Summary of Seminar Course

Monday, November 24th 2008

Speaker : Hiroshi Matsumoto (President of Kyoto University)
Topic : Pursuit of Happiness Coexistence within Human and Ecological Community on This Planet
Place : Room 101, Barry Lam Building, National Taiwan University
Date & Time : Monday, November 17th, 2008; 4.30 – 6 pm

What was Prof. Matsumoto telling us on his visiting last week, I think is really interesting. In the beginning, after introduction session, he started with history about the planet where we live at, the earth. What this planet had in the past, and what are still left today. Human did all of this changes to this planet. Then he continued his speech about the problem of human population growth. Agricultural revolution from the 17th till 19th century was claimed as a starting point of this increasing number of human population.

Driven by agricultural revolution, industrial revolution came after when the steam engine was invented. Many new industries were born. They need power sources to running. Industries went well, technology improved and developed. In accordance with it, economic was rising. People’s welfare was getting better. Population was growing significant in exponential factor. Speaking about human population growth, Prof. Matsumoto predicted that it would be constant at a time, in the future.

Some of things which are afraid came up in nowadays. As the growth increases, the economic follows behind. Number of food will decrease since the farmland will be rare to find. Oil, as we know it as non-renewable source, will also decrease and vanish one day. Valuable materials were dug out from inside the earth, both in the land either under the bottom of the sea. Prediction says metal material will vanish within less than a hundred years from now on. Researcher, engineer, and the people who responsible for the improvement and development of science and technology, sometimes forget to consider about its side effects. In one side, technology can help people to do everything easier, faster and better. But in another side, environments are polluted. Animals and insects are extinct slowly. There is no mutual coexistence between human and ecological environment.

To answer the problem, basic thinking of students, scientist, and engineer, should be rearranged and redirected, from “reductionism” or “specialist”, into “holistic philosophy”. They need to take care of their surroundings. Concerning about the whole problem surround its. It is no longer about what happened now, but also how to inherit this lovely planet to their descent. Stop to exploit the earth. Environmental-friendly technologies need to be applied in whole aspects of life.

A contribution from Prof. Matsumoto according to this issue is his research about Solar Power Satellite (SPS). SPS uses solar energy from the sun as the source. It is located in the space to get some advantages, such as can not be dirtied by dust, and gain more energy due to closer distance with the source. Other characteristics are: as carbon dioxide free power sources, based load power sources, and is made with developed technology.