Or would you have believed that the Amazon rainforest can store 100 billion tonnes of carbon – roughly equivalent to global human CO2 emissions over the course of a decade. The ramping up of deforestation as is currently planned by the Brazilian government is cutting off the air supply to the world's green lungs.
Ready for even more facts from outside of the comfort zone? By 2020 there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans by weight. The United Nations expect there to be about 9.7 billion people on the planet by 2050. And we all want to eat, work and be healthy, while we actually use the resources of 1.7 planets every year.
THE GOOD NEWS: A BETTER FUTURE IS POSSIBLE
Turning back the clock isn't possible, and it probably wouldn't be a good idea. Or would you like to live in a virtually pristine natural environment but have to live without equal rights, mobility or the internet? Change is here (to stay) and it brings fascinating, ground-breaking opportunities to make the future better.
AN ALL-ROUND SUCCESS:
he "circular economy" is the antidote to our current, linear "buy, use and discard" throw-away society. Even before they make a product, innovative companies think about what will happen to it in the end. Compostable materials, or products which can be easily broken down into their (re)usable components once they come to the end of their useful life, are intended to avoid unnecessary waste. The annual amount of electronic waste is enough to fill 125,000 jumbo jets, and it's inspired companies like Apple to make the housings of some of its products out of recycled aluminium. The new circular economy saves resources and reduces environmental impacts.
GENIUS RATHER THAN MADNESS: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
AI doesn't compete with humans, it actually helps people and the natural world in countless fields.
For example, the US 'Farm View' initiative aims to improve agricultural yields by using AI to select from 40 varieties of seeds the ones which are most resilient and produce the highest yields.
However, AI also provides warnings of storms or pest infestations, and it works out the quality of the soil and the optimum use of fertilisers. For instance, EcoRobotix, a Swiss solar-powered agricultural robot, can reduce the need for herbicides by up to 90%.
AI helps to combat illiteracy and it can bring education to even the remotest places.
But AI also helps to produce medical diagnoses, and it does a good job in the form of robots in old people's homes.
Is my money future-proof?
- Is my money fit for the future?
- Whick risks are in my portfolio (environment, old technologies, green washing)?
- What is the footprint of my portfolio?
A WOHLE NEW LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE: QUANTUM COMPUTERS
Conventional computers are not capable of meeting the increasingly complex requirements which will arise in future. Google, China and even the sometimes plodding EU are investing in the 'super brain' that is provided by quantum computers. The mega computer can simultaneously store and process huge amounts of data. Just imagine – your computer would read 1,000 books one after the other whereas a quantum computer would read all of them at the same time. Any sectors which need to access data quickly and securely will benefit from their use, such as medical technology, traffic management, and safety systems.
BYE-BYE COMBUSTION ENGINE: HELLO NEW MOBILITY
Zero emissions, efficient and flexible. That's the idea behind new mobility: from the e-car and the autonomous vehicle to the flying taxi. Or going from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the "Virgin Hyperloop One" in just 30 minutes. The future is here – so "all aboard"! The Kitty Hawk company founded by Larry Page is already building electrically powered flying taxis. The Micro-Mobility company which is based in Küsnacht in Switzerland is building the Microlino car. But it's above all its consumption figures that are on the small side: it takes 60 percent less energy than an average car to produce, and it uses 65 percent less on the road. You get into it from the front, and 10,000 advance orders show just how much fun you can have saving energy.
Problems which you ignore disappear. But only to come back with a vengeance. So let's start investing in a better future right now.