Technologies for Energy, Food, Water

Technology innovation and application along with their underlying scientific discoveries have been the framework for economic progress and improved living conditions for centuries. Can we rely on this now and in future to provide solutions to current crises in energy, fresh water and food supply? How does this relate and contribute to efficiency and conservation for global sustainability and help meet challenge of global warming?


Technologies for Energy, Food, Water Highlights and Summary

Food, Water, Energy: the very essence and support for our lives. We may realize how critical and essential each of these is to life, just as they have been through eons of civilizations. However, today we often think of them in terms of shortages, price rises, pollution and ongoing crisis. We often overlook the remarkable parade of technology application that has been applied to these life sustaining forces and that are responsible for their abundance in our lives today.

But can we count on technology application of scientific advances to continue to perform its fishes and loaves miracles in the future? Our intent in the first weeks of the Winter Term is to both assess how this parade of progress might continue to fulfill hopes for better lives, as well as address some of the byproduct ills that plague our environment and threaten life itself.

Time won’t permit a methodical analysis of how we got to today from man taming fire a half million or more years ago or the wave of technologies that changed us from a hunter gather to settled civilized societies ten millenniums ago. We won’t even have time for more than passing reference to the industrial revolution of the 1700’s. That’s when we so dramatically realized the inextricable ties among abundant food, fresh water and energy, which with coal and steam technology broadened our power horizons from wind, wave, falling water and muscle, while dramatically changing life styles.

We will focus on what we can expect of technology today and in the future to help us:

  • Better use our limited fresh water
  • Produce an even greater cornucopia of nutritious and healthy foods
  • Find options to burning fossil fuels, most essentially in transportation

We will assess the hopeful signs of new technology application of life sciences in food and energy. We will see how much of what is needed to dramatically improve water use and energy efficiency already exists, just waiting to be applied from the silicon technology advancements of the last half century. And we will learn how all this is based on electricity, the youngest and most important energy source ever.

Most importantly we will see how technologies enable each of us to change in ways that will result in the preponderance of benefits we will realize from any future technology breakthroughs and applications. Every leading study concludes that over half of all benefits will come from conservation and efficiency, often facilitated by technology. This is true not only for food, energy and water, but nearly all other ingredients that sustain our life as well as that of our world.

   

 

Recent EnergyTechnology Highlights

Energy Challenges and Tradeoffs

Energy Class Slides

Fresh Water Technology Highlights

Fresh Water Class Slides

Food Technology Highlights

Food Class Slides

Technology Review

Food and Energy Slides

Fresh Water Slides

Bibliographical Books Article s Links

Class Session Outline

Breakthrough Industry Timelines

Food Since 1700 Timeline

Energy Since 1000 Timeline

Inventors Hall of Fame Alpha

Inventors Hall of Fame Industry

US Business Innovators

US Builders Hall of Fame

Company Person Hall of Fame

Chrono Person Hall of Fame

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