The talk of the town today is the “People’s Climate March” that occurred today in New York and similar marches in various cities across the globe. While I could not be in any of these participating cities to physically walk with my fellow climate conscious earth inhabitants, I am using this platform to show my solidarity.
Over the years, I have talked to various people that argue that earth goes through these so-called climate cycles where the prevailing climatic patterns undergo alterations. The following argument usually is the fact that we do not have enough climate data to confirm whether this is just another such change or actual global warming. The reason I am giving this information is to lay the foundation of my argument against it. I firmly believe that we, the human race, brought us to a time when we are witnessing these horrifying changes in climate. Summers are hotter, droughts are a common place, freak snowstorms are occurring, icecaps are melting and hurricanes are hitting more frequently at places they wouldn’t in the past, amongst other weird phenomena that I didn’t list. We may not have the climate data for all the years of earth’s history, but what we do have the the knowledge of progression of technology and the concurrent detrimental effects on the environment. The industrial revolution may have brought the beginning of an easier and better life, but it also jump started the irreversible environmental changes that we all are paying for it some way or another. The environment has only taken a downward slide since then.
Whether it is the greenhouse gas emission or polluting the atmosphere and water bodies, we are constantly changing the earth’s environment and a lot of people don’t seem to care. The reality is staring us right in our faces and we need to do something about it. Almost every culture in the world has some lore about nature’s wrath and we have successfully invoked it. We are not just going down ourselves but taking all the species with us, maybe them before us considering the more than normal amount of extinction of species occurring lately. Now we can either continue with our ‘devil may care’ attitude about the planet and how our activities are affecting it or we can pull up our socks and do something about it. I root for the latter. There is a dire need for a global initiative to protect the earth and preserve its environment. Every person has a part to play, so let’s all try to change our habits to as environmental friendly ones as we can, not just for us but for the many generations yet to come.
Tesla Motor’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, announced today that they are releasing the patents pertaining to their electric cars for anyone to use in “good faith” and this news has quickly become the talk of the town. I have always been a fan of Elon Musk and an admirer of his role as a pioneer in bringing high-tech products and establishments like Tesla and SpaceX to this world. Tesla Motors is the single reigning queen in the world of electric cars today. While there are other companies producing electric cars, they are no where near the technical advances of Tesla. So why is it that Tesla is releasing their patents? Is it really an act of benevolence or is it a very calculated business move? Whatever it is, the inhabitants of the world of automotive technology are going to be very busy in the coming days, reading and analyzing these patents and chalking out plans to make something similar. And hopefully, people like you and me will get the joy of seeing many new models of electric cars in the market in the coming years. Now that Tesla has become the foremost name in quality electric cars and the one that performed a big act of unselfish kindness, Elon Musk will definitely garner more prestige and public loyalty to his brand, if there wasn’t enough already.
If one goes through the history of scientific discoveries, there are only a handful of inventors or organizations that decided to release the information in public domain for the greater good. The ones that release patents, have expired patents or otherwise decide against patenting their technology most likely have huge trade secrets that dictate the quality of their products. Does Coca Cola ring a bell? It is just carbonated water but Coke favor is “Coke flavor”, thanks to very carefully kept trade secret. While there are always some trade secrets. as I am sure is the case with Tesla as well, release of patents can provide enough information to a person qualified in the art to reproduce, either alone or as a part of a team, the intended product. It may be missing a few (mostly important ones) bells and whistles, placing this new product at a lower quality that the original, but at least it is a step forward in the right scientific direction.
Elon Musk’s companies have always shown commitment to advancing science and improving environment, an endeavor that has taken a couple steps at one time with the release of these patents. If more organizations start working in the direction of performing earth friendly science, as a part of a giant scientific team across the world, we may just have a chance to slow down the environmental and climatic changes we have witnessed lately. Well done Tesla!