Malima: Episode #9: Innovating solutions for energy crisis

Buckminster Fuller, the visionary American engineer and designer who used challenge his audiences saying: “There’s no energy shortage; there’s no energy crisis; there’s a crisis of ignorance.”

In this episode of Malima (New Directions in Innovation), a Sinhala language TV series on science, technology and innovation, we feature a wide-ranging interview on how innovation can find solutions to the energy crisis.

Produced by Suminda Thilakasena and hosted by science writer Nalaka Gunawardene, this show interviews two Lankan specialists:
• Dr Ajith de Alwis, Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
• Engineer Asoka Abeygunawardana, Adviser to the Minister of Power and Energy and Executive Director, Energy Forum, Sri Lanka

The interview opens with an overview of Sri Lanka’s energy generation and use, and then looks at the current role and future potential of renewable energy sources – ranging from biomass and hydro electricity to wind, solar, biogas and dendro power. In particular, we look at what Lankan inventors can do to make renewable energies cheaper, safer and more user-friendly.

Malima: Episode 9 presented by Nalaka Gunawardene from Nalaka Gunawardene on Vimeo.

This episode was filmed in April 2012 and first broadcast by Sri Lanka’s Rupavahini TV channel on 12 July 2012.

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There’s No Tomorrow: Making fun of today’s oil and energy crisis…

Animation films are hard to make all around. Even with digital technologies, the art and science of making entertaining and informative animations remains a challenge — and that’s why there are few good ones around.

I was thus happy to discover There’s No Tomorrow, a half-hour animated documentary about resource depletion, energy and the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet.

Inspired by the pro-capitalist cartoons of the 1940s, the film is an introduction to the energy dilemmas facing the world today. It is made by Incubate Pictures.

Their intro text says:

“The average American today has available the energy equivalent of 150 slaves, working 24 hours a day. Materials that store this energy for work are called fuels. Some fuels contain more energy than others. This is called energy density.”

“Economic expansion has resulted in increases in atmospheric nitrous oxide and methane, ozone depletion, increases in great floods, damage to ocean ecosystems, including nitrogen runoff, loss of rainforest and woodland, increases in domesticated land, and species extinctions.”

“The global food supply relies heavily on fossil fuels. Before WW1, all agriculture was Organic. Following the invention of fossil fuel derived fertilisers and pesticides there were massive improvements in food production, allowing for increases in human population.The use of artificial fertilisers has fed far more people than would have been possible with organic agriculture alone.”