Bela Trust – Technology fixes it all - by Ullrich Lorenz
It’s January 1, 2050, and the world is celebrating the achievement of “Net Zero Carbon Emission.” The environment is clean, with greenery everywhere. The Sun is shining clear like never before. People travel in the most advanced flying cars and airbuses, yet there is no emission of harmful gases. The journey to net zero has been really painful, but it has paid off. Among many contributors, Bela has been the most prominent. Bela believes in technology; she always did. She also enjoys being out in the forest, of course, as nature helps her find the tranquillity to think about new inventions and make decisions. She was more inclined to call herself an “inventor” and “visionist” rather than an “environmentalist.” But she still cared. It was no surprise then that she founded her own company after studying technology and informatics. Today, she leads a global solar energy and air purification company. She still remembers, like it was yesterday, the time when she was working for the weeks-all day and night-in the Innovation Lab, thinking about new applications of the micro-turbator that she had developed during her PhD research. “This new technology might be the breakthrough for cleaning the atmosphere,” she had thought to herself. It could filter different substances from the air. Although this did not seem novel at first, she soon realized that in a test air funnel, various gaseous components of the air stick more or less closer to the surface area of the tube; and this with nearly no energetic effort. For example, carbon dioxide has a higher concentration near the surface than the middle of that small airstream. At the same time, other pollutants were concentrated in different areas above this micro-surface. This discovery must be useful somehow. Nobody seemed to listen or show any interest, but there was no regulation preventing her from trying. Her vision was big: technology will be the solution. “Let’s use innovative ideas to solve our environmental problems. We live in the Anthropocene, so we as humans have to fix what we have done. Nature is beautiful, and ecosystems are important, but we also have a technosphere, through which I can support humanity. While other companies are producing items that might pollute the environment, I will produce gadgets to save the environment”, she thought to herself, and a big smile spread across her face. Then a doubt appeared. Solving all these challenges was still a long way off. Would she take the right path, or would she hit a dead end? When she realized that this new micro-turbator idea could separate different gaseous fractions from the air, the challenge remained: how could this concept be used? Part 3: Climate change 59 He tries to persuade her to evacuate the city, but she refuses, as this would cause the collapse of the entire ARCA project. During their conversation, the situation already seems to get out of control – the tower walls are shaking. He then suggests precisely that–to give up control and allow smart city objects to obey nature. He has learned that from the symbiosis of the racoons and the robots. It would naturally reduce complexity, he argues. As the situation worsens, she finally agrees to him decentralising the ten million smart artefacts hosted by the city, allowing them to interact, restoring nature’s will organically. The tension in the building continues to increase for a while and then gradually diminishes. The tunnel wind grows weaker while the plasma wall becomes permeable. The city and the external environment get connected. The robots and the racoons are playing in the mild breeze. 60 Part 3: Climate change 61 After weeks of intensive research came the breakthrough. The advanced version of the micro-turbator was a revolutionary air filter system. It was now possible to distinguish one stream of pure air and several little streams of different fractions of gases, such as CO2. Even small particulate matter is concentrated at different distances close to the surface and then filtered out quickly. Although the prototype worked, there was still no interest from any investors. Sometimes it felt like the whole world was against her, but the right time to introduce her new technology will come, she thought. It was intensive work. Every day she worried about taking the financial risk of building her new business; until one day her prototype finally worked and ran well. She managed to capture more and more carbon dioxide from the air purely through the catalytic characteristics of her micro-turbator. It was brilliant. The highly concentrated carbon dioxide could even be condensed and compressed after passing the microtubes. A new low-energy method to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was born. She posted it on social media, and suddenly, the general public and civil societies started demanding it to be used worldwide to reduce carbon emissions technically. All governments began manufacturing these devices, and within a few years the carbon cycle was so balanced that there was no further increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. She always believed that technology could fix the problem of carbon emissions, and she proved it.