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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #50 on: March 26, 2014, 12:54:13 PM »
The cricket farm in Thailand did not even need electricity.  The input, once the farm was started, appeared to be a few pieces of fruit or vegetables, the output a regular (truckload?) of food. 

In which case you're still feeding the insects fruit or vegetables that could have gone to human consumption?.....

I'm guessing you didn't watch the video?  Maybe one or two pieces of fruit were feeding an entire vat of crickets.  (Heck, they live on much less than that in my garage!   >:( )  Personally, I'd bet a village of starving families would prefer a truckload of fresh crickets over a few pieces of rotten vegetables.  And the bugs grow to adulthood quickly, which is another advantage. 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 01:10:13 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2014, 01:24:49 PM »
Do chickens eat crickets?
If so, we may be on to something!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 02:01:47 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Neven

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #52 on: March 26, 2014, 02:49:49 PM »
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NOTICE
NOTICE
NOTICE

Obviously I need to restate the purpose of this thread!

1)   To my knowledge, there is no rule on the forum that every statement made must be backed by peer-reviewed, published studies, positive EROEI, or even E=mc2.  (Though in some threads, that may be encouraged.)    ;)

2)   This thread is for IDEAS.  Positive ideas about the future.  And how we get to that positive future.  Suggesting things currently thought to be "Impossible" is FINE.  Links to things you would like to see developed further, or see used more widely, are FINE.  Thoughts or philosophies that illustrate an aspect of your vision of a better future are FINE.  Steps being taken by governments or companies or just Jo Schmoe from Nguwynamck -- if they show a positive way forward, are FINE.  The first step to any improvement is imagining it!

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
-  Lewis Carroll

3)   Instead of tearing down other people's ideas, try expressing your doubt by showing an alternative you think would work better!    Otherwise, I will have to break out the strong language, like "doom-monger" and "nay-sayer."   ::)


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Fair enough. :-)
Sorry for the criticism. I'm Dutch and Dutch people are very critical.

I'll re-iterate that a prerequisite for any impossible ideas to have the potential to work, is a new economic system, lots of efficiency, lower consumption, and renewable energy. And then we need to get greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Someone posted about that billboard in Chile or Peru that sucked potable water out of the atmosphere. It probably would take gazillions of devices (and huge amounts of energy) to make a dent in atmospheric water vapour content, but something along those lines.

Gardening needs to become a core cultural occupation. Everyone should have a vegetable garden (so they can work less -> less unemployment), horticulture knowledge needs to be built up and spread widely, kids need to learn this in school, with horticulture being on the same level as reading or algebra, not just something on the side.

By gardening people become more independent which is good for democracy, their health improves, less food is wasted, and more space can be freed up for reforestation.
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adelady

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2014, 03:19:59 PM »
Do chickens eat crickets?
If so, we may be on to something!

Chickens eat anything.    If you suspect you've got slugs or bugs of any kind getting at your garden, just put a log or a plank of wood on some damp soil.  Then turn it over a day or so later and the chooks will get the lot of them - along with any eggs they might have been silly enough to lay there.   

Though they're not too keen on citrus peelings.  Avocados might kill them.  And leaves from solanum plants aren't good for them either. 

Whether they turn the unwanted weeds, scraps and insects into eggs or into top notch manure, it's all good. 

prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #54 on: March 26, 2014, 03:23:58 PM »

Gardening needs to become a core cultural occupation. Everyone should have a vegetable garden (so they can work less -> less unemployment), horticulture knowledge needs to be built up and spread widely, kids need to learn this in school, with horticulture being on the same level as reading or algebra, not just something on the side.

Wow, that's a fantastic idea! I've never thought about (or heard anyone else ever mention) something like that: make gardening a classroom subject alongside math, history, and the like. If horticulture was taught at that scale, to all children as a basic subject (which now that I think about it, it really is on par with the others currently taught) we could go quite a long way in establishing food security against possible future disruptions in the centralized industrial ag system.

JackTaylor

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #55 on: March 26, 2014, 04:05:31 PM »
Wow, that's a fantastic idea! I've never thought about (or heard anyone else ever mention) something like that: make gardening a classroom subject alongside math, history, and the like. If horticulture was taught at that scale, to all children as a basic subject (which now that I think about it, it really is on par with the others currently taught) we could go quite a long way in establishing food security against possible future disruptions in the centralized industrial ag system.

prometheus,

Back in the days of old, in some places a mandatory course (prerequisite to graduate) in High School, at either Freshman or Sophomore Year,  was in Agriculture - Farming with payment of a small fee and membership in FFA (Future Farmers of America) which we called it.  My school had a curriculum of FFAI, FFAII, FFA111, FFAIV with 2,3,& 4 optional.

FFA is still available to youngsters in some schools - but I don't believe it's mandatory in anymore,  don't see how on first thought this could work at most school locations.
www.google.com/#q=future+farmers+of+america

prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #56 on: March 26, 2014, 05:06:42 PM »

prometheus,

Back in the days of old, in some places a mandatory course (prerequisite to graduate) in High School, at either Freshman or Sophomore Year,  was in Agriculture - Farming with payment of a small fee and membership in FFA (Future Farmers of America) which we called it.  My school had a curriculum of FFAI, FFAII, FFA111, FFAIV with 2,3,& 4 optional.

FFA is still available to youngsters in some schools - but I don't believe it's mandatory in anymore,  don't see how on first thought this could work at most school locations.
www.google.com/#q=future+farmers+of+america


Thanks JT. So you took FFA1, did you take any of the others? What did they cover?

My high school had an FFA club, and some of the guys I knew were in it. Those I knew were all interested in a farming career, but that's only a small personal sample so I can't speak to the overall goals of the club, and unfortunately I don't know much about what they did there. There may have been some electives available along those lines as well, but they weren't required and band was my thing so that's all I took.

