[Will Patterson returns to wrestle with the question: Should we reject technology for its failures or embrace its possibilities? In each post Will highlights two recent technological developments that can help an individual reduce his or her ecological footprint and help society as a whole do the same. He includes links to source articles and a bit of commentary. Click here for the previous "Will Tech" installment.]
Well, I’m back after a long hiatus with two new sons in tow. Personally, the birth of my children has renewed and reinvigorated by interest in technological solutions to the environmental conundrum.
When we went camping as kids, my father always told me to make sure that our campsites were left cleaner than when we arrived. I fear that our generation (and preceeding generations) have failed miserably to uphold this ethic, and our kids will pay for it.
Personal Technology: High-Efficiency Consumer Solar Cells on the Horizon
An MIT researcher has created a solar cell that will be more than 4 times as efficient as current technology. This is only one example of a trend towards high-efficiency solar panels that will be available in the next few years. If you haven’t already installed solar panels on your home, you may want to wait for the next generation to come out.
Personal Technology: Zero Pollution Power Plants that run on Temperature Differentials
An Australian company called EnviroMission has started construction on a power plant that will contain what will be the second tallest building in the world. Essentially, the design is a giant chimney on top of a giant greenhouse that will be located in the desert. Air underneath the greenhouse will heat up dramatically in the desert sun. The hot air will rush up the giant chimney through a set of large turbines that will produce energy. To my non-scientific eye the design looks solid and it should require very little maintenance once up and running.
Until the Next,