Sunday, October 9, 2011

Finally there has been an article explaining the frustrations of engineers!

Recently I read the following post on idealog:
Engineers can build a low-carbon world if we let them 

FINALLY! Someone has said it. Because truth be told, this has a personal frustration of mine for a while. Y'see while there are all these lovely green initiatives out there - 99% are political smoke screen.
Recently lovely clean green NZ introduced an emissions trading scheme.  Great if you think introducing financial instruments will save financial markets.......not so cool if you an engineer or designer that is trying to fix the world by improving something.

Fact of the matter is that some things in life have been made more efficient, engineers/scientists/designers have tried to make a low carbon world........and we have since the dawn of time.

I first envisioned LED lighting way back when white LED's first came out (1996?) and even got to test my theory in 2005 with a project involving "Lamps" which I convinced the client would be more efficient with 4 x 10mm LED (4 x 0.25w = 1w) vs their standard 4 x 1w bulb.
So they went from this
 To this on the breadboard
 But eventually got turned down (power wise) so that it didn't burn retina's and they ended up with this
Which ran less power than their previous unit. Less power = less generation = less carbon.
All of this done without and ETS, or any other "green initiative". It simply came from a young engineer wanting to do something better.

So now move forward 6 years. I have worked in the power industry, the water industry, communications industries...... you get the point.
And I have had some fantastic ideas since then. And I know there are much better engineers/scientists/designers than I.
So using what limited brain power I do have. One could conclude there are truly revolutionary ideas out there. Ideas that could save the planet.

So where do these ideas go? Well they go to the same place where all fantastic engineering ideas go, the non-commercial cupboard. Down the back of the warehouse.

So I had to laugh that now LED lighting is a common thing....
About time! but hang on........wasn't it time for this 10 years ago? Why has it taken 15 years to get to this point?
This is because the governments (and Phillips etc) were pushing for CFL.....even though it still uses 20 times the power of LED and has dangerous chemicals. Perhaps the government was talking to the wrong people?

- This is why there are no government initiatives to have grid-connected solar systems.
- Or compulsory solar water heating systems on all newly build homes.
- Or unifuel car engines
- Or DIESEL hybrid cars......

Have a think, pick a topic that has a problem. Then think about the following points:
- Why hasn't someone fixed this?
- Do we have current technology to fix this problem?
- Is there a government/corporate problem that would occur if we fixed this problem?

Chances are someone has tried to fix it, came up with a solution......and then was shot down and told not to open their mouth again.
This is not a conspiracy theory, this is the pecking order of politics.
Unless you wow someone with a bigger beak......your gonna get put back in your place by the next bigger bird.
So get yourself heard designers? If you want to fix the world - make sure you get your ideas, your design in the hands of the general public. Because chances are if you get real people to say yes, the rest of industry and government policy will soon follow.