Will We Make Our Numbers? The year 2020 has a majority of the planet asking the simple question: “How do we stay alive? Competition is not working for the long-term sustainability of human and environmental well-being.
As we work to decouple carbon emissions and economic growth on the path to net zero emissions — so-called “clean growth” — we must also meaningfully deliver sustainable, inclusive growth with emerging technologies.
While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact. In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. We believe that tracking and communicating the environmental impact of ML should be a key part of the research and development process.
In 2019, millions of young people took to the streets demanding “systems change not climate change.” Their call echoes the words of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, which stated that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
Disruptions can have positive as well as negative impacts on natural and human systems. Among the most fundamental disruptions to global society over the last century is the rise of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital technologies. These digital technologies have created new opportunities to understand and manage global systemic risks.
Some collective behavior that supports sustainability entails some individual inconvenience: many small acts of environmental kindness require some thought, effort, or consideration.
Two major forces are shaping the future of human civilization: anthropogenic climate change and the digital revolution. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind and the natural systems on which they depend.
Mann and Toles crystallize for us climate change denialism, principally in the United States, over the last generation. The core of this denial results from the confluence of several trends deeply embedded in the American culture.
Does access to science communication inevitably lead to greater public understanding of science, its discoveries, and their impact? Does access to online data sets inevitably lead to full comprehension of available information by scientists?
Why would anyone own, or even need to own, a driverless car, if they do not get to drive it? Which in turn begs the question, if the central tenet of the personal car ownership model (i.e., ownership) no longer holds, then what is the replacement business model?
This month I will briefly discuss the work of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, which I have the honor to chair this year.
The increasing number of dam projects deployed in developing countries over the last two decades that perform poorly illustrate a disconnect between planners, stakeholders, and technological energy solutions of choice.
The ability to grow animal muscle from a few cells into meat for the kitchen is a significant technological advance. The book Clean Meat proposes that beef and other meat be lab-grown.
The Trump administration cannot simply reject current theories of climate change based on nothing more than that it may conflict with a constituency’s self-interest or one’s sheer lack of understanding.
Twenty-five years ago we didn’t know that solar energy, including modular photovoltaic (PV) plants ranging in size from 1 kW to hundreds of megawatts, along with increasingly larger, electronically-aided wind generators (up to 8-MW offshore units), would become in just 25 years the cornerstones of a revolution in power production that is drastically changing the face and fate of power systems.
Unmet local concerns related to renewable energy projects can result in costly project delays or cancellation. Strong political and financial incentives encourage state authorities and renewable energy developers to address issues of social acceptance.
It can be easy to explore the dark side of technology while not highlighting the benefits. But over the past… Read More
Recent research indicates that pollution (air, water, …) is a major killer on a global basis. That pollution kills is… Read More
Figure 1. Designers Erik Addison, Luke Morey, and Grant Parrinello (not affiliated with this research) developed a marketing campaign for a… Read More
A recent anthology of “climate fiction,” Loosed Upon the World, projects climate change forward some years into dystopian scenarios. The editor,… Read More