|The world must now find ways to create the eternal paradigm for the infinite future of life on Earth, and I suggest that we may be able to begin the construction of an infrastructure that will still 100% sustainably serve those who live 1000 generations from now|
The Titanic Moment
By Kim Gyr
We live in an extraordinary time of dramatic change in the face of scientific and technological advances: rapidly accelerating global climate change and the certainty that we will soon run out of oil, the lifeblood of civilization itself. As engineers, architects, businessmen and women, and politicians, can any of you see/invent/share solutions to the evolving circumstances that may spell doom for our children?
If you were standing on the quay, watching the Titanic leave on its first and fated journey, could any of you have remained silent, or not murdered or otherwise restrained the captain from sailing? We stand at a very similar point in the history of the world, only this time there is not just one ship, however well or poorly designed and built, not just 1500 people, but the whole planet and all the life that calls it home that may find itself breathing no more!
I challenge you to do better than I to reach sustainable solutions to this planetary problem – that may just kill us all! At the age of 28 my heart stopped for 10 minutes following a car accident outside of Nairobi, Kenya in Africa, depriving me initially of most that the previous 28 years had provided, and all the abilities that I had acquired until then – how to walk, speak and remember, for example! What better way to invent the future than to find that all of your past has disappeared!
With the recent removal of at least $700 billion from the New York Stock Exchange – removal by whom, if not those who are in the best position to know what the future of the world might be like – I am not the only one to feel uneasy about the future! But, at least, unlike perhaps many of those involved in such a large disappearance, I have a plan, one that I developed at every step of the over 330 miles that I staggered, walked and jogged to relearn how to walk in 1981 – 2 after my accident.
The world must now find ways to create the eternal paradigm for the infinite future of life on Earth, and I suggest that we may be able to begin the construction of an infrastructure that will still 100% sustainably serve those who live 1000 generations from now as follows, it’s simple:
So, what do we get from this sketch of a difficult future?
That we must build cities that allow everyone of us immediate access on foot and by bicycle to food production areas, for the hand production of organic food. Therefore, the “cities” must be linear! We can start by:
1) building rows of wind turbines along all the north to south expressways that run at right angles to the prevailing westerly winds, then
2) constructing a buried, insulated “high temperature” superconducting electricity distribution network at their base to power both maglev trains and unlimited range electric vehicles on the roads through an induction track buried in the roadway
3) build linear cities with an average height of 3 – 10 stories and wind turbines all along their rooflines to take advantage of the acceleration of the prevailing westerly winds in the Northern Hemisphere as they go overhead! They may also be built:
A) just under ridgelines, and along or at right angles to shorelines, in the face of rising seas, to use topography to further augment the power generated, with
B) linking east to west cities having similar features. All are within walking distance of open fields and public transportation for easy access on foot. Their shared walls also conserve heat very efficiently!
That they must also include solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies to complement the wind turbines, and to power high, medium and low-speed conventional and maglev trains, in red above and below, which use only a third of the energy/ passenger mile that both cars and aircraft do, at close range to save on the 6 – 70% power loss, depending on whose report you read, that normally occurs in its transmission from power plant to end user.
So, what do we get from this “Titanic Moment”? Will we be able to stop the slide of 6.8 billion people from relative wealth to abject and conflict-prone poverty – similar to that already experienced by all in North Africa and the Middle East as it has lost its fertile soils and agricultural production due to the climate change that has occurred in only the last 2 - 4000 years? What will we be able to offer our children’s children’s children’s children, and the remix of our own genes?
The longest lasting empires, and most well to do civilizations have all based themselves on a scientific understanding of the planet that we live on, by carefully building an infrastructure that tended toward 100% sustainability in relation to their rivals, using as little energy as wisely as possible, to ensure the livelihood of succeeding generations.
Will we have the wisdom to maintain that same tradition as we approach the difficulties posed by the End of Oil, and the early signs of runaway global climate change? This is a “Titanic Moment”!