There may be places where ag type classes are still required, but my guess would be there aren't too many of those around anymore. A basic knowledge of how to grow food is a very useful skill for anyone to have, and at the very least if everyone were required to take a class on the subject, even if most never applied it again in their lives, they would still carry with them an appreciation for the work that goes into producing it. I thought the idea Neven brought up of making such a class mandatory was a very good idea since all of our lives basically depend on it.

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #57 on: March 26, 2014, 06:13:56 PM »
3)   Instead of tearing down other people's ideas, try expressing your doubt by showing an alternative you think would work better!    Otherwise, I will have to break out the strong language, like "doom-monger" and "nay-sayer."   ::)

Well, so far my alternative to crickets is chicken and beans  :D

I'm sure the chickens would eat the crickets, but they'll also eat a whole bunch of other stuff that one wouldn't dream of eating (better conversion ratio) - as adelady said - almost anything, and they can protect things too by managing pests.

And I note your argument about fruit - but it seems to me it only works if you give them fruit no longer fit for human consumption - or is it the case that cricket digestion can extract far more calories from fruit than a person can? If so - can it extract enough extra calories to overcome the feed conversion ratio disadvantage? I suppose it's possible - after all - humans don't get useful calories from grass, but plenty of animals can (which we can then eat).

Anyway - don't think of it as tearing down your ideas per se - think of it as testing them for robustness? (unless you really want the sci-fi element in which case I'll just quietly sidle away).

Neven

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #58 on: March 26, 2014, 07:26:22 PM »
Back in the days of old, in some places a mandatory course (prerequisite to graduate) in High School, at either Freshman or Sophomore Year,  was in Agriculture - Farming with payment of a small fee and membership in FFA (Future Farmers of America) which we called it.  My school had a curriculum of FFAI, FFAII, FFA111, FFAIV with 2,3,& 4 optional.

Something like this, but with horticulture instead of agriculture, as the latter is a war on nature, and one of the main reasons for the current crisis cocktail.

A basic knowledge of how to grow food is a very useful skill for anyone to have, and at the very least if everyone were required to take a class on the subject, even if most never applied it again in their lives, they would still carry with them an appreciation for the work that goes into producing it.

That's exactly what I mean. My daughter and I watched the Jamie Oliver school dinner series that was aired about a decade ago, and it's just heart breaking to see how children eat/get fed/addicted and think ground meat leftovers with additives in the shape of a football player is food, and don't want anything else that might be healthier, but less economic according to narrow cost-benefit analysis.

It's not just about learning about reality (ie basic needs and how they are met), but also about health and economics.  But we can't have that, because our economic system demands everlasting growth through consumer culture. And consumer culture only works when you have hordes of relatively ignorant, addicted consumers/producers. School can do that for you, as school will always support the dominant culture.

So first the economic system needs to be changed. Of course, you can work at sub-solutions while waiting, but their full potential can only be reached when neoclassical economic theory loses its grip on academia, politics and media.
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JackTaylor

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2014, 02:27:37 PM »
Thanks JT. So you took FFA1, did you take any of the others? What did they cover?

prometheus,
Yes, FFAI in my Sophomore year, avoided it as much as I could.  Was intent on leaving rural community (farming/gardening) asap after high school - which I did.  40 years later, I bust my butt to have a backyard garden - one of them "go figure" things.

IIRC it covered a lot of what I would refer back to as Plant Biology Theory, later learned it was Phenology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenology  We had a very good teacher - advisor.
2,3,4 - had animals - machinery - planting&harvesting - field work, but I missed those.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Neven,

Makes me happy for you to keep giving horticulture precedent over agriculture  :D

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2014, 03:42:05 PM »
Fair enough. :-)
Sorry for the criticism. I'm Dutch and Dutch people are very critical.

I'll re-iterate that a prerequisite for any impossible ideas to have the potential to work, is a new economic system, lots of efficiency, lower consumption, and renewable energy. And then we need to get greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Someone posted about that billboard in Chile or Peru that sucked potable water out of the atmosphere. It probably would take gazillions of devices (and huge amounts of energy) to make a dent in atmospheric water vapour content, but something along those lines.

Gardening needs to become a core cultural occupation. Everyone should have a vegetable garden (so they can work less -> less unemployment), horticulture knowledge needs to be built up and spread widely, kids need to learn this in school, with horticulture being on the same level as reading or algebra, not just something on the side.

By gardening people become more independent which is good for democracy, their health improves, less food is wasted, and more space can be freed up for reforestation.

Neven,
This is wonderful.  Thanks.  It's nice to come back to this thread and see positive comments!

I'm not a city person, but I know that the populations of cities are going to increase. Do you have any suggestions about personal gardening in the city?  Green spaces?  Green rooftops?  Off-shore gardening palaces?  :)
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Neven

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2014, 10:57:56 PM »
Makes me happy for you to keep giving horticulture precedent over agriculture

Sorry for being naive, but you have to start somewhere!  ;D


I'm not a city person, but I know that the populations of cities are going to increase. Do you have any suggestions about personal gardening in the city?  Green spaces?  Green rooftops?  Off-shore gardening palaces?  :)

If urban populations keep increasing, I think we can forget about better tomorrows. And personal gardening in the city is even more naive than my quest to replace agriculture by horticulture. Green rooftops are good for buffering run-off, but I don't know about food producing. The EROEI is probably horrible.

My urban better tomorrow would look like this: population decreasing somewhat, cities expanding nevertheless, so that there's more room for green spaces and community life. Tear down old neighbourhoods, but don't build anything new there. Create a large hybrid transition zone between city and rural surroundings. Create cycles for energy, water and waste. Maximize food production to increase room for real nature in the rural surroundings.

But most of all: We don't need to be packed together any longer to produce art or culture, we have the Internet now. If we maximize independence wrt basic needs, we can work less, meaning we do not necessarily need to be in or near a city. But first the economic system needs to be changed to allow for this. Start measuring how many people have maximum independence wrt basic needs, and how that positively impacts ecosystems, if you want to measure your success as a society. Make that your GDP instead of production+consumption (and keeping externalized costs invisible).
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Neven

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2014, 11:52:49 PM »
BTW, I'm not saying that all of that is realistic. It's just my wishful thinking.

