Or consider the problem of energy. MIT has combined quantum dots and nanowires to both increase efficiency and use a wider spectrum of light. An Israeli company called 3G Solar has developed Dye Solar Cells, built with low-cost materials like glass and carbon powder.
This means a whole new generation of lower-cost, higher-efficiency solar systems will be heading to market within a few years, taking solar costs well below grid parity, creating a new abundance of power.
Or consider the problem of global warming. Here in Georgia, Michael Adams has been working for a decade with a microorganism called pyrococcus furiosus, first found in geothermal vents in the deep ocean. He has now tweaked it to feed on carbon dioxide from the air and turn that fuel into an industrial chemical that can be used for power. It's true carbon-neutral fuel that doesn't even require a feedstock like corn or pine or algae. It's an entirely organic process.
With scientists around the world now connected to one another, to the world of knowledge, and able to handle complex calculations from their desks that used to take expensive mainframes, the pace of change is accelerating at an unbelievable rate. The same network can bring these changes to the market faster than ever before.It's not an April Fool's joke. It's all true. How can you remain a pessimist in the face of it? At the time of publication, the author was long GOOG. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.