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The mind behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity ...
Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about his visionary projects, which include a mass-marketed electric car, a solar energy leasing company and a fully reusable rocket.
Yup, I built a nuclear fusion reactor
Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents' garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.
How bad architecture wrecked cities
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
How I harnessed the wind
At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family's home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.
An art made of trust, vulnerability and connection
Marina Abramović's art pushes the boundary between audience and artist in pursuit of heightened consciousness and personal change. In her groundbreaking 2010 work, "The Artist Is Present," she simply sat in a chair facing her audience, for eight hours a day ... with powerfully moving results. Her boldest work may still be yet to come — it's taking the form of a
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Paul MacCready flies on solar wings
Paul MacCready -- aircraft designer, environmentalist, and lifelong lover of flight -- talks about his long career.
What went wrong at the LHC
In this short talk from TED U 2009, Brian Cox shares what's new with the CERN supercollider. He covers the repairs now underway and what the future holds for the largest science experiment ever attempted.
Freeing energy from the grid
What would happen if we could generate power from our windowpanes? In this moving talk, entrepreneur Justin Hall-Tipping shows the materials that could make that possible, and how questioning our notion of 'normal' can lead to extraordinary breakthroughs.
Transition to a world without oil
Rob Hopkins reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out. He proposes a unique solution to this problem -- the Transition response, where we prepare ourselves for life without oil and sacrifice our luxuries to build systems and communities that are completely independent of fossil fuels.
Meet global corruption's hidden players
When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests, corruption is probably somewhere in the picture. In a blistering, eye-opening talk (and through several specific examples), she details how global corruption trackers follow the money -- to some
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A new ecosystem for electric cars
Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020.
The case for optimism on climate change
Why is Al Gore optimistic about climate change? In this spirited talk, Gore asks three powerful questions about the man-made forces threatening to destroy our planet — and the solutions we're designing to combat them. (Featuring Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson)
Fusion is energy's future
Physicist Steven Cowley is certain that nuclear fusion is the only truly sustainable solution to the fuel crisis. He explains why fusion will work -- and details the projects that he and many others have devoted their lives to, working against the clock to create a new source of energy.
Bill Gross on new energy
Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, talks about his life as an inventor, starting with his high-school company selling solar energy plans and kits. Learn here about a groundbreaking system for solar cells -- and some questions we haven't yet solved.
Does the world need nuclear energy?
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.
A 40-year plan for energy
In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy innovator Amory Lovins shows how to get the US off oil and coal by 2050, $5 trillion cheaper, with no Act of Congress, led by business for profit. The key is integrating all four energy-using sectors—and four kinds of innovation.
How behavioral science can lower your energy bill
What's a proven way to lower your energy costs? Would you believe: learning what your neighbor pays. Alex Laskey shows how a quirk of human behavior can make us all better, wiser energy users, with lower bills to prove it.
The oil spill's unseen culprits, victims
The Gulf oil spill dwarfs comprehension, but we know this much: it's bad. Carl Safina scrapes out the facts in this blood-boiling cross-examination, arguing that the consequences will stretch far beyond the Gulf -- and many so-called solutions are making the situation worse.
Climate change is happening. Here's how we adapt
Imagine the hottest day you've ever experienced. Now imagine it's six, 10 or 12 degrees hotter. According to climate researcher Alice Bows-Larkin, that's the type of future in store for us if we don't significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions now. She suggests that it's time we do things differently—a whole system change, in fact—and seriously consider trading
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The caves and the moon
Bill Stone, a maverick cave explorer who has plumbed Earth’s deepest abysses, discusses his efforts to mine lunar ice for space fuel and to build an autonomous robot for studying Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Shedding light on dark matter
Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can't be directly measured, but their influence is immense.
Using biology to rethink the energy challenge
Juan Enriquez challenges our definition of bioenergy. Oil, coal, gas and other hydrocarbons are not chemical but biological products, based on plant matter -- and thus, growable. Our whole approach to fuel, he argues, needs to change.
Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame
In this energizing talk, Amory Lovins lays out his simple plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy.
The shareable future of cities
How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars.
Planning for the end of oil
As the world's attention focuses on the perils of oil exploration, we present Richard Sears' talk from early February 2010. Sears, an expert in developing new energy resources, talks about our inevitable and necessary move away from oil. Toward ... what?
Al Gore warns on latest climate trends
At TED2009, Al Gore presents updated slides from around the globe to make the case that worrying climate trends are even worse than scientists predicted, and to make clear his stance on "clean coal."
A clean energy proposal -- race to the top!
Kicking off the TED2013 conference, Jennifer Granholm asks a very American question with worldwide implications: How do we make more jobs? Her big idea: Invest in new alternative energy sources. And her big challenge: Can it be done with or without our broken Congress?
High-altitude wind energy from kites!
In this brief talk, Saul Griffith unveils the invention his new company Makani Power has been working on: giant kite turbines that create surprising amounts of clean, renewable energy.
Edward Burtynsky photographs the landscape of oil
In stunning large-format photographs, Edward Burtynsky follows the path of oil through modern society, from wellhead to pipeline to car engine -- and then beyond to the projected peak-oil endgame.
The political chemistry of oil
In the Gulf oil spill's aftermath, Lisa Margonelli says drilling moratoriums and executive ousters make for good theater, but distract from the issue at its heart: our unrestrained oil consumption. She shares her bold plan to wean America off of oil -- by confronting consumers with its real cost.
Keith Bellows on the camel's hump
Keith Bellows gleefully outlines the engineering marvels of the camel, a vital creature he calls "the SUV of the desert." Though he couldn't bring a live camel to TED, he gets his camera crew as close as humanly possible to a one-ton beast in full rut.
How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment
"We're not in a clean energy revolution; we're in a clean energy crisis," says climate policy expert Michael Shellenberger. His surprising solution: nuclear. In this passionate talk, he explains why it's time to overcome longstanding fears of the technology, and why he and other environmentalists believe it's past time to embrace nuclear as a viable and desirable
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The taboo secret to healthier plants and people
Our poop and pee have superpowers, but for the most part we don't harness them. Molly Winter faces down our squeamishness and asks us to see what goes down the toilet as a resource, one that can help fight climate change, spur innovation and even save us money.