Billionaire Richard Branson is using his fortune for good by offering whoever can find an alternative source for air conditioning a $3 million reward. That's enough money to make even the less scientific among us think about giving it a shot!
Branson helped kick off an international competition to find the alternative source. The Indian government is also sponsoring this unique approach to finding a more sustainable cooling agent since their country is expected to be home to 1 billion air conditioning units in the next few decades.
There are some guidelines for a winning design and it must produce five times less in greenhouse gas emissions and two times less in price. The price is being used as an incentive for smaller startups and incubators to have some motivation to work on this global problem.
It's no secret that the global temperature is slowly rising, as is the earth's population. This will create a need for more air conditioner units to keep all of us humans from suffering through (or barely surviving) the hot summers. Air conditioners will soon be a necessity, but unfortunately, they emit carbon gasses that are horrible for the environment. They also use a lot of electricity and are expensive. It's estimated that there will be 4.5 billion air conditioning units by 2050 worldwide!
Branson is worth $5.6 billion and made his money after his little record store turned into ultra-successful Virgin Records. He has consistently been a generous donor to many worthy causes. Branson proves his social consciousness is purely good offering millions to change the world.
There is such a need for an alternative source. How many of us enjoy summers without the comfort of a/c? It is a luxury most often afforded to the wealthier around the world but with international rising temperature, cool air will be needed globally. A new, more sustainable way to keep cool is a must that will hopefully be discovered soon.
Will you be trying to re-invent the air conditioner? Or will you just be awaiting the winning design?
Let us know in the comments!