Have you seen "The Big Short"? If not, here's a small spoiler alert. The star of the movie is a guy named Dr. Michael Burry, an American physician turned hedge fund manager who knew the financial system would collapse years before anyone else and made a fortune with it. Maybe the financial crisis we are referring to rings a bell? Of course it does. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs, their houses, and most of us still remember 2008 and the tension the crisis brought.
But what struck the people at VanderSat most was not the movie itself, although it is a great movie and it was nominated to win the Oscar for Best Picture. No, what really triggered our brain into overdrive were the credits. You know, those final words at the end of the movie. Here is what it said:
The small investing he (Dr.Burry) still does is all focused on one commodity: WATER
Now here is something that gets a water remote sensing firm going. So we started deep diving into Dr. Burry and his peculiar interest in water. As scientists we are very aware that the fortune Dr.Burry made with his knowledge on the financial system does not guarantee anything for the future, but still.....we can be very emotional creatures.
From the interviews we found it became apparent that Dr. Burry is indeed interested in water but his real focus is on ' the water embedded in food'. Now, this takes a little explanation. What Burry is referring to is the amount of water it takes to produce food. Take a bottle of wine: it takes over 400 bottles of water to produce. Burry is worried that the scarcity of water will lead to an inability to feed the ever growing world population, possibly making water the most precious commodity in the world. The UN seems to agree.
Is we he right? We cannot answer that question yet. What we do know is that technology has proved to be able to partly solve the issues we face as mankind. VanderSat is taking the technology approach. We are able to see the world's (future) most precious resource on any part of the globe, twice, straight through the clouds. Maybe Dr Burry is interested to see where he can develop his plans to grow in water rich areas and transport the produce to the more arid areas in the world? The thing is that you will need very specific data and expertise to back up these plans. for the first time in history we are able to see this on a 100x100 meter resolution. Who knows what it will lead to? Only time will tell if Burry will be right for a second time. Wouldn't that be something....
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