It may sound gruesome but the drought has already arrived and here to stay for many years. The good news is that there is something we can do together to eclipse it slightly, if not restrain it completely
It was reported recently that California has just one year left before it runs out of water. The Bay Area has survived many bubbles from the dot-com bust to post 911 instability to the great recession of 2007, but I’m not sure if it will be able to withstand the next big bubble of valley running out of water. It may sound gruesome but the drought has already arrived and here to stay for many years. The good news is that there is something we can do together to eclipse it slightly, if not restrain it completely.
Stop chasing apps
Silicon Valley has gone blind in the race of app-rush. Every new college grad wants to launch his own startup to make some app which does something fancy. While there is no harm in doing that, it does attract lots of VC attention, energy and very large amounts of moolah which otherwise could have been used to save humanity from extinction. I am still baffled by the fact that WhatsApp was bought for $19B and how in the world Snapchat has a higher valuation than SpaceX. And I also go bananas over the fact that a simple app which just sends “Yo” even managed to grab $1.5M of investment and enjoyed so much attention. Do we give more importance to self deleting pics and not to the very thought of humans becoming multi-planetary species?
Where is the next Elon Musk?
High levels of aerosols in the atmosphere cause heat from the Sun to be reflected back into space, lowering temperatures on the Earth’s surface and reducing rainfall. Why don’t we have any startup working on making airplanes or drones or balloons that will absorb these aerosols and bring back much needed rains? Why is the technology to prevent or predict earthquakes still at a primitive stage? Why don’t we hear much about startups working on facilitating technology for farmers to boost crop production or predict precipitation or maybe develop cutting edge technology in the field of irrigation? Well, for now these are just science fiction startup ideas for the next Elon Musk. Till then we want drones to help us make more money by delivering goods and selling advertisements by connecting people through the Internet.
Valley without clouds
If not mobile apps, then you will find investors throwing a s**t load of money on cloud application startups. But only few care about the fact that valley has not seen rain clouds for many years. Why are tech investors not encouraging startups to work on more complex problems instead, like retaining the moisture of and controlling the flow direction of clouds? We have oceans of water that no one can figure out how to purify – by removing the salt to use every day? Why are farmers in India committing suicide? Why is farming considered to be the least desired profession and why is the farmer still the unsung hero? The answer is simple: We want to solve easier problems and still make millions quickly without having to give back anything.
But how you can help?
Whether or not you are an investor, you can still make lot of difference. I keep saying this: The best time to grow trees was 20 years and the next best time is today. Don’t use water like there is no tomorrow. The most critical thing is to teach your kids how to save water, grow trees, waste less food and respect farmers. You should just worship one God and visit just one temple. And that one God is water and trees are the temple. Even the basic things like disposing compost, recyclable items and landfill trash in methodical fashion can save us a lot of grief in the long term. And can we please learn to use only how much paper we actually need?
The single largest cause of all the evils in the world is the desire to have more, bigger and better things in life, be it a car, home or job. Outcome: We end up burning hours every day in our commute. While we don’t care about the time we waste each year in traveling, we should certainly be more responsible for the amount of CO2 we emit through our commute. The best option is to carpool or to bike or use public transport. But if you can’t embrace a 360 degree change, then you can at least use EVs (Electric Vehicles). And with Tesla soon planning to release its Range Assurance feature, gone are the days when range anxiety was your excuse. Remember, we no longer can afford to let Earth be the sandbag that continues to receive the punches from our selfish desires. This may be our last and only chance to save the planet, so please come forward to conserve each and every drop of water and protect each and every tree around us.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer or any other organization.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.
Featured Image Credit: Gordon / Creative Commons