I am fascinated by all the opportunities that technology will provide us as a result of the pandemic. I certainly realize the suffering we have gone through as a result of the last year, but I kinda think when we look back on it as a higher level we will see it as the beginning of a technology renaissance that allowed us to evolve to levels seldom predicted. Let’s look at some of the areas that will likely explode with opportunities in the later parts of this decade.
The COVID19 vaccine is a new kind of vaccine. The mRNA vaccines will help us teach our bodies to fight biological invadors more effectively and will likely lead to breakthroughs in combating all sorts of diseases. For example, researchers have hope for a mRNA cancer vaccine, which wouldn’t prevent cancer, but could help your body fight different forms of it.
This pandemic will likely be just a beginning of different forms of viruses. That will be caused due to global warming making viruses that are now trapped in the permafrost become active.
Geothermal breakthroughs are generating a lot of excitement.The molten core of the earth is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If we could tap 0.1 percent of the energy under the earth’s surface we could supply humanity’s total energy needs for two million years. So, why are we destroying our atmosphere by burning million year old garbage?
I am proud to say that engineers are working out ways to mine the heat in the nonporous rock beneath the surface. Geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world.”
This pandemic has made it clear just how our gasoline powered transportation is strangling our world. Just look at most major cities across the globe and you will see that the air around them is orders of magnitude cleaner that is was prior to March 2020. Of course, that is primarily due to us driving fewer miles in the last twelve months.
In the electric car sector, Toyota is developing a vehicle that can go 310 miles on one charge and can charge from zero to full in 10 minutes. Tesla will be doing everything they can to prove that they are the electric car innovators of the world by even outdoing that. Most of this area depends on a major leap forward in how we store energy. Right now batteries are many times more efficient that just a decade ago, but I think we will see a major leap in this technology very quickly.
These leaps forward will, like in the past, cause some serious disruptions in how we earn a living and whether we have to “earn” a living at all. What happens to all those drivers displaced by AI? What happens to people who currently work on farms and ranches if labs take a significant share of the market?
The political difficulties will be complicated by the fact that the people who will profit from these high-tech industries tend to live in the highly educated blue parts of the country, while the old industry workers who would be displaced tend to live in the less educated red parts.
Government investment has spurred a lot of this progress and they have to come up with aggressive ways to mitigate the cultural shocks. But it is better to face the challenges of dynamism than the challenges of stasis. Life would be longer and healthier, energy would be cleaner and cheaper, there would be a greater sense of progress and wonder when that happens. Isn’t that a world that almost all of us would like to live in?