What The Future Of Global Energy Consumption Looks Like With LEGOs

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Sometimes it's the simplest of explanations that can change your whole perspective...at least, that's what statistics guru Hans Rosling hopes to achieve in a new video.

Rosling, who is a professor of global health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and frequent TED speaker, has been pushing data analysis at audiences for years using stunning visuals and impassioned presentations in an effort to disrupt popular yet erroneous mindsets of global issues. In 2010, he stated, "I kid you not, statistics are now the sexiest subject on the planet," backing that statement up with an awesome augmented-reality fueled video for The Joy of Stats BBC documentary.

The new video from Rosling, however, aims to distill the grand challenges facing the world in as straightforward and low tech approach as possible - with LEGOs. Check out the video, courtesy of The Guardian:

Rosling's message is that population growth can only be managed by both improving the living standards of the poorest in the world and persuading the wealthiest to embrace better resource distribution. In other words, somehow the increasing trend toward socioeconomic divergence must be reversed -- easier said than done.

Perhaps Rosling will be able to release more videos in the future with proposals to these global grand challenges using LEGOs, but next time, he just might have to use Mindstorms.

David J. Hill

Managing Director, Digital Media at Singularity University
I've been writing for Singularity Hub since 2011 and have been Editor-in-Chief since 2014. My interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but I'll always be a chemist at heart.

Discussion — 3 Responses

  • dobermanmacleod June 24, 2013 on 9:38 pm

    How about these statistics: we just “discovered” something like a million times the energy we knew we had a couple of years ago. Hydrogen and nickel are about 5 orders of magnitude more energy dense as oil, plus there is a heck of a lot more of it in the Earth. Check this out:

    Check out this third-party verification of a LENR reactor that will soon hit the market: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913
    “Given the deliberately conservative choices made in performing the measurement, we can reasonabley state that the E-Cat HT is a non-conventional source of energy which lies between conventional chemical sources of energy and nuclear ones.” (i.e. about five orders of magnitude more energy dense than gasoline, and a COP of almost 6).

    This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    “Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…” –Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    “Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.” –Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

    By the way, here is a survey of some of the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/the-new-breed-of-energy-catalyzers-ready-for-commercialization.html

    For those who still aren’t convinced, here is a paper I wrote that contains some pretty convincing evidence: http://coldfusionnow.org/the-evidence-for-lenr/

  • Robert Schreib June 30, 2013 on 1:48 pm

    What if we had the United Nations create ‘The Global 50/50 Lottery’, the world’s first HONEST global lottery, to raise the massive funds needed to buy the clean electricity generating wind, solar, ocean and water systems to replace the electricity from our coal burning electric power plants that are emitting the carbon dioxide causing global warming? Remember, human greed is like a force of nature, that can move mountains. If we can exploit it to fight global warming, we might beat it!

  • Che Mort July 1, 2013 on 3:48 pm

    typical socialist mind, we have to share carbon emissions! I used to love his graphs but this paleolithic malthusian mindset must die. If we capped CO2 to todays number and then redistributed them out to everyone we would be facing energy poverty. We can go nuclear in a huge way, new technolgy will make present hrydorcarbon use cleaner and cleaner. A scarcity based linear mind cannot see evoltution even when it smacks them in the face.