Hi! Welcome to the 2nd edition of Boomtown, our newsletter written and published on Friday at exactly 4:20 p.m.
A Boomtown is, as per mainstream definition a real place where drastic economic progress often clashes with existing socio-politico structures to lay down the foundation of a new way of living, working and earning. Today, we intend to deeply explore the potential of Psychedelic drugs for mental health problems and touch upon some aspects of as to why exactly we should not feel helpless due to an information overload.
The Potential of Psychedelic Drugs
First a few facts (sourced from the Psychedelic as Medicine Report):
- Psilocybin: the psychoactive substance in ‘magic’ mushrooms, has shown promise, along with other psychological supports, such as talk therapies, in the treatment of treatment-resistant depression or TRD (depression that does not respond to conventional, pharmaceutical antidepressants and that is estimated to affect more than 100 million people worldwide)
- LSD has shown tremendous early potential in the treatment of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and, most recently, Alzheimer’s disease
- MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is showing incredible promise for the treatment of PTSD. So much so that it is expected to receive US-FDA approval by 2022, having received breakthrough therapy designation in 2017
- There are inevitable parallels and similarities between psychedelics and cannabis – both are naturally derived and plant based, with most psychedelics classified as Schedule I/Class A drugs, as is cannabis. However, psychedelics as a category, have the upper hand on cannabis in relation to pharmaceutical psychedelics which will not be curtailed in the same way that cannabis products have been
Let us not be afraid of these drugs. Let us not close our minds to the future and pretend that all of life is static and unchanging. Youngsters reading this ought to realize that the world isn’t what it was, like our parents’ time. We’re living in a time when we ought to look at everything from a practical lens and question all our deepest beliefs, for all those beliefs emerged from another time, another place, and another environment. Now, the environment around us has changed.
Imagine a mental health patient and a normal healthy person. For the healthy person, these substances become recreational because they’re technically elevating their senses towards a new ‘high’. However, mental health patients are already so ‘low’, that these substances have the potential to make them normal, since ‘high’ for mental patients means ‘sober’ for healthy people. Hope this makes sense.
Let’s keep blazing.
Solving Climate Change – The Problem Statement
Alright, sit tight and keep blazing. MIT’s Asegun Henry, Ravi Prasher and Arun Majumdar explain in their paper, how climate change can be mitigated by rephrasing the problem into 4 separate problems for humanity to solve:
- De-carbonize the Power Grid because we need electricity as usual
“There is an international race going on to develop a grid storage system to store excess electricity from renewables so you can use it at a later time. This would allow renewable energy to penetrate the grid. If we can get to a place of fully decarbonizing the grid, that alone reduces carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production by 25 percent. And the beauty of that is, once you decarbonize the grid you open up decarbonizing the transportation sector with electric vehicles. Then you’re talking about a 40 percent reduction of global carbon emissions”
- De-carbonize Industrial Processes
“These contribute 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The big actors here are cement, steel, aluminum, and hydrogen. Some of these industrial processes intrinsically involve the emission of carbon dioxide. The question is, is there another way? Either we think of another way to make cement, or come up with something different. It’s an extremely difficult challenge, but there are good ideas out there, and we need way more people thinking about this”
- De-carbonize Cooling
“Air conditioners and refrigerators have chemicals in them that are very harmful to the environment, 2,000 times more harmful than carbon dioxide on a molar basis. If the seal breaks and that refrigerant gets out, that little bit of leakage will cause global warming to shift significantly. When you account for India and other developing nations that are now getting access to electricity infrastructures to run AC systems, the leakage of these refrigerants will become responsible for 15 to 20 percent of global warming by 2050”
- De-carbonize Heating
“We transmit electricity because it can be transmitted with low loss, and it’s cheap. The question is, can we transmit heat like we transmit electricity? There is an overabundance of waste heat available at power plants, and the problem is, where the power plants are and where people live are two different places, and we don’t have a connector to deliver heat from these power plants, which is literally wasted. You could satisfy the entire residential heating load of the world with a fraction of that waste heat. What we don’t have is the wire to connect them. And the question is, can someone create one?”
“In short, we have about 20 to 30 years of business as usual, before we end up on an inescapable path to an average global temperature rise of over 2 degrees Celsius. This may seem like a long time, but it’s not when you consider that it took natural gas 70 years to become 20 percent of our energy mix. So imagine that now we have to not just switch fuels, but do a complete overhaul of the entire energy infrastructure in less than one third the time. We need dramatic change, not yesterday, but years ago. So every day I fear we will do too little too late, and we as a species may not survive Mother Earth’s clap back”
Let’s keep blazing! If you, reader want play a part in research and development, encompassing the physical and life sciences, please do it. Your skills can solve many global problems. Most importantly, you’ll be respected for your work in addition to financial freedom. Science is what you need.
The Information Overload
The future ought to be exciting because it is up to all of you readers to make sense of all the information out there in the world, and not be afraid or helpless about them, but be aware and alert about the possibilities that are out there for you, the reader to think and do something about it. And do you must, for you’ve no choice. If you, the reader has always harboured a desire to do what you want when you want, what you need is the right information to do something.
Keep Blazing and use your time well.
Have a great Friday 🙂
See you on Monday.