But nothing is impossible either.  ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2014, 07:52:06 PM »
I'm not a city person, but I know that the populations of cities are going to increase. Do you have any suggestions about personal gardening in the city?  Green spaces?  Green rooftops?  Off-shore gardening palaces?  :)

If urban populations keep increasing, I think we can forget about better tomorrows. And personal gardening in the city is even more naive than my quest to replace agriculture by horticulture. Green rooftops are good for buffering run-off, but I don't know about food producing. The EROEI is probably horrible.

My urban better tomorrow would look like this: population decreasing somewhat, cities expanding nevertheless, so that there's more room for green spaces and community life. Tear down old neighbourhoods, but don't build anything new there. Create a large hybrid transition zone between city and rural surroundings. Create cycles for energy, water and waste. Maximize food production to increase room for real nature in the rural surroundings.

But most of all: We don't need to be packed together any longer to produce art or culture, we have the Internet now. If we maximize independence wrt basic needs, we can work less, meaning we do not necessarily need to be in or near a city. But first the economic system needs to be changed to allow for this. Start measuring how many people have maximum independence wrt basic needs, and how that positively impacts ecosystems, if you want to measure your success as a society. Make that your GDP instead of production+consumption (and keeping externalized costs invisible).

So many of the world's cities today are quite sterile (non-green).  They could indeed be made more liveable if they were less crowded, population-wise, and more spread out, instead of high-rise stone/steel/glass “canyons”.  They need more “air” and green space to be healthy.  The attached montage shows some ideas of greening and growing.  Amusing that some visions of future cities make it look like they’ve been abandoned and nature has taken over -- could be a good model!  ;D

Great point about being able to live apart today yet work together.  Communication methods will continue to evolve and become more life-like (3-D, holographic) -- with the right planning, distant personal transportation can perhaps shrink back to being a rare need; a special event.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2014, 07:53:32 PM »
BTW, I'm not saying that all of that is realistic. It's just my wishful thinking.

But nothing is impossible either.  ;)

Exactly what this thread is for!   :)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #65 on: March 31, 2014, 05:33:22 PM »
Here's an idea that will probably be used extensively in a few decades, or perhaps the end of the century, although it has essentially no chance of being implemented now. 

”SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) - A string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York could blunt the impact of storm surges that proved so deadly during Superstorm Sandy, according to a proposal vying for attention and funding as the region continues its recovery."

The reasons listed at the bottom of the article for not doing this are quite compelling.  No one at the shore today wants to exchange their oceanfront for a bayfront; the waves are part of the allure of the shore.  However, when continuing sea level rise and two or three more storms as destructive as Superstorm Sandy happen... I suspect residents will become more fearful of the ocean, and protective barriers like this along the shore (or instead, removal of the development from the barrier islands themselves) would be seriously contemplated.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140329_ap_1e8e64f34e79453995e001fecbadea40.html#f62zhDKjbZKaJ7SW.99
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2014, 11:45:44 PM »
India prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is using 3D holographic technology to address 100 rallies at the same time.

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-bjp-goes-hi-tech-to-use-3d-projection-for-narendra-modi-rallies-1974973
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2014, 11:19:54 PM »
A better approach to coastal sea level rise?  "Let it flood."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/09/3422063/england-town-sea-level-rise/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2014, 11:33:32 PM »
Industry running on solar power!  Using solar power to make solar panels.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/10/3425126/scientists-use-solar-power-to-make-more-solar-panels/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #69 on: April 12, 2014, 07:21:23 PM »
Energy savings through increased efficiency and conservation:
After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan shut down all its nuclear plants.  They managed to replace half their missing nuclear power capacity through energy efficiency and conservation measures that endure three years later.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/10/3425406/japan-energy-efficiency-replacement/
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prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2014, 03:46:28 PM »
I composed a rather lengthy response for this thread, but lost it when my laptop battery died. :( I'll try and reproduce some of the basic ideas now.

I want to talk a little bit about some more distant future possibilities. This is science fiction for now (so those who are turned off by that, you can stop reading now, or just keep reading with that disclamer in mind.)

I see a high, rugged mountain range in the near future that we as a civilization will have to cross. But it doesn't go on forever, and if we can get past it to the valleys on the other side we can open up possibilities for resource extraction and energy production that will provide all the room to grow that we will ever need. I'm specifically thinking about the exploitation of space-based resources. It's true that we only have a finite (very small in the grand scheme of things) amount of room to grow and materials to build with here on Earth, but there's a whole lot of space and raw material off-world that can supply economical and industrial growth well into the future. If we make it through climate change with our tech intact (and continue to develop and improve it along the way) we may be able to stop strip mining our own home and start pulling resources and energy off of other worlds.

I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation to see roughly how much energy it would take to get material off the lunar surface back to Earth and got 50 MJ/kg (assuming a 10 km/s delta-v, which is about what the Apollo moon lander budget was I believe). That's a decent chunk of energy, but not overwhelmingly so. Much of the lunar surface is silicon, and PV cells may be manufacturable on the surface to provide that energy to rail-guns for export back. PV cells could be manufactured on the lunar surface using indigenous material, and since it's EROEI is greater than 1 (estimates I've seen vary greatly, but none have been less than 1), that energy could be fed back to produce more PV with some left over for export back to Earth or to be used in further mining. Those energy returns can take years, so the process may need to be kickstarted using nuclear (whose problems of radioactivity and waste disposal are almost irrelevant on the already high radiation environment of the dead lunar surface.) Once started, if the process could be automated, it could grow until we have more solar than we know what to do with.

Another prospect is putting large solar power stations in Earth orbit (produced on the moon because of its much shallower gravity well) for power to be beamed down to the surface using microwaves.

