From Tetris to the moon and back: Henk Rogers on sustainability
The epiphany moment comes in an ambulance.
I was playing tennis and I didn't feel well after playing tennis.
Halfway to the hospital the siren went on.
I'm lying there looking at the.
Stealing the ambulance and first thing I thought, you gotta be kidding me.
I haven't spent any of the money yet and work that hard.
You can take me out now.
Second thing I thought was no, I'm not going.
I still have stuff to do.
My name is Hank Rogers.
I'm retired from the computer game business and now I'm working on my mission in life.
first mission is to end the use of carbon based few seconds to build a moon base on the moon by the end of the next decade.
How much time do you end up spending here?
About half the time that I'm in Why I'm here.
If I had my choice, I will be here all the time.
I can see why.
I was born in Netherlands, and I can trace back my interest in games, way back.
I mean I used to play monopoly when I was still in elementary school.
When I was 11, my familly moved to Newyork city and I had my chance, To touch a computer for the first time.
And basically I fell in love with computer science.
I ended up going to University of Hawaii, majored in computer science and I minored in Dungeons and Dragons.
And people used to tell me how much of a waste of time that was.
And I can say today, do you have any idea how much money I made by being that way?
So I studied computer science, and then I chased a girl to Japan.
And I was living in Japan for six years before personal computers actually came out.
And I decided to write a role playing game.
That's like Dungeons and Dragons.
So I wrote the first role playing in Japan.
In the meantime, I started travelling all around the world looking for games to bring to Japan.
The fourth time I was standing at the Tetris machine, I realized I was kind of hooked to this game.
It was a very simple game.
It was way simpler than any other game so I went after the rights and kind of the rest is history.
Change starts Here it starts with with yourself.
So I bought the ranch because I needed, well, I made some money and this is my dream.
When somebody asked me what am I going to be when I grow up when I was seven years old, I said I want to be a cowboy.
There are no cowboys in Holland, but I wanted to have a ranch with horses.
And so that's how I got the ranch before I figured that that part of it out and once I had the ranch I said well I've kind of made the change to myself first and so I found my mission in life after that.
And my first mission is to end the use of carbon based fuel.
So we started the foundation here in Hawaii to end use of carbon based fuel in Hawaii their biggest legislation today has been that we are able to Have a mandate in Hawaii to go 100% renewable by 2045 renewable energy, or first I gotta go hundred percent renewable.
And then I can talk from a position of how easy it is or how hard or whatever, at least I'm talking from experience.
After I sold my company my next car was supposed to be an Aston Martin.
And then I started the foundation and my actual next car was a Prius.
[LAUGH] Then I have to live, walk the walk and talk the talk.
There are a lot of people that are already upgraded.
They're off grid using lead acid batteries which is a really nasty chemical and you have to replace them every three years.
Our batteries last 20 to 30 years so we're replacing lead acid batteries because our batteries but our biggest customers right now is they are in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico is recovering from.
Big hurricane and all that hurricane damage.
And even if you had panels in Puerto Rico when the grid goes down, they don't allow you to use your panels because it could feed electricity into the grid when they're fixing it.
So solar installers and solar panels we and we teach them how to install the batteries.
and now they have enough stone energy at night so all the emergency shelters can be emergency shelters.
and we should be doing the same thing here because we're going to get hit, its just a matter of time and theres nothing different about the infrastructure we have here From Puerto Rico.
So, my mission now is to make a backup of life on Earth by going to other planets by the end of the next decade.
I'm a computer scientist, you make backups.
You don't like put all your eggs in one hard disk and then when that hard disk goes down, you lose everything.
I think it's about making a backup of life, not necessarily a backup of human life.
The easiest planet to get to from here is the moon.
It's not even a planet but So call it a planet.
And then of course Mars is the most similar to our planet.
So I started going to conferences and little by little I got more involved, and now I'm very involved.
And we did a series of, we worked with NASA, and did a series of long duration missions And it's not an unreasonable time frame.
We have lots of technologies that we didn't have in the old days.
We have 3D printing.
We have reusable rockets.
We have AI.
We have robotics.
So these are all technologies that we didn't have When we went to the moon in the first place.
If you have, all of life on one place and a rock from space comes and destroys all of it, that would be a disaster.
If we are, on two planets, the chance of extinction of all of life, pretty much goes down to zero.
So we need to have at least one of the place where life as we know would exist.
I think I will be done when the world is moving in the right direction, once I see that we are reducing carbon based floor.
We're reducing the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, and we have a way forward to zero.
Then I feel okay, we're moving in the right direction.
It's gonna take more time than the rest of my life to draw down all of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that we've put up there.
But I'll be happy.
If it's Happening.
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