To a growth economist who was more than a little scornful of a recent Lancet/Rockefeller Report promoting desirable environmentally-friendly changes, I wrote the following:
If I understand the main thrust of the Lancet/Rockefeller Report correctly it’s probably dead-right in that what it envisages will probably take place. In case you haven’t noticed, modern technology is gradually moving away from metal-based technology (requiring high-intensity energy inputs) towards carbon-based materials of far more versatile physical specifications and performance (needing only low-intensity solar energy).
And this applies to electronics, too, with DNA-based algorithmic computer software, synthetic DNA memory (self-reparable and thus more durable than present day memory chips, vulnerable to radiation damage) and DNA super-conductance along their cores. More than that, waste products and unfashionable goods can be completely recycled with synthetic bacteria unlike the pollution of the present metal-based era.
How long will all this take? A lot longer than some of the more superficial environmentists imagine — with their, at present, risible ideas about ‘renewable’ technologies (windfarms, solar cells, etc) — but it’s happening, nonetheless, with a celerity of discovery that’s quite awe-inspiring. We’ll see many serious ecology-friendly (and economics-friendly) developments this side of 2100, I’m sure.