Controlled nuclear fusion is another contender for energy. It won't be as cheap as FF (for a very long time, if ever), but its fuel is ridiculously plentiful and very safe and it produces no CO2 during operation. The reactor vessels become somewhat radioactive after long-term use, but that radiation is short-lived (on the order of a few decades rather than millenia for fission waste). This is even within our grasp now with appropriate funding levels in place. ITER, which is currently being built in Cadarache, France, will generate 10 times more heat energy than it consumes to sustain the plasma, and it's just a testbed. A full plant will be larger and its Q value many times that. There are some dark horse contenders for fusion power that aren't based on tokamak designs that could reach breakeven sooner and much cheaper, but that's a wildcard for now.

I see the future for planet Earth as the garden planet if we can get to the other side of climate change with our tech intact to get to the point where we are harvesting resources (energy and material) from somewhere other than here. We will clean-up this planet's biosphere and recycle our waste using excess energy from these new resources and hopefully never again have to tear it up in the search for further growth. :)

icefest

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #71 on: April 15, 2014, 04:10:56 PM »
I very much agree with almost all you said.

I don't quite agree with this.
Another prospect is putting large solar power stations in Earth orbit (produced on the moon because of its much shallower gravity well) for power to be beamed down to the surface using microwaves.

Both extra-orbital solar and nuclear increase the earth's energy budget.  This is not equivalent to that amount of extra sunshine but at a much larger warming potential. This is because ~all energy is converted into low level heat.

Assuming world total energy use keeps climbing, we will reach a point where we cause global warming via low level heat generation.

Open other end.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #72 on: April 15, 2014, 07:10:09 PM »
Prometheus @70,
Thank you for sharing your vision!  I knew I was not the only one who thinks this way.

Another Space Resource is the asteroids, snagged and parked in an Earth/Moon LaGrange point.  NASA is actually planning for this -- and using 3-D printers!  :) 

 From their website:
"Another critical technology also is developing at just the right time: 3-D printers producing hardware that can be assembled into ever-more-complex machinery and potentially in the future, increasingly capable robots.

"The idea is you start with resources out of Earth's gravity well in the vicinity of the Earth," Metzger said. "But what we argued is that you can establish industry in space for a surprisingly low cost, much less than anybody previously thought."

"The finished minerals could be returned to Earth or used in space to build new machinery or as supplies for astronauts as they explore the solar system."

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/news/asteroidmining.html
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #73 on: April 15, 2014, 07:28:27 PM »
 Lets say we start with the imbedded costs of some solar panels and some electric tools and batteries that can be charged off solar and used to preform various tasks. Then using the tools and solar energy set about tasks that can return energy that exceeds the amount put in .  Gardening using exclusively solar and manual labor can return , in theory anyhow, more energy than that used to create the solar tools and...feed a human doing the gardening. The solar panels are collecting and concentrating solar energy and so do the plants that grow in the garden. 
 A group of humans that collectively feed themselves and can produce some spare energy might also have enough excess food calories to feed up some farm animals that can graze for more solar energy from plants. So long as the farm animals can yield more energy in work performed and food calories produced than the amount it takes to feed them they too contribute to a positive energy balance.
 Fast growing trees can also be planted and harvested using solar powered tools.
With some time the lumber could be utilized for shelter, fencing,  hand tools,
Carts, wooden wheels and transport. Road building and even small hydropower might also be added as energy costs that yield energy benefits. Scale issues of collecting enough energy from enough individual sources to tackle hydro-power or wind energy projects are parts of making a working whole. The time it takes to plant crops, raise livestock, or plant and harvest fruit or wood products is also something that will only yield benefits after many cycles of harvest. So time should also be considered in imbedded cost analyzation until payback times are achieved .
 So I guess the question is how well could a group of people do if every task was measured against the goal of yielding more energy than that energy needed to perform a task in the first place ? How well could we feed , cloth , and shelter ourselves ? Could we collect enough energy surpluses to attempt larger building projects like hydro-power? How far could the net positive energy goal be expanded ?
These are not goals that require new technology although there is plenty of room for improvement. These are goals that require we live by newly created ( solar, wind , water ) energy resources rather than utilizing fossil energy resources.
 So how long would it take and how many gardens, forests , and net energy producers would need to be harvested to invest that accumulated energy into space shots or mining the moon?  Billions of farmers?  What do you think those gardeners would need the minerals or metals from space for? 

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #74 on: April 16, 2014, 02:46:35 PM »
...
 So how long would it take and how many gardens, forests , and net energy producers would need to be harvested to invest that accumulated energy into space shots or mining the moon?  Billions of farmers?  What do you think those gardeners would need the minerals or metals from space for?


Bruce Steele,

A)  There is nothing wrong with using fossil fuel energy to lift ourselves away from using fossil fuel energy.

B)  We will reach for the stars in order to keep improving ourselves technologically,  environmentally, and spiritually.

C)  Besides, we need the Vulcans to help introduce us to all the other life forms out there!

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Benefits-Stemming-from-Space-Exploration-2013-TAGGED.pdf

http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #75 on: April 16, 2014, 02:48:25 PM »
Is a no-questions-asked, guaranteed income for all, just a Star Trek future?  Nope!

From CNN:

A monthly cash payment to every American, no questions asked, would solve several of our most daunting challenges. It's called a basic income, and it's cheaper and much more effective than our current malfunctioning safety net, which costs nearly $1 trillion per year.

The idea of a basic income, sometimes called a guaranteed minimum income or a negative income tax, has been discussed for decades by notable economists like Milton Friedman. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the idea had bipartisan backing before losing steam. Recently, in the face of a sputtering economy, a weak job market and rising income inequality, it has been gathering supporters at an ever-quickening pace.

In fact, just last month, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich called a basic income guarantee "almost inevitable."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/opinion/wheeler-minimum-income/index.html?sr=tw041514incomegovernment330pStoryGalLink
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #76 on: April 16, 2014, 02:50:05 PM »
Eggs are a wonderfully nutritious and versatile food, but the poultry industry has huge carbon and water footprints, not to mention ethical considerations.  What if there were a plant-based alternative that emulsified, cooked, and tasted like eggs?  One company believes they may have found it.

