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Exponential growth can make impossible tasks easy

Given the exponential nature of science and development, it is not worthwhile to evaluate the possibilities for the future based on current methods and techniques.

For example: When the human genome sequencing project was begun in the early 90’s, with the computers they had available, it seemed as if the project would take 50 to 75 years. Because of advances during that decade, the process was completed in about ten years. Today, if that process were to be started again with today’s technology, it would take perhaps 18 months.

Therefore in future planning about reversing the effects of global warming, and developments in energy technology, we cannot plan or be pessimistic based on current rates of progress. Though energy conversion and global remediation seem insurmountable tasks today, they may become manageable and even be accomplished ahead of schedule based on techniques that will be developed once the process is undertaken in earnest.


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