Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Future Trends – Bleeding Veggie Burgers we look at NASA going rogue, holograms and nanotech, the ethics of organoids, a coffee renaissance, how oil is disrupted, and how renewable energy jobs are booming in the United States.
The Bill Gates-backed veggie burger that bleeds ‘plant blood’ is coming to a Michelin-starred restaurant
Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods believes it has engineered a meat-less burger that tastes identical to beef. Only a small number of restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have had the Impossible Burger on their menus since it launched in 2016.
Now, vegetarians and carnivores alike will have a better chance at tasting it — at least in New York City.
Starting February 2, the Impossible Burger will launch at Saxon + Parole and the Michelin-starred Public. Both restaurants are under the leadership of Executive Chef Brad Farmerie.
“People in New York know that you can get the best meat in the world here,” Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown tells Business Insider. “Farmerie has chosen to serve our burger as meat, which sends the message that the best meat in the world doesn’t have to come from animals.”
Instead of beef, the Impossible Burger contains heme (the molecule that gives beef its reddish color and metallic flavor), textured wheat protein, and coconut oil.
Read more at Business Insider
Blueprint for Giant Quantum Computer Promises Mind-Blowing Power
Building a functioning large-scale quantum computer is the Holy Grail of physics. Such a computer, first theorized by Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in 1982, would harness the strange and nearly magical properties of quantum particles to perform calculations several billions of times faster than any of our most powerful supercomputers.
Today, an international team of researchers based at the University of Sussex published what it describes as the first-ever open-source blueprint for constructing a large-scale quantum computer. While Google and other high-profile researchers have made impressive progress proving the viability of quantum computing, the Sussex team claims that its “nuts and bolts construction plan” is a major step toward a working prototype.
Winfried Hensinger leads the Ion Quantum Technology Group at the University of Sussex, which published the blueprint in Science Advances. In an interview with Seeker, Hensinger explained how quantum computers are “nothing like normal computers” because they take advantage of the strange quantum effects of atomic particles.
“In quantum physics, something can be in two different places at the same time,” he said. “You can be sitting in the office right now and having a holiday in sunny California. In the real world, things like that don’t happen, because quantum effects get destroyed when they interact with anything else, like light or the air around you. But when you isolate individual atoms, that actually happens.”
Read more at Seeker
No growth for oil and coal from 2020 as electric cars and solar blossom
Falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020, a new report co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative launched on Thursday finds, challenging the wisdom of backing fossil fuel expansion.
The scenario analysis warns that big energy companies are seriously underestimating low-carbon advances with a business-as-usual (BAU) approach, and that stranding of fossil fuel assets is likely as the low- carbon transition gathers pace. Growth in electric vehicles (EVs) alone could lead to 2 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) being displaced by 2025 – the same volume that caused the oil price collapse in 2014-15. This scenario sees 16mbd of oil demand displaced by 2040 and 25mbd by 2050, in stark contrast to the continuous growth in oil demand expected by industry.
“Electric vehicles and solar power are game-changers that the fossil fuel industry consistently underestimates. Further innovation could make our scenarios look conservative in 5 years’ time, in which case the demand misread by companies will have been amplified even more,” said Luke Sussams, senior researcher at Carbon Tracker.
Read more at Carbon Tracker
We’re probably underestimating how quickly electric vehicles will disrupt the oil market
Today saw the release of a new study from the Grantham Institute for Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative. It argues that solar photovoltaics (PV) and EVs together will kick fossil fuel’s ass, quickly.
“Falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology,” they conclude, “could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020.” That would be a pretty big deal.
The “business as usual” (BAU) scenarios that typically dominate these discussions are outdated, the researchers argue. New baseline scenarios should take into account updated information on PV, EV, and battery costs. (The EIA doesn’t expect inflation-adjusted prices of EVs to fall to $30,000 until 2030, even as multiple automakers say they’ll hit that within a few years.)
And baseline scenarios should take into account the commitments made in the Paris climate agreement, they say.
Read more at Vox
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.