30,000 Human Genomes to be Sequenced in 2011 – Exponential Growth

MIT Technology Review on the incredible rise in number of genomes sequenced per year: Exponential: The number of human beings whose entire DNA sequence is known has increased dramatically. This year, the world’s DNA-sequencing machines are expected to churn out 30,000 entire human genomes, according to estimates in Nature magazine. That is up from 2,700 … Read more30,000 Human Genomes to be Sequenced in 2011 – Exponential Growth

My WFS2011 Talk: The Infinite Resource: Growing Prosperity While Reducing Impact on the Earth

I gave at talk this morning at the World Future Society 2011 Conference in Vancouver.   The talk was entitled The Infinite Resource:  Growing Prosperity While Reducing Impact on the Earth, and it looks at what the ultimate limits of growth and prosperity on this planet are, how we’ve gotten where we are, and how we … Read moreMy WFS2011 Talk: The Infinite Resource: Growing Prosperity While Reducing Impact on the Earth

Solar Cheaper than Coal in 3-5 Years? GE and First Solar Think So

The news is carrying two stories in the last two weeks pitching solar as potentially cheaper than current electrical rates in the next 3-5 years. First, in an interview with Bloomberg, GE’s global research director Mark M. Little said that their thin film solar PV (now at 12.8% efficiency) could be cheaper than fossil fuel … Read moreSolar Cheaper than Coal in 3-5 Years? GE and First Solar Think So

Is Moore’s Law Really a Fair Comparison for Solar?

[This is an update of a post I first wrote in March of 2011, responding to criticism of the analogy of Moore’s Law for solar power. Updating in April 2015, on the 50th Anniversary of Moore’s Law, in light of renewed conversation on this topic. tl;dr: Moore’s Law is an analogy. As an analogy, it … Read moreIs Moore’s Law Really a Fair Comparison for Solar?

The Exponential Gains in Solar Power per Dollar

My post on the Moore’s Law-like exponential gains in solar power per dollar went up at Scientific American yesterday.  Reprinting here with permission. The sun strikes every square meter of our planet with more than 1,360 watts of power.  Half of that energy is absorbed by the atmosphere or reflected back into space.  700 watts … Read moreThe Exponential Gains in Solar Power per Dollar

Organic Crops have Lower Yields than Conventional Crops

Plant pathologist Steve Savage has analyzed the data from the USDA’s Organic Production Survey (the largest ever survey of organic farming in the United States) and finds that organic yields per acre are substantially lower than the yields of conventional crops. By far the biggest negative environmental impact of farming comes from deforestation to clear … Read moreOrganic Crops have Lower Yields than Conventional Crops

Singularity Summit Talk: The Digital Biome – Re-Engineering Life on Earth to Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century

This weekend I was at the Singularity Summit in San Francisco.   On Sunday I gave a talk called The Digital Biome – Re-Engineering Life on Earth to Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century.  (Follow the link to see the slides on SlideShare.) The basic thrust of the talk is that we’re facing very … Read moreSingularity Summit Talk: The Digital Biome – Re-Engineering Life on Earth to Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century