"I think it's the world figuring out how it feeds 9 and a half billion people in a way that is convenient, affordable and just so happens to be better for the planet. Just so happens to be a little bit better for our bodies. Slowly, you're going to see the back of intensive animal agriculture and the unhealthy practices that kind of come from it break. Not because of anything else other than it's just smarter. For the same reason, again, the horse and buggy is no longer with us. It's just smarter. It just works better for people's lives."

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/techknow/articles/2014/4/2/feeding-the-worldbygettingridofeggs.html

Another plus:  you can eat the cookie dough!
http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/techknow/articles/2014/4/2/from-fine-diningtoasciencelabastestkitchen.html

39 fossil fuel calories = 1 egg calorie. 
2 fossil fuel calories = 1 vegetable protein calorie.
http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/techknow/articles/2014/4/1/egg-speriments-inplantbasedproteins.html
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prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #77 on: April 17, 2014, 06:35:19 AM »
I very much agree with almost all you said.

I don't quite agree with this.
Another prospect is putting large solar power stations in Earth orbit (produced on the moon because of its much shallower gravity well) for power to be beamed down to the surface using microwaves.

Both extra-orbital solar and nuclear increase the earth's energy budget.  This is not equivalent to that amount of extra sunshine but at a much larger warming potential. This is because ~all energy is converted into low level heat.

Assuming world total energy use keeps climbing, we will reach a point where we cause global warming via low level heat generation.
Yes, you're right. Let's look at a simple calculation to see roughly how much energy we can generate on the surface (or beam to the surface to be used and dissipated here) before the temperature rises dangerously again. The reality will be somewhat different than this simplified model, but this will give a rough estimate. First assume (not unreasonable considering the level of technology we're talking about that might even create the problem you brought up) that the atmospheric CO2 level has been brought down to ice-age levels of about 180 ppm. We know that that equilibrium climate temperature is about 8 degrees below Holocene levels, not including recent rises due to AGW. So this is what we have to work with, what we can safely create with our own energy generation. I chose this level because we still know plants can live effectively at this concentration of CO2.

From the Stefan-Boltzmann law, F = oT^4 (where 'o' is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant = 5.67E-8, T the temperature in Kelvin, and F the radiated power density in W/m^2). So the  radiated power of Earth's surface at 279 K (8 degrees before present) we get
F = 343 W/m^2, or 1.75e17 total W (W/m^2 multiplied by Earth's surface area)

For a temperature 8 degrees above that:
F = 384.69 W/m^2, or 1.96e17 total W
difference = 2.1e16 W or roughly 21 peta watts

So, if we lower the atmospheric CO2 level to about 180 ppm, we can keep our current (well, pre-AGW) temperature by expending up to about 21 PW. Our current global power output is about 17 TW, so this roughly a factor of 1000 greater energy generation than current levels. Quite a bit of room for growth before this itself becomes a problem. :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 06:49:04 AM by prometheus »

prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #78 on: April 17, 2014, 07:48:12 AM »
Lets say we start with the imbedded costs of some solar panels and some electric tools and batteries that can be charged off solar and used to preform various tasks. Then using the tools and solar energy set about tasks that can return energy that exceeds the amount put in .  Gardening using exclusively solar and manual labor can return , in theory anyhow, more energy than that used to create the solar tools and...feed a human doing the gardening. The solar panels are collecting and concentrating solar energy and so do the plants that grow in the garden.
 A group of humans that collectively feed themselves and can produce some spare energy might also have enough excess food calories to feed up some farm animals that can graze for more solar energy from plants. So long as the farm animals can yield more energy in work performed and food calories produced than the amount it takes to feed them they too contribute to a positive energy balance.
 Fast growing trees can also be planted and harvested using solar powered tools.
With some time the lumber could be utilized for shelter, fencing,  hand tools,
Carts, wooden wheels and transport. Road building and even small hydropower might also be added as energy costs that yield energy benefits. Scale issues of collecting enough energy from enough individual sources to tackle hydro-power or wind energy projects are parts of making a working whole. The time it takes to plant crops, raise livestock, or plant and harvest fruit or wood products is also something that will only yield benefits after many cycles of harvest. So time should also be considered in imbedded cost analyzation until payback times are achieved .
 So I guess the question is how well could a group of people do if every task was measured against the goal of yielding more energy than that energy needed to perform a task in the first place ? How well could we feed , cloth , and shelter ourselves ? Could we collect enough energy surpluses to attempt larger building projects like hydro-power? How far could the net positive energy goal be expanded ?
These are not goals that require new technology although there is plenty of room for improvement. These are goals that require we live by newly created ( solar, wind , water ) energy resources rather than utilizing fossil energy resources.
 So how long would it take and how many gardens, forests , and net energy producers would need to be harvested to invest that accumulated energy into space shots or mining the moon?  Billions of farmers?  What do you think those gardeners would need the minerals or metals from space for?

Bruce,
I've followed some of your comments about EROEI of your solar farm equipment with interest in another thread. I don't know enough to comment further, beyond what you and others have already talked about, but it's nice to see you looking into it with the depth that you are. There are so many inputs that it's really hard to quantify.

In response to your questions, I don't know the answers but I have some opinions that I'll put out there as food for thought and further discussion and exploration. I agree with Sigmetnow about using FF energy to build renewable energy generating capacity. It's not ideal, but it may just be necessary. Mind you, I don't see this actually happening now as a major use of our FF reserves in the real world, but it concievably could be and would make for an acceptable use of them for me. One step back to take two forward or something like it. It will be some time before we can build enough wind, solar, hydro, geo, wave, fusion, etc to reach the point where they can take over. I don't know how long that will be, only that it will take some time. Bootstrapping our way to fully renewable energy using only renewable energy will take much longer than if we decide to use some nonrenewables in the beginning to speed up the process. Like you mentioned about the time inputs renewable technologies being non-negligible. I'm sorry I don't have any specific numbers to back that up with, it's only an idea in my head and as such may not actually be workable in the real world.

