What makes a Global Solution?[edit | edit source]
- It must have the ability to take a substantial problem the planet or the human race faces, and address more than 90% of it.
- It must not create another problem in the process.
Global Warming[edit | edit source]
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Conventional solar panels cost around $2.30 per watt to produce. http://Nanosolar.com claims to be manufacturing 1 gigawatt of panels per year, with a manufacturing cost of $0.30 per watt. Customers include German municipalities. Nanosolar has several hundred million dollars of capitalization.
http://Konarka.com, headed by Alan Heeger (Nobel, Chemistry, for discovering conductive polymers) estimates their production cost will be around $0.10 per watt with gigawatt-scale production in two to three years. Konarka's capitalization is around 60 million dollars.
Coal is about 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions. Oil is most of the rest, with natural gas trailing.
Either one of these technologies could reduce the price of solar electricity substantially below that of coal. This gives rise to the possibility of profitably displacing coal capacity with solar capacity at a terawatt scale. To get oil out of the picture, a cheap high density battery technology is also required. I'll do a write-up on the (good) prospects there another day.
Poverty[edit | edit source]
Improved Agriculture[edit | edit source]
Farming Education[edit | edit source]
http://oneacrefund.org has a training program on 12,000 farms in Africa, demonstrating doubled agricultural productivity and halved infant mortality.
Global Potential of Organic Agriculture[edit | edit source]
Can organic agriculture feed the world? http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/agronomyfacpub/110/ (Ivette Perfecto - "yes - 80% increase in current farming output on average globally")
New Scientist commentary on the paper: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12245
Water and Sanitation[edit | edit source]
In general, see the http://akvopedia.org for a list of appropriate water technologies. I've simply picked a few representative examples that have some substantial scale.
Filtration[edit | edit source]
Potters for Peace Filtron http://web.archive.org/web/20120530225807/http://s189535770.onlinehome.us:80/pottersforpeace/?page_id=9
Biosand filter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioSand_Filter
Both of these systems have been deployed widely and work
Pumping[edit | edit source]
Sanitation[edit | edit source]
Education[edit | edit source]
- eLearning(web& mobile)could be considered one of the main factors for a green planet, by reducing travel of students and teachers as well as open new fields of work for free lancers and etutors,in addition to that saving papers and much more benefits.
Such a technology considered as green technology.
There were about 1bn cell phone users in 2002. Now (2009) there are 4.1 billion users. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/03/02/un-telecommunications.html
Promote land grants in poor regions to endow microscholarship funds, expanding grassroots access to entrepreneurially-run schools and Internet eLearning centers. http://www.entrepreneurialschools.com/microscholarships
Transparent Governance[edit | edit source]
Flexiwage systems such as Singapore's policy of linking public employees bonuses to annual economic growth. http://www.openworldinstitute.org
eGovernment and m-Government - streamlined licenses, forms, permits via cell phones and/or the Internet. Links: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/ICMeCG.2009.40 , http://web.archive.org/web/20101014002158/http://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/twittering-your-way-to-improved-governance , and http://www.egov4dev.org/mgovernment/index.shtml
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
If we can solve the clean energy crisis, which is that global clean energy right now is not enough to maintain civilization - if we stopped using right now we'd die, like an addict - then we can stabilize the biggest current threat to the planet's ecology. The ultra-cheap solar panels indicate we can do this, and profitably.
If we can solve the global food problem through education in improved agriculture - possibly delivered by internet-enabled cell phones - then we have taken off some of the worst impacts of poverty, and the do-it-yourself nature of the water and toilet technologies mentioned here may also enable them to be spread online.
This is just a list of what works and what can be scaled or has substantial scale already. Please do not add:
- already solved problems, like smallpox - make a new page of Solved Global Problems List
- technologies which haven't yet shown substantial scale - make a new page of Potential Global Solutions List if you like.
- problem areas where we do not have any solution - make a new page of Problems Without Global Solutions for that, please.