Technologies Humanity Needs to Survive
I have been thinking a lot lately about what technologies that mankind still needs to invent in order to literally survive.
The first technology is the most obvious. Humanity needs an ultra-cheap source of energy that is environmentally friendly (at least carbon neutral). Whether mankind uses cheap solar panels, windmills, fusion reactors, or even a combination of these technologies, mankind needs energy technologies that are so cheap that environmentally unfriendly energy alternatives are never an option.
The second technology that mankind needs is energy storage devices that are environmentally friendly. Whether it is lithium ion batteries (that can be recycled for a profit) or hydrogen gas (derived from electrolysis of water, thus no carbon), they need to also be cheaper than environmentally unfriendly alternatives.
Right now, mankind is striping the planet for raw resources at an unsustainable rate, while most of these same resources are being thrown away in huge quantities into landfills. Therefore, it is obvious to me that mankind needs technologies that will make recycling landfills cheaper than harvesting directly from the Earth. I foresee a teeming number of robots searching and sorting every landfill in the world for precious resources that can be recycled for a profit. This includes table scraps (for re-use as fertilizer), scrap metals (including gold), glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, wood (maybe for mulch or fertilizer), etc., basically everything in landfills can be recycled, but only if it can be profitable enough.
Economical space travel for colonization of other worlds, both within and outside of our solar system, would help ensure the survival of our species. Unfortunately, space travel is currently nowhere near being economically viable.
In my opinion, the last technology, that mankind needs, is backup biospheres. These biospheres would need to be able to continuously supply enough food, water, and air for a certain number of people for extreme long periods of time. Whether is it is for space travel, colonizing other worlds, or right here on Earth to replace environmentally damaged land, this technology is critically needed for the long term survival of mankind. Again, this technology would have to be an affordable alternative to current unsustainable solutions.
In conclusion, it seems mankind knows what new technologies are necessary for the survival of humanity, however making them economically viable maybe be the final test to determine if mankind can survive mankind.
by Phil for Humanity