Somewhere in the world someone is working on a new energy source. Solar panels are still big and expensive and rare. Once installed, things are great, but few are able to switch over. Somewhere in the world someone is figuring out a way to make an accessible cheap small solar panel. There is an energy source that a woman in Afghanistan, and a man in New York City, will be able to use for heat and power. Equally.
People laugh when I say someone is working on this. There have been other industrial upsets in history – the automobile, refrigeration, television, the internet – that can render previous industries virtually obsolete overnight.
Mainly, people think that if someone does invent this, then the existing energy companies would buy up the technology in order to keep it on the QT. Or that it would never be cheap or accessible because anyone and everyone would only be motivated by profit.
I disagree. Dr. Frederick Banting (Canadian, WWI vet) remains the youngest Nobel winner in Physiology and Medicine. Along with Dr. Charles Best (American-Canadian, also a WWI vet), they discovered insulin. Rather than seek a patent, they sold the rights to the University of Toronto for $1.00. This is the equivalent of giving it away – they ensured that insulin was available for all people for all time. (At least that was the intention, I am sure today there are plenty of people worldwide who cannot access the insulin they need – but not because of greed by these scientists.)
It is possible to do good for all.
Of note, Dr. Banting was also an amateur artist – sketching with members of the Group of Seven – including forays into the Canadian Arctic (on the Beothic).