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Inventors Save Planet

Now that just about everybody but Exxon has finally admitted that global warming is a reality, the opportunity to make money is obvious. From the labs of multinational corporations to suburban garages, inventors all over the globe are trying to find ways to rescue the world and get rich doing it.
Santa Barbara, which likes to think of itself as the birthplace of the environmental movement, is holding its own pretty well in this contest. The array of astonishing inventions pouring out of UCSB now includes film-thin photovoltaic cells as well as super-efficient LED lights. In the world beyond academia as well there is a groundswell of green innovators, and people eager to cultivate them.

Bean Counting

When Dan Randall first started coffee roasting 15 years ago, it was with one intention-to create the kind of gourmet, organic coffee he loved. His girlfriend at the time was unimpressed. “She didn’t like my stuff,” Randall said recently. “Her idea of a good cup of coffee was Farmer Brothers. If it didn’t taste like a brown paper bag brewed through a gym sock, she didn’t like it.”


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