Image source: The Science Channel
What will future cities look like? How will we feed the estimated 75% of the global population that will be living in cities by 2050? How will we transport and house and clothe all of those people living in a finite space? Nobel-Prize winning Dr. Daniel Kammen, host of Ecopolis, thinks he might have a few answers.The mega-cities of the future will come complete with a mega-carbon footprint and mega-pollution if we don't begin to implement new practices. Each episode of the show will focus on a different issue and test out whether it's possible to use many of today's technologies and experimental projects to ease the burden of these mega-cities.
Episodes to include: Feeding all of those mouths - can we use urban gardens to feed the millions located in cities and cut down on the food-miles traveled, as well as put our consumption of meat to good use through methane capture. Alternatives to fossil-fuel travel - will cut down on the estimated 2 billion cars and the seven-fold increase in airline miles traveled expected by 2050. Disposing of waste - compiling it on a landfill island or putting it to use as gas plasma power. Housing the masses - how to make buildings more energy efficient and less wasteful, plus how to put larger volumes of people into a finite amount of space.
Dr. Kammen tops this whole "experiment" off with a look at the 20 most visionary world-saving innovations out there, then narrows this group down to the five most likely to succeed and picks the top solution that the world should focus on and urgently implement.
Dr. Kammen is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG), a professor of Public Policy, and a professor of Nuclear Engineering. In addition, Dr. Kammen is chief science adviser for the Barak Obama presidential campaign and has advised several foreign heads of state as well as non-governmental organizations. And if that isn't all, Dr. Kammen is also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is founding Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL).
Ecopolis will air Wednesdays at 10pm EST on the Science Channel starting December 10. Hopefully Dr. Kammen has some bright (do-able) ideas up his sleeve, as this may be an issue of not seeing the forest for the trees until it is too late.