My answer for how much energy it will take to set up shop on the moon to start mining and producing energy? A most definitely unscientific "a lot." As in using fossil fuels a lot. I really don't know, but in order for it to work it would have to start small enough for us to get it up there and be self-sufficient enough to build itself up using its own energy and materials it gets locally. If that condition can be satisfied, the EI part of EROEI doesn't matter so much as long as it's greater than one as it will grow itself without further input from us. My thinking is closer to "deep time" in this regard than more human time scales of a few years or decades.

As for what gardeners would use the energy for, I suppose greenhouses and indoor grows? There are designs for arcologies that would grow all of their own food for their inhabitants, and doing so may require lots of artificial climate control which requires energy. If we are to stop "terraforming" our own planet in order to make room for people, we'll have to condense populations into dense urban centers. It takes kilowatts of light to effectively grow much food indoors year round. And there are the materials that go into the technology that powers such grows. In places very far from the equator you have to grow food inside during the winter if you choose to grow anything at all.

I'm also talking about the continued use of modern technology, which requires a lot of energy and raw material. There is still a lot of raw material here on Earth that can be safely extracted if we go deep enough underground so as to not disturb the surface. Doing so would be very energy intensive, which makes it too hard to do now with our current resources, but with large energy inputs from off-world it could concievably be done. Right now we tear up the land to just scrape resources off the surface, but maybe we don't really have to do that if we could tunnel beneath it?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 07:53:40 AM by prometheus »

Bruce Steele

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #79 on: April 17, 2014, 10:20:46 PM »
Prometheus, I have been planting for many days now, tilling new seed beds and going back and keeping the weeds down as the new vegy seeds geminate. I have been exclusively using the electric tiller for several weeks except for some potatoes that needed a deep tilling to get them planted deeper.  Mostly things are progressing as planned but deliveries even the short 3 miles I travel to town will erode carbon efficiency quickly. So like the time component and realistic considerations of payback on investment I think some sort of distance / travel thinking gets forced on you when looking at energy inputs.  What living local means seems to shrink to walking distances.
 I think using fossil fuels to work towards a place we don't need them is simply where we are. It just has gotten under my skin that conventional agriculture is using about 10 fuel calories to deliver a calorie of food and organic requires about 20 fuel calories for one calorie of food. Of course those numbers vary considerably but the best I have seen is an EROEI of less than 2.  So I think fossil fuel inputs are embedded costs , inevitable right now but something to work towards avoiding.
 Thinking about how to turn agriculture into something that yields rather than consumes energy is something new for me. I begin to think ponds , duckweed, and self supporting systems that might benefit by solar inputs look much different than conventional practices. Thinking of self supported energy as the primary driver of decisions is much different than economic decisions and realities required to run a farm. Never really know the pay back time on such thinking but it may have a long tail. That is it may pay in the long run.
 
     

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #80 on: April 21, 2014, 02:18:13 AM »
Couldn't find a better thread to post this under, so I'll put it here.

"In his Easter sermon at Llandaff Cathedral, [Archbishop of Wales] Dr Barry Morgan called on worshippers to make fundamental changes to their way of life in order to protect the planet for future generations."
...
"Clearly, governments can do much to limit the damage by cutting emissions and local air pollution, for example, by ending, as Christian Aid suggests, the £314bn the world spends on fossil fuel subsidies.

"At the same time, we can adapt to changes by building sea defences and creating decent homes for people in countries such as Bangladesh.

“The question for us is how do we respond as a church and as Christians?  How can we not only give up ingrained habits but make fundamental changes to our way of life?

“There are practical actions some of our churches are already doing – such as installing solar or photovoltic panels.

“We need to make fundamental changes to our lifestyle by living and working sustainably. That means promoting social justice and equality through Fair Trade, foodbanks, outward giving, night shelters and helping those in need; leading communities on ideas and learning about sustainable living; and seeking to reduce the use of resources through recycling, car sharing or making our graveyards havens for wildlife.

“Caring for creation means enjoying the gifts that God has given us, but also ensuring that they are there for future generations and that we do not destroy our planet."

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/archbishop-wales-fundamental-action-needed-7010852
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #81 on: April 21, 2014, 02:35:31 AM »
"Next-generation roofing shingles could contain solar cells because researchers at Columbia University recently designed a low-cost solar cell that integrates into shingles. Unlike traditional solar cells, which only capture light energy, the cells capture energy from both light and heat. A built-in cooling system improves the cells' efficiency in high-temperature climates as well as provides hot water for household purposes."

http://tinyurl.com/kh3r6fa
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prometheus

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2014, 07:31:22 AM »
Prometheus, I have been planting for many days now, tilling new seed beds and going back and keeping the weeds down as the new vegy seeds geminate. I have been exclusively using the electric tiller for several weeks except for some potatoes that needed a deep tilling to get them planted deeper.  Mostly things are progressing as planned but deliveries even the short 3 miles I travel to town will erode carbon efficiency quickly. So like the time component and realistic considerations of payback on investment I think some sort of distance / travel thinking gets forced on you when looking at energy inputs.  What living local means seems to shrink to walking distances.
 I think using fossil fuels to work towards a place we don't need them is simply where we are. It just has gotten under my skin that conventional agriculture is using about 10 fuel calories to deliver a calorie of food and organic requires about 20 fuel calories for one calorie of food. Of course those numbers vary considerably but the best I have seen is an EROEI of less than 2.  So I think fossil fuel inputs are embedded costs , inevitable right now but something to work towards avoiding.
 Thinking about how to turn agriculture into something that yields rather than consumes energy is something new for me. I begin to think ponds , duckweed, and self supporting systems that might benefit by solar inputs look much different than conventional practices. Thinking of self supported energy as the primary driver of decisions is much different than economic decisions and realities required to run a farm. Never really know the pay back time on such thinking but it may have a long tail. That is it may pay in the long run.
 
   

My personal preferred mode of transport is a bicycle. As for the energy expended to transport cargo using a bike, wikipedia has a decent overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance. Though not as fast as a car, it's much more efficient (than walking, even), and from personal experience I know that one healthy person can reasonably transport a couple hundred pounds using one. I'm not claiming that you personally can or should start doing so, but I'm just throwing that out there as a possible partial solution for society as a whole. It would be a decent job for a young person to have if we start implementing it.

