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“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
The United States military has a long history of developing innovative technologies for improving warfighting that are eventually re-purposed for civilian life. This includes society-altering technologies like the computer and the Global Positioning System (GPS). As an institution with the capacity to assess long-term risks, and develop technologies to address those risks, the U.S. military is uniquely placed to lead in this arena. Today, we are faced with a new set of critical non-traditional security threats. And true to form, provided that fiscal constraints do not get in the way, the U.S. military is once again leading the way in developing critical new technologies to meet them.
One of those new technologies is additive manufacturing (or 3D printing), and one of those non-traditional risks is climate change. (more…)
Jeff Bezos’ announcement that his company, Amazon, would use drones in the future to deliver its goods has sparked a lot of discussion about the use of this technology in the civilian world. A significant portion of the media attention to drones up until this point has been on their use as weapons and the accidental targeting of civilians. (more…)
Climate Desk has just released a new video, 3D Printing, A Secret Weapon Against Climate Change? which tracks the framework of the Center for Climate and Security’s report: The 3D Printing Revolution, Climate Change and National Security: An Opportunity for U.S. Leadership, and features an interview with our Co-Founder Caitlin Werrell. (more…)
The 3D Printing Revolution, Climate Change and National Security: An Opportunity for U.S. Leadership
This is a new report from the Center for Climate and Security. Footnotes and citations can be found in the PDF version here.
Humanity has lived through many ages and transformations, usually without knowing that it was doing so. Hunters and gatherers reigned for hundreds of thousands of years until the agricultural revolution slowly changed the way we managed our environment, leading to denser populations, and eventually, sprawling empires. In Western Europe, the age of empires reluctantly but swiftly gave way to the plodding age of feudalism, followed by the energetic burst of the Enlightenment and on to the manufacturing juggernaut of the industrial age, which took us from steamships on the Mississippi to robots on Mars in less than two hundred years. We are now furiously typing and tweeting our way through the computer, or “virtual” age, with an unprecedented population, resource and climate crisis as an anxious backdrop. But as we stare at our screens, a new age is sneaking up on us, quite unexpectedly – one that combines the solidity, durability and strength of the industrial age, with the nimbleness, flexibility and adaptability of the virtual age. This mix will be necessary to address the complex challenges of a rapidly changing and uncertain world – not the least of which are the associated security risks of climate change. It is an age that has the potential to be built not with hammers, but with printers. 3D printers, to be precise. And the United States of America is in a perfect position to lead the way.