The Current Discussion: How can we reduce our vulnerability to risks posed by global interconnectedness - from swine flu to financial contagion to terrorist threats? What risks do you see on the horizon?
The advance of technology, development and globalization tends to solve the problems it creates, while also constantly creating new ones. For example, countries tend to pollute more as they develop, then get wealthy enough to clean up the mess they made along the way.
Shai Agassi, whose company Better Place is leading the transition to fully electric vehicles in a number of countries, points out that the advance of wealth and technology threatens to overwhelm the planet with millions of new cars each year. The solution, he says, is to transition to battery-powered vehicles. This transition is now feasible because of advances in battery technology, and it would help end the human addiction to oil. Transitioning will become easier as the energy density of batteries increases (much like how computer chips, memory, and fast internet all rapidly continue to become cheaper and more powerful.)