“The environment is everything that isn’t me.”–Albert Einstein
Back in the ancient days of 2014, Bill Gates predicted there will be no poor countries by 2035. Is this likely? Who knows? But it’s hard not to see that renewable energy and materials will become increasingly critical if the world is to maintain current population and economic growth rates.
While you’re reading about all this week’s future-related news, don’t forget that you can subscribe to Seeking Delphi™ podcasts on iTunes, PlayerFM, or YouTube (audio with slide show) and you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook
Environment–Technologies to remove and recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere have long been dismissed as too expensive. But a paper published this week in the journal Joule suggests that existing technology might bring the price down to as low as $94 a ton, vs. previous estimates of $1000.
–Energy isn’t the only renewable imperative. Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea says it will use 100% renewable or recycled materials in all its products by 2030. That would be up from the present level of 70%.
—A new project aims to map the entire global ocean floor by 2030. Only about 10% of the sea bottom is currently charted.
3D Printing–Renewable materials aren’t the only critical need for a growing world population. Housing is vital, too. And while there have been several stories in the last year about 3D printed homes in prototype stage, a Dutch company claims it now can create the first habitable printed home that can pass building inspection. They look a little like above ground hobbit holes.
CRISPR/gene editing–The US Food and Drug Administration has put the brakes on what aims to be the first human trial of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to treat Sickle Cell Disease. In a press release issued by by the therapy’s developer, CRISPR Therapeutics, the agency cited “certain questions” that need to be resolved before proceeding.
Blockchain–Former Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno, writing for Hackernoon.com, says Asia will use blockchain to take over the world economy. Among the reasons he sites, is the simple fact that they are already in the technological lead.
–Taking over the economy is one thing. But former Augur CEO Matt Liston, wants it to take over religion, as well.
Hypersonic warfare–Russia is building a new submarine capable of firing hypersonic missiles. It’s projected to be finished by 2027. In the meantime, the US Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $928 million contract to build hypersonic missiles, with a prototype to be ready by 2022.
Robotics/Coming Attractions–The next Seeking Delphi™ podcast will feature an interview with Joanne Pransky, who bills herself as The Worlds First Robotic Psychiatrist.®