There is no doubt that providing energy is important. But when I became an employee of Schneider Electric as the result of their acquisition of Invensys, it appeared to me that the focus on energy production, conservation and availability became the objective. After decades of working in industry this complete focus on energy had me more than a little perplexed.
I recalled as a child working on a number of projects either for school, science fairs or boy scouts for which I had to determine the scope of the project I would execute. Invariably I would choose a project that was way beyond my capability solve. My father, scout leader or teacher would say, “Don’t try to solve world hunger.”
World hunger was considered to be that classic unsolvable problem. It dawned on me that industry and industrial automation applied correctly and effectively could provide the path to actually solve world hunger. Additionally it dawned on me that the key was energy. Making low cost energy available throughout the world is the critical first step in solving world hunger. In fact, if we focus the available talent and technology across industry appropriately they will start a domino effect that will solve world hunger.
If an abundance of low cost energy was available everywhere in the world, that energy could be put to use to topple the second domino in line by solving the clean water problem the world faces. Over 5 million children a year die from tainted water while over 60% of the world is covered by water. The problem is that most of the water in the world is not fit for drinking. But science and industry have already solved this problem by creating desalination technology that converts salt water to clean fresh water. In fact, desalinated water has been used to develop a green golf course in the desert in Dubai. This technology requires significant energy, but if the energy problem has been solved, the clean fresh water problem should be easily solved.
Once there is an abundance of clean water, it can be used to irrigate land that is currently useless, effectively converting waste land into farms. If a golf course can be developed in Dubai, farms can be developed throughout the world. World hunger will be solved.
We can solve world hunger. All that is needed is the will – and energy.