The Infinite Resource: Growth on a Finite Planet
The sun strikes the earth with as much energy in 14 and a half seconds as all of human society consumes in a day. In 88 minutes it provides as much energy as humanity uses, from all sources, in a year. Our world is home to a thousand times more water than humans tap into, mineral deposits that stagger our needs, and enough arable land to grow food for tens of billions.
Yet climate change, peak oil, peak water, and global poverty and hunger are real. In the midst of abundance we face crisis of scarcity.
How do we reconcile these facts? How do we create a path forward that taps into our world's natural abundance in a sustainable way, rather than slipping into a downward spiral of scarcity?
Ramez Naam, author of More Than Human, demonstrates that knowledge is the ultimate human resource, and that properly directed innovation can tap into our world's vast resources while at the same time reducing the negative impact we have on the environment.
With the right incentives and right choices, we can increase the wealth, health, and wellbeing of everyone on Earth, and do so in a way that preserves our world for generations to come.
Ramez Naam is a computer scientist and entrepreneur. He is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (Broadway Books, 2005), which the LA Times called “a terrific survey of current work and future possibilities in gene therapy, neurotechnology, and other fields.” For More Than Human, Naam was awarded the 2005 H.G. Wells Award for Contributions to Transhumanism.
Naam spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he lead development on early versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and most recently the Bing search engine.
Naam is a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and blogs at http://www.unbridledspeculation.com. He lives in Seattle, where he is currently working on his next book The Infinite Resource: Harnessing the Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet.