In talking recently with John Trefny, President Emeritus, Colorado School of Mines, he mentioned, "What are some of the problems faced by society? It is obvious that many of these are driven by one primary cause – population growth!"
Population Growth Brings Challenges. Trefny continues, "We are literally in a race against time to address such challenges as: World health; food supply; the depletion of natural resources including materials, non-renewable energy and water; a deteriorating infrastructure in developed countries and the total lack of same in developing ones; serious challenges to our environment; and many more."
Where are the Solutions? Besides the clear and sometimes 'politically incorrect' focus to limit population growth, the world needs the development and diffusion of appropriate technical solutions.
Noble Purpose of Engineers and Scientists. Trefny continues, "Now, more than ever, we need universities to develop engineers and scientists who will take responsibility as leaders to:
• accurately assess the carrying capacity of our planet;
• communicate clearly the physical realities that constrain us;
• develop all technologies possible for indefinite supplies of energy including the technologies that will bridge between non-renewables and renewables;
• optimize farming and the generation of crops for food, energy, and materials;
• develop efficient recycling of all materials, mining in effect what has already been used;
• plan not just for 2020 but indefinitely into the future for the sustainability of mankind; and
• who can envision not only that sustainable future, but can also help steer it towards the noble purposes of which we are all capable.
Take a look at Trefny's longer discussion on this topic at http://coloradohigherednews.com/Pages/Archive.php?id=357
Beyond Education to Pursuit of this Noble Passionate Purpose. Even the best technical solutions are not enough. They need to be successfully implemented and widely used. Technologists must work with business application experts, marketers, and many others to stimulate wide diffusion. World citizens, its our job to be hopeful and take positive action to save Mother Earth. Together we can make a difference.
Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com)