Energy, Food, & Transportation for the Components of our Genes, Forevermore!
Kim Gyr | Green Millennium
1. The prime and primal issue of our times is the near future, within the next 60 years, when there is little petroleum and all that is left must be preserved for the production of more durable goods, such as fertilizers, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. In such conditions, we will need to have already built a global infrastructure that gets all of its energy from nuclear and renewable sources, while providing access to food, energy and transportation. Rail and maglev vehicles and trains will be preferred, as they use only 1/3 of the energy/passenger mile that cars and aircraft use! The sooner that we can get a novel rail based transportation network built, the more petroleum we will have for generations that will exist 2,000 and 4,000 years from now! Please bear in mind that the last 2000 years can be reduced to only 20 times the 5 generations, grandparents to grandchildren, that we have met in our own families (20 x 20 years/generation x 5 generations = 2000!).
2. The specific challenges that we must all address are A) the production of food without petroleum – there were approximately 100 million Americans in 1915 and 21.5 million horses (≅5:1) to help us to produce food. Now we are 304 million Americans with only 6.9 million horses (≅44:1), few of which have ever seen a plow let alone pulled one! How will we produce food without their help, no petroleum and when much of the best farmland in the country has been paved over? B) Where do we get energy from when more than 40% of our total energy demands and more than 99% of the fuel we use in our cars, trucks and farm equipment that is currently provided by oil is gone? C) Can we do anything to slow down and reverse the global climate change that we have been so adept at creating? Can we create the world’s first 100% sustainable infrastructure, knowing that everything that we make, use and do within the next 60 years must be 100% sustainable, including stabilizing the world’s climates, if we want to maintain the world’s populations at their current levels?! My project is one of the first to comprehensively address and design for all of these globally life threatening issues using currently available technologies!
4.Please see above and below for the issues and challenges that are marching toward us all, on the horizon, at the moment. Global Climate Change, the End of Oil and the End of Food are only the most identifiable. Resource depletion of all kinds will soon be the order of the day for everyone. By catching the fast train to the future that is provided by this new paradigm, we may be able to outrun the announced apocalypse, develop technologies that can endure for at least the next 2000 years, and sew the world together once again!
5. Please see below for more details of the challenges, research and other activities that are necessary for this new paradigm to take flight or run along a track at 250 miles/hour!
- We will see the end of petroleum within 60 years, the most critical fact for the lives of our grandchildren, which our media has avoided despite its importance!
- Global climates are very likely to seriously deteriorate, inundating coastlines due to rising sea levels and destroying life for the more than 50 percent of Americans who currently live in 772 coastal counties. By 2025, nearly 75 percent of Americans are projected to be living near a coast, with population density doubling in some areas such as Florida and California. Furthermore, globally about 60 million people live within 1 meter of mean sea level, a number expected to grow to about 130 million by 2100! What will their lives, homes, and jobs look like then?
- With the end of petroleum, we are very likely to see the end of the coordinated, efficient and compact food production systems that allow Americans and global citizens to eat affordably today. In that vacuum, what are the chances that law and social order can be maintained, especially if the police themselves are deprived of petroleum? Even now, the US Defense Department is the world’s largest single consumer of oil!
- This paper is a call to a vision of an entirely new paradigm, one that is arguably 100% and eternally sustainable!
As such, it is designed to:
- Provide an analysis of the most efficient and flexible ways to address transportation (rail uses only 1/3 of the energy per passenger mile required by both cars and aircraft, can be more easily powered by renewable sources, and is both more local and more sociable), energy and food provision and use!
- Overcome the challenges of energy and food provision without oil, while providing the ultimate in high-, medium- and low-speed transportation in a steady state, low energy world.
- Use the only energy forms that will soon be available to us, in optimum ways! I demonstrate how we can construct a world that is 100% sustainable, develop technologies that will provide jobs to replace those that are no longer there in today’s contracting economies, for countries around the world to foster a healthy competition into the immense vacuum that this new paradigm fills, rather than bloody conflicts over resources that are shrinking more and more quickly! Although I include the use of nuclear power, for the most part the technologies are no more complex than electric motor and battery technologies that junior high school students from Newark and Nairobi can work on and develop!
- We must find and develop both a paradigm and an infrastructure for where can we get plastics (a reduced number, all from plants), energy (all from renewables except, for the time being, from nuclear), food (from 100% organic production) and transportation (as outlined here and below)!
- My explanations in graphics and text are fully intended to suggest the research to be performed in the immense task to transform our global cultures from ours here in the USA that are 95% dependent on petroleum inputs to those that are 100% sustainable and eternal. I have provided a radical roadmap for what to do as the climate warms and the waters rise, and our existing infrastructure disappears. It is for us all to interpret, imagine and create the 100% sustainable world of the future, if possible from these crude beginnings, remembering that world markets may be gained, and the lives of your children and great great …great grandchildren may be saved if we are successful!
- World and American populations are dispersed across the continents roughly as indicated in this satellite image of Earthlights at night, bearing in mind that we in the USA consume about 5 times the energy/person of those in Europe and 20 times those in the rest of the world:
The low-lying areas along the East and West Coasts, and Mississippi River Valley and Gulf Coast could all easily disappear under the rising sea levels, to say nothing of European, Asian and Indian populations in low-lying areas!
We have an uncertain future ahead of us, with petroleum set to run out within the next 60 years, the climate set to reset itself to the warmer regimes of perhaps 66 million years ago, and the end of energy, transportation and food with the End of Oil! What are we doing about any of these 3 issues, in a way that is substantial enough to keep 6.85 billion global citizens alive under energy supply conditions that only kept 1.6 billion of us alive in 1915, when there were 21.5 million horses in the United States to supply food to the 100 million American citizens (= 5:1) that were alive then? We are now 304 million Americans and 6.9 million horses (= 44.06:1 !!!), most of which have never seen a plow, let alone pulled one!
