I just love, love, love the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind. Well, I also hate, hate, hate the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind when it’s applied to torture and cruelness, but that is another issue. In this case, it is applied to something dear to my heart, the environment.
Check out this story about a synthetic tree that sucks up carbon dioxide 1000x faster than a normal tree. It costs $30,000 to produce one currently. However, if the U.S. government funded it, I imagine it could be brought down in price dramatically. If the government spent, let’s say $20 billion dollars on this technology, and assuming some efficiencies of building these things to scale, then we could make an immediate and ginormous dent in global warming RIGHT NOW. This seems like a miracle cure for global warming. It would eliminate smog in Mexico City and Los Angeles. It would fix up the arctic ice shelf. What are we waiting for? The money is nearly irrelevant to the U.S. government.
However, this is a sad commentary on our world. How can we get the government to have the WILL to spend money on global warming? Here, we have a miracle cure and all we need is the will to make it happen. Good ideas and great inventions are not enough. We need political courage in our leaders. We need to value the “right thing” more than the “convenient thing”. Our values have to turn into leaders by voting for people who believe in the future of great ideas.
This goes for companies just as much as government. Does your company put a great invention on the shelf? Does it squash a good idea in its infancy? Does it value creative and inventive thinking? Are you enabling a meritocracy or are you clinging to the safe, well trod path. What is the leader of your company doing? Do your part. Maybe, if we work together, we can save the world…or your SaaS product.
UPDATE: Slashdot reports a scientist who developed a battery that lasts 10 times as long as Lithium Ion. So that’s electric cars that go 2000 miles per charge and synthetic trees that eat smog. Come on people!