tried to solve complex problems - even those problems that are far from the everyday reality. The Ancient Greeks, for example, tried to square the circle. The mathematicians of the present try to prove or disprove the existence of an odd perfect number.
It is hard to say what is the driving force behind those attempt to solve problems, but our present society is build on them. All the technology we use is a result of research - which was often done without any practical reason. While we don't have a solution for a constantly growing number of problems (a lot of which are self caused) , we are finding them one by one. A few days ago microbes that eat plastic were discovered, for example.

The most current problem is an economical one. The price of oil is going up, and the USA dollar is going down. There are many reasons for this - but there are also many solutions. An invention of an alternative fuel source would be an excellent way out of this situation. This may sound a bit too optimistic, but why not? Not so long ago someone discovered a way to make fuel from water. All what was required is to add some (cheap) chemicals to the water and you could use it as you would use ordinary fuel. This person was killed and his discovery died with him.

Another problem that we face is overpopulation. Personally I don't believe that we are in any serious danger because of it. According to the information I have, we already have the necessary technology to produce enough food for about 50 billion people. Waste is still an unsolved problem, but if we already found microbes that eat plastic, we will do fine.
There is also a not so elegant but interesting way to provide us with a large food base - we can eat insects. They breed very fast, and are a good source of protein. See the following video for an example:

Found at: Student Loan Consolidation

As a final note, I think that crisis come and go. The political landscape of the world will likely change greatly in the following decades, but it will be just more of the same...

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