Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, who take part in a billionaire’s space race
– Credit: PA
When I was little, I was told the story of the little Dutchman who went home in the evening and discovered a hole in the side of the dike, ran forward and blocked it with his finger to prevent a flood.
I had also seen the floods on the east coast in 1953, in which over 2,000 people were killed. Will we be able to plug the hole and prevent the worst effects of catastrophic climate change?
Some of the solutions proposed are the dreams of high-tech billionaires like Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.Branson recently returned from the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic starship, aided by the ship named after his own mother Eve.
With the recent biblical apocalyptic storms, fires, and floods in this wizardry of construction Spaceships something of our own adventure for us.
Are these men trying to be Noahs of the 21st century? We’re going to need all the high-tech knowledge we can muster to save the planet, but it has to be earthbound and pragmatic and not the stuff of science fiction.
When I drove through traffic to Norwich, was I was embroiled in a cavalcade of Extinction Rebellion activists along the inner ring road.
Then outside the forum I discovered a sleek purple and blue electrically powered Porsche (other brands available) – a manifestation of Musk’s dreams & Co.
An enthusiast spoke to salespeople who didn’t seem to know that the car was powered by a 630 kilo lithium-ion battery to go from 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds and 155 mph to drive.
He and I discussed the future and found similarities in terms of battery storage solutions, a fully integrated public transport system, more cycling and less dependence on the individual ual car use.
He defended the muskish idea of flying cars, automated lane-keeping systems, hands-free driving, and electric vertical starters.
Imagine lifting off your back garden and rushing among a swarm of like-minded buyers to the supermarket or over the roofs to land in grandma’s driveway. Heathrow and Stansted have enough problems with a centrally coordinated air traffic control system. And then there are the drones …
We have recognized the massive future demand for electricity and raw materials. And the need for business park space to store excess energy for recovery in times of low generation.
This year, Norfolk was set back by an individual appeal when Vattenfall wind farms lost the green light in February due to a Luddite decision.
But the district council is plowing ahead with large asphalt, concrete and steel projects, massive CO2 emitters and greenhouse effects.
Currently, 32 million electric vehicles are being put into operation, as fossil fuels will run out from 2030. Branson’s spaceflight and Musk’s mining on Mars will continue to mess up our world with space junk.
We need to build efficient recycling and reprocessing facilities to recycle the valuable elements in these batteries and recycle plastic. We need an exemption from planning so that households can generate more of their own energy, free from the grip of global power cartels.
We need to retrofit houses with insulation and build affordable passive houses that use up to 90% less energy, like the award-winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich.
We don’t need science fiction kids, but we do need the latest technology, AI and visionary planners to work for the future of the planet.
The industrial revolution created these problems, now science is needed to mitigate them, but that doesn’t mean flying to Mars.
The story of the little Dutch boy who stopped the tide was a myth, a children’s fairy tale, however can we draw from this spirit and find technological solutions to prevent the worst climate change before it is too late?
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