Technology Breakthroughs for Energy, Food and Water Crises

Dominican University Osher Lifelong Learning – Winter 2012

Session I – 1:45-3:30 pm Fridays Jan 13 – Feb 17, Guzman Hall

Rod Handeland, rpjhand@pacbell.net, www.rodhandeland.com

 

I. Recent technology potentials in energy, water and food supply

Energy – Shale, transportation, renewables, conservation, efficiency

A. Shale Gas, Oil, Tar Sands – Major new fossil fuel supplies retard renewables progress

B. Electricity in Transportation – Fuel options to petroleum imperative for cost, supply, world stability

C. Petroleum Supply – Source, supply and price problems and potentials

D. Renewable Sources - Cost competitive and Not in My Backyard (NIMB) challenges

E. Fuel cells, nuclear fusion economically or technical infeasible or non competitive now

F. Political Gridlock Prevents Consensus on Economic Growth and Environment Tradeoffs

G. Behavior changes needed for half potential energy savings and improvement

Fresh Water – Silicon sensors, monitors, controls for food and factory

A. Increase supply of useable water

B. Move water from source to need

C. Improve desalination for use in resource rich desert areas like Persian Gulf

D. Solve Fresh Water Problems – Pricing, Borders, Allocations, Himalayas

 

Food – Abundance from productivity, biotech, nutrition enhancement

A. Monitors, sensors and controls for nutrient delivery and limit fertilizer runoff

B. Biotech seed technology for drought resistance, growth speed, nutrient value

C. Challenge of fears, threats and education

Major interrelationships of energy, food, water technologies

 

 

II. Energy, Food, Water Technology through Civilization

 

A. Antiquity through Fertile Crescent

B. Classical World through Rome

C. Middle Ages to Industrial Revolution

D. 1700’s Industrial Revolution

E. 1800’s Electricity to Petroleum Energy

Energy

Food

F. 1900’s Synthetic Materials, Nuclear Modifications

Synthetics

Energy

Food

Water

III. Energy technology breakthroughs with transportation focus

A. Discovery, Development and Application of Energy Fuels

B. Challenge of Fuel Storage for Transportation

C. Energy Conservation and Efficiency through Technology and Individual Choices

 

IV. Fresh water as life essential and technology potentials for supply and use

A. Increase supply of useable water

B. Move water from source to need

C. Improve desalination for use in resource rich desert areas like Persian Gulf

D. Solve Fresh Water Problems – Pricing, Borders, Allocations, Himalayas

V. Life science breakthroughs, tradeoffs in food, water and energy supply/demand

A. Monitors, sensors and controls for nutrient delivery and limiting fertilizer runoff

B. Biotech seed technology for drought resistance, growth speed, nutrient value

 

C. Challenge of fears, threats and education

 

VI. Reconciling technology potential to environment, human values and politics

A. Costs and Benefits of Technology to Sustainability, Global Warming, Environment, Rights

B. Varying ethical and commonweal values and beliefs on technology application

C. Nation State Values of Citizen Rights, Economic Growth, Development Systems

D. Interrelationships, complements and conflicts among food, water, energy