I don't have much else to add, but I just wanted to make a comment that I appreciate your input. Especially about the FF inputs to our food supply. That's actually the path that took me to becoming an environmentalist; I started researching fossil fuel inputs to our food production for a research paper I had to write in college, and the energy balances are way out of whack (10-20+ fuel calories per food calorie) and what happens when this energy source becomes depleted? My concerns have expanded since then, but this was my introduction to some of the long term consequences of FF usage.

I try to imagine a better future, and a lot of what I've posted is pretty far out and optimistic, and I don't know if we'll get there or how we will, just that I can imagine a world - different from the current one - where we can live, work, play, and thrive without disrupting our biosphere. I like thinking about that world more than imagining doom and gloom, which is why I prefer to write about it than go too deep into our current politics like other posters on the forum do in their respective threads.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2014, 04:13:18 PM »
What will the stock market look like in 25 years?  Here are some musings from financial folks. 
Note the mention of digital "credits."  ;)

And no, this article does not cover the scenario of a total financial collapse.  ::)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101585172
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2014, 01:39:40 AM »
A 3D printer that can make spare parts for the International Space Station is being readied for delivery later in 2014.  Being able to print parts as needed will mark the first time such items will not need to be brought up to space by a rocket.  The company, Made In Space, Inc., is also working on printing structures from moon or asteroid materials that could be robotically assembled into shelters.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The first 3D printer bound for space passed a series of critical microgravity tests at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Made in Space, the space manufacturing company, conducted examinations of their proprietary 3D printer technology during four microgravity flights lasting two hours each, simulating conditions found on the ISS.

The printer, as part of the 3D Print Experiment in coordination with NASA, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014.

“Humanity’s future ultimately depends on our ability to explore and occupy space. The 3D printing technologies developed and tested during our Zero-G flights are a cornerstone to building that future. We reached a milestone in our goal to lay that cornerstone with the success of these prototype tests,” said Mike Snyder, P.I. on the 3D Print Experiment and Lead Design Engineer.

The unique challenges posed by off-Earth 3D printing require technology and hardware specifically adapted for space. In these microgravity tests, Made in Space assessed layer adhesion, resolution and part strength in the microgravity environment.

“The 3D printer we’re developing for the ISS is all about enabling astronauts today to be less dependent on Earth,” said Noah Paul-Gin, Microgravity Experiment Lead. “The version that will arrive on the ISS next year has the capability of building an estimated 30% of the spare parts on the station, as well as various objects such as specialty tools and experiment upgrades.”

3D printers use extrusion-based additive manufacturing to build objects layer by layer out of polymers, composites, metals and other materials. The success of these recent microgravity tests is evidence that Made in Space’s vision of a future is one step closer: a future where everything from simple tools to immense satellite arrays are printed in space.

http://www.madeinspace.us/3d-printer-bound-international-space-station-passes-critical-microgravity-flight-tests
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #85 on: May 07, 2014, 12:35:34 PM »
Cross-posting this here as a gentle reminder that "replacing fossil fuel power plants with renewables and efficiency" does not simply mean replacing big fossil fuel power plants with an equal amount of big renewable power plants. 
That's not necessary.  Or desirable....   :)

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/04/utility-nightmares-halving-electricity-consumption-and-distributed-generation
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #86 on: May 09, 2014, 09:13:35 PM »
Equality.

Many visions of the future use the word "Sir" as a respectful form of address for either (any?) gender.  But we have quite a way to go to get there:

Climate change affects minorities and women, the elderly and the poor. But the leadership of the environmental movement is pale and male. That doesn't look like progress.

 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/08/white-men-environmental-movement-leadership
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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #87 on: May 10, 2014, 03:41:01 AM »
Equality.

Many visions of the future use the word "Sir" as a respectful form of address for either (any?) gender.  But we have quite a way to go to get there:

Climate change affects minorities and women, the elderly and the poor. But the leadership of the environmental movement is pale and male. That doesn't look like progress.

 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/08/white-men-environmental-movement-leadership


But check out the declared gender bias on this forum? If women choose not to participate in these things, not clear what one can do... I don't think there's a glass ceiling in this respect?

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #88 on: May 10, 2014, 06:09:38 PM »
But check out the declared gender bias on this forum? If women choose not to participate in these things, not clear what one can do... I don't think there's a glass ceiling in this respect?

I would say the (apparent) lack of women participating in the forum goes back to the lack of encouragement for girls to be active in sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Thus, few women today would seek out the “Arctic Sea Ice Forum” -- despite the “interesting discussions” they would discover it contains!   :D

What can one do?   Make it known that the Forum seeks more participation from women. 
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #89 on: May 18, 2014, 07:43:05 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #90 on: May 21, 2014, 04:19:41 PM »
Holograms can reduce the need for travel in ways 2-D video cannot.  They can also make historical people come alive in performance, or in unique personal interactions.

A Michael Jackson hologram dances onstage in a routine with live dancers:
http://www.cnn.com/video/standard.html?/video/showbiz/2014/05/20/erin-pkg-elam-michael-jackson-hologram-technology.cnn&video_referrer=

Morgan Spurlock was digitized into an interactive hologram for one of his "Inside Man" episodes (unfortunately the quality if this short video is a poor representation):
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uciUREz4Okw
The entire program is here:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7JGWcPHS1Wg   The opening credits show bits of the hologram recording set-up.
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bosbas

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #91 on: May 22, 2014, 04:43:15 AM »
Last week, we received the news that Wubbo Ockels had passed away.
He was one of the best-known promoters of durability in the Netherlands and was the first Dutch astronaut. Apart from his pioneering work for sustainability, he is also known for his green energy research projects. Durability is much more than energy according to Ockels. “It is also good and transparent governance, culture and a fair distribution of prosperity,” he stated. The Dutch have been very fortunate with his inspirational views on the future of a durable society; I am sure we will miss him on our journey to a durable tomorrow.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #92 on: May 25, 2014, 01:31:06 PM »
Solar (freakin') Roadways!  Smart roads using 75% less carbon emissions than asphalt.

