Ramez Naam on how to beat Putin, solve climate change, and build the future

Noah Smith in Noahpinion:

When I want to know what the future is going to be like, I go ask Ramez Naam. Over the years, his spyglass has seemed to peer just a little farther into the future than other people’s.

My favorite example: In 2011 he wrote a guest post for Scientific American entitled “Smaller, cheaper, faster: Does Moore’s law apply to solar cells?” that alerted the world to the startling, consistent, and seemingly unstoppable cost declines for solar energy. This came at a time when almost everyone in public discourse still thought of solar as an unworkably expensive pipe dream. But Ramez (or “Mez”, to his friends) was right. Over the next decade, his prediction became conventional wisdom, not just for solar but for batteries as well. The resulting explosion in solar installation and electric vehicles has utterly changed scientists’ outlook for climate change — catastrophe may still strike, but the most apocalyptic scenarios now look distinctly unlikely. This isn’t Mez’ doing, of course, but he saw it before others did.

Why is Mez so good at predicting the future of technology?

More here.