This is a mathematics problem: how to supply over 4 times the world’s people on land and energy supplies that are likely to dwindle even more than they are now, and were in 1900!
There are ways to sail around this problem as sea levels rise, however, using modern technologies in novel ways, as follows:
Why live in a long ribbon, linear city when you can live in something as exciting as the Burj Dubai, for example? The answer comes down to simple, 7th grade mathematics: lines have a far greater perimeter than circles, which have the minimum that is mathematically possible.
Please compare the 2 figures below that have roughly the same area but vastly different perimeters :
- These differences are compounded when you stack the circles on top of each other to create the figure on the left, which is superb in the views and sense of power that it creates, but poor when all its inhabitants must walk into fields to grow their own crops because there is no more petroleum to produce the food and bring it to where people can eat it! Please consider too that all of our cities are circular, not linear, forms that give few people access to fields to grow crops. Please see the image of Los Angeles on the right!
Why should this make a difference? After all, technology has been directing us toward the heights for at least a century, the same century that has been driven largely by petroleum, and the mobility that it has given us.
I therefore propose linear cities like that on the right, where everyone can walk from where they live into open fields, both to grow their own food, and to supply those who are still stuck in existing cities, and towers like those above!
The tunnel bordering the fields contains high-speed rail, along with medium and low-speed lines, which are the only form of transportation outside of bicycles, ships and electric cars that can be driven by wind.
Everyone lives within a 10 minute walk of their own field, chickens and fruit trees, and all can very rapidly reach the existing cities using the high-speed rail link, which uses only about 1/3 of the energy/passenger mile that cars and aircraft use.
The wind turbines (between nos. 2 and 3) along the top edge of the north to south linear city capture the energy of wind that has been accelerated as it passes over its 3 – 5 stories. Expressways can be used deliver building materials to build linear cities just alongside, as below, and we can start by installing conventional wind turbines first 1), followed by both high-speed rail and “high temperature” superconducting induction tracks in the roadway to drive electric vehicles, giving them unlimited range 2), followed by the construction of the linear cities themselves 3):
The photos below show the same process, with the intermediate stage of elevated platforms a) for quick-change battery pit stops for autonomous electric vehicles. All residents are within walking and cycling distance of fields, as below:
- The Linear Cities follow the expressways on the page above, and go more directly between the existing cities on the here above. They run north to south, at right angles to prevailing westerly winds, all but B) below, and can be built into hillsides, onto land that becomes flooded, and along watercourses as in the aerial view above.
With the forthcoming certainty of the End of Oil, and a global food crisis looming, there are more and more who advocate much greater reliance on organic farming methods. Organic farming methods however are labor intensive, ideal for the low-petroleum era, and the much greater proximity to the land that Linear Ecocities provide. This is one of the only ways to get the hands into the fields, as 80% of us now live in cities, far from food production areas! As Linear Ecocities run through cropland, all hands are either a 10-minute walk from where they may work for the day, or a short or long train ride from the field and seasonal crop that must be tended.
- Therefore, please view below projects to create gas turbine/flywheel/battery hybrid cars with 4-wheel drive and regenerative braking that will burn practically any fuel and protect their occupants much better in accidents, please see the variety of accident scenarios below. In head-on collisions, the more rigid, pointed central chassis is very unlikely to meet point to point with the opposing car. The front bumpers act as triggers to detach the front “A-arm” on that side, and the front fenders are also mounted to slide to the rear on the appropriate side, thereby reducing the deceleration felt by the occupants of both cars.
Similarly, the rear and side undersides are sloped so that the impacted car is thrust upwards and its occupants pressed into their seats, with which they already have contact. This is both automatic and passive, does not depend upon fallible technologies to work, and can cut the g-forces felt by all occupants, thereby saving many lives!
- The front “A pillars” on either side of the windshield are greatly reinforced to keep the roof from collapsing as the impacting car slides under another!
That still leaves the oceans as poorly crossable once there is no more petroleum to fly aircraft or power ships. How can world passenger and cargo trips continue without petroleum? That may be easier than we currently realize! All we have to do is to build kite-sail hydrofoil hovercraft ships to rapidly cross the oceans when we can no longer fly across them.
- We will never again have as much freely available energy! Therefore, we must create the basis of an entirely new infrastructure while we still have the energy to design, build and perfect it before the end of oil, for all time. Further details are available on my website at www.greenmillennium.eu
Can there be an argument against the fact that every child who is born is the genetic reincarnation of his or her parents? Therefore, we must do everything that we can to protect the future of every child on the planet, and the only way to do that is to reach for, and achieve, the goal of 100% sustainability within our lifetimes!
All but the above project occurred to me as I staggered, walked and jogged more than 330 miles to recover the abilities to walk, speak and remember that I lost when my heart stopped for 10 minutes following a car accident in Kenya in 1980. Given “6 – 8 years before I could expect to regain a normal life” by the neurologist who saw me at the time, I was at work within 7 months, running my own business within 4 years, and teaching at one of the premier design schools in the world within 9 years, all driven by the imperative to achieve 100% sustainability and to preserve all the fossil fuels that we can for generations 2,000, 10,000 and 100,000 years hence! What can you do for this same goal, without which the components of your genes may simply not survive?
Can I remind you that the last 2000 years can be reduced to only 20 times the 5 generations, grandparents to grandchildren, that we have met in our own families (20 x 20 years/generation x 5 generations = 2000!).
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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