The second video in the gallery linked below is a talk that mentions several features I haven't seen in other presentations, like storm water runoff capture, *treatment*, and pumping.  The durability of the glass surface was tested to be better than asphalt, and the hexagonal panels communicate wirelessly to each other and report when a neighboring panel is malfunctioning, allowing for a quick, "drop-in" replacement.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#gallery

There's still time to get on board!  Solar Roadways project is quickly nearing its goal of $1 million, with 7 days left in the fund drive.  (See the Solar Roadways thread.)
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#pledges


This article suggest that crowdfunding could be the "thing" of the decade:
In fact, the demand for crowdfunding, whether it be for projects or for financing start-ups, is becoming so mainstream that it will define the decade, he said.

"It's a really exciting industry, the 80's was all about desktop computing, the 90's was all about online commerce, and the early 2000's was all about social networking," Rubin said. "And this decade will go down as the decade of funding by the time it's over."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101693940


Crowdsourced fundind is also being used to spread climate science information:
Open Access and Money

Two emerging trends helped Cook get the word out on the climate change consensus project.

One trend is open access publishing. From the Public Library of Science to outspoken advocates such as Aaron Schwartz and Michael Eisen, there have been increased calls for academic research to be made available not just to those within academia or those who can afford the high journal subscription fees, but to anyone around the world.

One issue is that most open access journals charge authors to publish an article.

Alongside open access, crowdsourced funding—asking people to donate money for an idea or project in return for being a part of the project or receiving rewards—is also gaining popularity. Kickstarter is one example of many.

The Skeptical Science team wanted to publish the paper via open access and make it available to as many people as possible. Using the idea of crowdsourced funding, they put a shout-out on their website on the 25th of April 2013 to help fund the publishing of this paper and only 9 hours later the team had raised $1,600.

So on May 16th, 2013, the paper “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature” was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters.

“Consensus doesn’t prove human-caused global warming. Instead, the body of evidence supporting human-caused global warming has led to a scientific consensus.” The Consensus Project shows what can be achieved when you combine the ingredients of limited cash resources, motivated social scientists, volunteers, technology, crowdsourced funding, and open access publishing.

http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/237129
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #93 on: June 01, 2014, 08:24:19 PM »
Towards better international understanding and communication. 
Don't miss the video.

http://mobile.geek.com/apps/253505-microsoft-emulates-star-trek-turns-skype-into-a-universal-translator
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 08:34:31 PM by Sigmetnow »
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jonthed

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #94 on: June 01, 2014, 11:16:33 PM »

Gardening needs to become a core cultural occupation. Everyone should have a vegetable garden (so they can work less -> less unemployment), horticulture knowledge needs to be built up and spread widely, kids need to learn this in school, with horticulture being on the same level as reading or algebra, not just something on the side.

Wow, that's a fantastic idea! I've never thought about (or heard anyone else ever mention) something like that: make gardening a classroom subject alongside math, history, and the like. If horticulture was taught at that scale, to all children as a basic subject (which now that I think about it, it really is on par with the others currently taught) we could go quite a long way in establishing food security against possible future disruptions in the centralized industrial ag system.

Schools should also be perfectly positioned to convert some of the field space to vegetable patches, erect a large greenhouse etc. Different classes can be responsible for different rows/shelves, and all the kids would get real hands on experience.

Great idea! And with so many kids in a school, you should easily have enough man hours on hand to properly tend the crops, without even needing too much of their curriculum time.

Clare

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #95 on: June 02, 2014, 12:04:35 AM »
Wet day here yesterday so no gardening but time to watch youtube videos!
This family have created a v productive 'urban homestead' in Pasadena CA, seem to have been featured in the media quite extensively in the US over the years but I hadn't seen their film before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IbODJiEM5A
http://urbanhomestead.org/

As well as the gardening they have solar, generate biogas, chickens +++, low water use solutions, quite an integrated set up. Also involved in community education...

jonthed

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #96 on: June 02, 2014, 04:24:52 AM »
I wasn't sure if you saw this in the news recently, but I think it is a big deal!

http://www.newlight.com/aircarbon-thermoplastic.php

article from Plastics Today: http://www.plasticstoday.com/articles/newlight-aircarbon-hits-market-running-14521%20

Cost-competitive, carbon negative plastic. Already on the market, recently signed a contract with Dell.

Did you see that it was cost competitive.
and carbon negative.
and already being adopted by big companies like Dell.

Should catch on! And address much of the issues around sustainable manufacturing that have been discussed in this thread. Combined with 3D printing we're really getting somewhere.

icefest

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #97 on: June 02, 2014, 06:54:13 AM »
I'm not sure that it is carbon negative, if the feedstock gases are waste products from a non-renewable source.

It is still much, much better than general plastic though.

I couldn't find exactly which polymers they are producing though, did anyone else have any success?
Open other end.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #98 on: June 02, 2014, 05:22:03 PM »
I'm not sure that it is carbon negative, if the feedstock gases are waste products from a non-renewable source.

It is still much, much better than general plastic though.

I couldn't find exactly which polymers they are producing though, did anyone else have any success?


One of the links said "PHA."  With google, we find bioplastics including Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA).  I can see why they just call it PHA.  Acadmic-type article here:
http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/applied_sciences/biodegradable-plastic-its-promises-and-consequences

jonthed

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Re: Better Tomorrows
« Reply #99 on: June 03, 2014, 06:17:06 AM »
I'm not sure that it is carbon negative, if the feedstock gases are waste products from a non-renewable source.

It is still much, much better than general plastic though.

I wondered this too, but it definitely is carbon negative the way I see it:

Its full production method has been rated as overall carbon negative, the fact it currently uses waste GHG from some other process (which in the future could be a renewable source) simply means it is reducing that other processes emissions.

It's not adding any, and it's lowering somebody else's. Definitely carbon negative no?

If later the waste GHG come from a renewable source then that'll make both net negative.