The “coolness” leaving Computer Science for EcoStuff?

One conversation from SXSW has been causing more of my few remaining brain cells to fire randomly than any other.

It was where I was lying on the ground chatting with Ethan Zuckerman, cofounder of Global Voices Online. (Awesome blog that tries to bring bloggers all over the world together).

Now, you probably don’t know Ethan, but he’s one of the smartest mofos around. He regularly gets invited to speak at conferences like Pop!Tech and TED.

Last week he attended TED and told me it was the first time he didn’t feel like a rock star.

Why not?

He says that the attention of the world’s biggest venture capitalists has left the computer world and moved to the world of environmentalism. Says that the attention there was on material scientists and other scientists who are coming up with ways to save energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, etc.

You know, all the cool stuff we see over on (awesome blog too).

I write this because if the world’s richest people are going to start pouring their resources somewhere other than computer science, that’s important to know, especially if you’re someone trying to decide on a career.

Who’s leading this charge? John Doerr. The VC behind Google and many of the world’s hottest companies. Michael Parekh wrote up John’s tearful talk at TED. So did a WiredBlogger. Darryl Siry, who is chief marketing officer at Tesla motors (which makes awesome electric cars) wrote about his thoughts at the TED talk as well.

I saw the pressure on this change everytime 2008 US Presidential Candidate John Edwards spoke too when he toured the country announcing he was running back in December (I was invited to hang out with the campaign). Everytime he mentioned Global Warming the crowd erupted into the largest applause lines of his talks.

There’s going to be a lot of political pressure in the next year on candidates to have a really great plan for energy and environmental stewardship. John Edwards, on Twitter the other day, said his campaign would become carbon neutral. Watch other candidates to do that and more.

What are you seeing? Is this an issue that’s started hitting you yet?