Positive Energy

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Gardeners Project

What are we trying to do with all this discussion about energy? There seems to be a consensus that we want to turn off the carbon dioxide vents to reduce global heating. The problem is that the first person to turn off a vent is also the first person to pay some of the cost of this change. The last person out of the oven pays the least. If you can wait the others out they may have to pay most of the costs. So we have a brinkmanship contest going on and we are going to see who can stand the heat the longest.

A few idealists like me want to get something started now without worrying too much about who pays for it. I argue that we need to use nuclear fission since it is the cheapest way to do something about global heating and preserve the status quo. Using fission we can keep a high standard of living and turn off the carbon dioxide. Environmentalist luddites make the counter claim that we can reduce our standard of living instead, which will allow us to turn off the carbon dioxide and not build new reactors. Both approaches are feasible - it all depends on what one wants from the experience of being alive.

However, I want more than the status quo preserved. I want significant progress in the way we live. This theme seems to be absent from the discussion about energy and global heating. I don't want to merely get through this global heating disaster - I want to move to a much higher plane as a result of making the needed changes. Based on the characteristics of this higher plane our energy needs are going to increase significantly. So we had better get busy constructing those new reactors.

My image of this higher and more energetic plane includes much more room and freedom for animals and plants. We should reorganize human life to accomplish this. Increasingly larger tracts of the planet's surface should become no-entry zones for people. Animals and plants could then flourish and evolve in these zones, following the influences of nature's forces. Our role would be that of gardeners - we would act to keep life on the surface balanced and healthy. Floating cities, flying cars, underground trains, and massive computing machines are all needed in our tool kit. We could live around and in the Earth while making no scars on its surface.

I think of this as the "Gardeners Project". It is what I have in mind when I tell people that we need to use a lot more energy than we do now to lower the damage caused by our life style. I figure we could start with the area around Chernobyl and extend the protected suface zones out from there. Flying cars are needed immediately to begin this surface protection growth. We want to move around a lot, but we don't want more roads. We have a lot of inventing and healthy work to do.


  • A higher and more energetic plane, and floating cities. Are you recommending the building of city-sized heavier-than-air nuclear aircraft? Lots of basic physics research in the hope that dense objects can someday levitate in an undense medium without transferring their weight to a palpable downward mass flow? Or what?

    --- G. R. L. Cowan, former hydrogen fan
    Burn boron in pure oxygen for vehicle power

    By Blogger GRLCowan, at 26 September, 2006 16:08  

  • Essentially, yes. But perhaps cities on platforms that stand on legs would be good enough. What I really want to convey is the idea that we should not occupy the planet surface. We can live underground, or above ground, or perhaps on the ocean surface, but we should leave most of the surface free for the use (and evolution) of plants and animals. What better use do we have for our future intelligence other than gardening the planet, and keeping it beautiful?

    To put this another way, I am looking for a more positive way to frame the global heating debate. We need a positive goal to work toward, as a balance for the negative one we are trying to prevent.

    By Blogger Randal Leavitt, at 26 September, 2006 16:33  

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