• DanaAlexandraSargent

Clean Converting

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

September 30, 2016

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. So, when you start that car, you are not “creating” energy, you are “converting” it.

Talking about dirty energy, clean energy, energy efficiency, energy policy – it all sucks the energy right outa’ me. So, rather than using the “clean energy” terminology that is just spent, in my opinion, I am going with “clean converting” just to keep it fresh!

Politics (read, “money”) keeps getting in the way of the necessary immediate, global action. Yes, we passed the Paris agreement, but even the U.S. goals on planned carbon reductions are weakly termed “intended nationally determined contributions” – there’s no meat there. We are past the point of talking about talking about this. It’s time to move on — now.

With the number of smart people on earth with innovative ideas, the number of rich people on earth able to support their ideas, the number of jobs that could be created if their ideas came to fruition, and with knowledge of the impending doom caused by fossil fuels having been widely accepted at least 20 years ago, (although the greenhouse warming theory was introduced by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius in 1896!)…why am I still using fossil fuels to keep this computer running?

We all know we need to change from non-renewable sources (definition: they don’t last forever!) to renewable sources (definition: they last until the sun stops rising, or until the earth gets too close to it and explodes – yeah, if global warming isn’t ominous enough for you – check out this article called “We’re All Gonna Die!” for the deets on that fun fact).

So what’s the hold up on Clean Converting?

Most entrepreneurial scientists don’t have the necessary equipment on-hand to thoroughly test their ideas, and with pressure from investors, they are forced to prematurely move the product to the marketplace. Technical or structural missteps and/or misjudgments about how the product will be received in the marketplace have led to outright failures of many start-ups. So, entrepreneurial scientists are hard-pressed to find a venture capitalist willing to gamble on them.

But, recent good news reported by Forbes shares a new(ish) program called Cyclotron Road, which provides state-of-the-art lab space and equipment, along with funding and business training to tech-types and science guys trying to save the world! This gives our scientists the opportunity to properly test their ideas in the labs, rather than rushing them to the market only to see them fail. The group held a demo this week in Oakland, showcasing 12 projects to an audience of potential partners and investors.

There are other such ventures popping up using innovative capital gathering methods like crowd-sourcing/billionaire-sourcing. Bill Gates calls them “energy miracles.”

One of our most influential energy miracles (Albert Einstein) said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

If we apply his theory E = mc2 it indicates we’re on the road to a hefty mass of clean technology, since the energy of motion behind it is a miracle – like everything else in this life!

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