The Technologies to Save Us Are Already Here
The technologies that will save humanity and propel it to the future are already here. However, it’s the new applications of these technologies that will allow for the solving of the more difficult challenges to humanity. For example, vaccines have been around for well over 200 years, and it after cowpox was first demonstrated as effective, that new applications to other viruses started to be developed. It would still be some time before polio and other diseases were conquered.
For climate change, it’s possible that the technology for a massive carbon sink is already here. It’s green and might have been responsible for ushering in an ice age. The Azolla event is believed to have drawn down so much CO2 that we’re still benefitting from it.
Azolla event - Wikipedia
The Azolla event is a scenario hypothesized to have occurred in the middle Eocene epoch, around 49 million years ago…
So, if we were to try to sequester 50 GT of CO2 equivalent, how much land would we need based on this Wikipedia article on Azolla algae production? Well, about 6.4% of the Earth’s surface, or 22% of land, would need to be used if we were to do nothing about current carbon use.
However, that is using just the baseline technology. What if we were to put a ratchet to this algae technology? What if we were to create strains that could pull in more CO2 and double or triple the carbon used per square kilometer?
The same applies to other areas, including health care. It’s the tweaking of these technologies, rather than the discovery or creation of outright new ones, that can save us.