Food, Energy, Transportation, Urban Design, Climate for an Eternity without Oil!

Harnessing Nuclear Fusion!
With a Roadmap to the Infinite, Eternal Future

The signs of an impending energy catastrophe are all around us, just waiting for an unfortunate combination of circumstances to create misery for untold millions of our global co-citizens! It takes energy to produce the food that our unprecedented global populations require to survive on a day-to-day basis. Where will that energy come from as our remaining petroleum reserves are exhausted?

What kind of roadmap can we use, and what can we do now within the confines of the sustainable and renewable resources that will always be available?

We know very clearly what those will be, and we know very clearly what will soon be unavailable, which happen to be the same resources that are also seriously damaging the futures of our children’s families; how can they ever live as well as we have! We are selling future generations down the river, past “Cancer Alley” on the Mississippi and into a future without the easy and cheap energy of today, for the sake of a few carnal pleasures, snowmobiles, junk food, and overly large vehicles, homes and buildings in the few short years of our lives. What will they wake up to? And yet, we have a ready source of more than abundant power derived from nuclear fusion, our sun, that lends itself to distributed power generation. And, once we have devoted as much creativity to harnessing it as we have to the very exhaustible resource that is petroleum, we will wonder why it took so long to embrace it and make it an integral part of all our lives! It can be argued that we are all the genetic reincarnations of our parents, that the last 2,000 years are only 100 generations away, or only 20 times the 5 generations, grandparents to grandchildren, that we have met in our own families. If we also imagine that the components of our genes, those that combine and recombine with each new generation, are indeed eternal, having existed ever since life first began on this planet, then we ought very rapidly to design a world that will still be nurturing them in 2,000, 400,000 and a million years from now! That is becoming an ever greater challenge as the years pass – having quadrupled global populations in the last century, due to our use of petroleum and the availability of food that it provided, while reaching the end of that petroleum supply, how far off the edge of a steep, sharp cliff are we currently hanging?

If we are to keep progressing, we must find ways to sustain all of us at or above the levels that we have become accustomed to! How can we do that?

1. 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 created, largely by burning fossilized carbon that has been removed from the atmosphere for at least 61 million years? 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! 2. Before the age of the automobile in 1900, 60.4% of the American population was classified as rural, and were reasonably able to walk into fields to cultivate their own food. Now, only 4% of rural residents make their living farming, the last time most Americans lived on farms was in 1880 and the last time the majority lived in rural communities was in 1920. We will have an enormous challenge to feed, clothe, employ and transport Americans when there is no more oil! We must use the most energy efficient transportation, trains, the only feasible long-term energy sources, the renewables that run from the nuclear fusion in our sun, and the close proximity of all residents of new buildings to food production areas, which is only possible using linear-form cities! We have long tried to generate power from nuclear fusion, almost by ignoring where it works so well close to us on Earth, in the sun! The containment of the nuclear plasma, so difficult here on Earth, is taken care of by the space that separates us – all we have to do is to create the most efficient infrastructure for capturing the energy, while also providing both food and transportation! Solar technologies are advancing as we speak, live and sleep, and they also offer something that is predictable in the long-term – very similar amounts of solar energy fall on the earth every year! So, the disruptions that are often created in our conventional energy supply, from conflicts to weather, need not affect the distributed production of solar energy! With such a predictable supply, we can both gear our use of energy to the annual supply, and design technologies that take advantage of this uniformity! o 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! It may also be noted that Iraq is the country with the greatest remaining reserves of petroleum. Could our absolute dependence on oil for transportation (99%) and food production explain why we are there, and why the president did a U-turn to stay there once elected? We need to face the

o

o

future squarely and design systems that require no oil, before we have none at all! Global climates are very likely to seriously deteriorate, inundating coastlines due to rising sea levels and destroying life for more than 50 percent of the 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! How can a country that has only 2% of the world’s oil on its territory, but consumes 20% of the world’s supply continue to live in peace with all other nations!

We must find and develop both a paradigm and an infrastructure for where we can 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)! I. Land, Population, Transportation and Food without Petroleum: 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 22 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 rising sea levels, to say nothing of European, Asian and Indian populations in low-lying areas!

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 to better harness the nuclear fusion of our sun, as follows:

Why live in a long ribbon, linear city when you can live in something as exciting as the Burj Kalifa, on the right above, 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 building on the right above, 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 below! 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 coincidentally 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 orange 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 1/3 of the energy/ passenger mile that cars & aircraft do. The wind turbines (below between nos. 2 and 3) along the edge of the north to south linear city capture the energy of the prevailing westerly wind that has been accelerated as it passes over its 3 – 5 stories. Expressways/railways can be used to 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 sketches 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 in the middle above, and go more directly between the existing cities on the right above. They run north to south, at right angles to prevailing westerly winds as mentioned, except for B) below, and can be built into hillsides, onto land that becomes flooded, and along watercourses as in the aerial view on the left 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, as mandated by the low-petroleum era, and resolved by 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. The infrastructure paradigm detailed above can move toward supplying all of our food, energy and transportation needs, but cities do not yet span large bodies of water, nor filter into the deep countryside. Therefore, we also need new 100% sustainable technologies to accommodate these 2 situations, and many others, once there is no more oil! Because of its imminent disappearance, we will be forced to abandon its combustion and resultant global greenhouse effects, but we must not replace it with any other fossil fuels/coal!

100% Sustainable Sea & Land Transportation

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 the impacted car! That still leaves the oceans as poorly crossable once there is no more petroleum to fly aircraft or power ships. How can global 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 must design and build much more rapid sailing ships that get all or most of their energy from renewable sources, and quickly eliminate the highly polluting ships burning “bunker crude” of today that will not be able to sail due to lack of fuel, in any case, soon. With the imminent demise of our fossil-fueled economy, we must already develop a 100% sustainable transportation, energy and food producing infrastructure! The land-based paradigms are discussed above, but we must also consider what to do about transportation at sea, especially if we are unable to fly conventional aircraft after the end of petroleum, and to transform what is the dirtiest form of transportation in terms of high-nitrogen and high-sulfur fuel use, the dumping of “black”, “grey”, and bilge water that can contain invasive species, into much cleaner and attractive forms of transportation. Currently, “Seagoing vessels are responsible for an estimated 14% of emissions of nitrogen from fossil fuels and 16% of the emissions of sulfur from petroleum uses into the atmosphere. In Europe ships make up a large percentage of the sulfur introduced to the air, …as much sulfur as all the cars, trucks and factories in Europe put together. By 2010, up to 40% of air pollution over land could come from ships because the fuel used in oil tankers and container ships is high in sulfur and cheaper to buy compared to the fuel used for domestic land use. “A ship lets out around 50 times more sulfur than a truck per metric tonne of cargo carried.”6

1.

The Hovercat uses an aluminum, or composite catamaran hull, with hovercraft capability between the hulls to lift them out of the water so that the kites can pull the ship forward fast enough to enable the hydrofoils to work. All the kite sails are computer controlled and are attached to “domes” that double as elevated air intakes for the hovercraft. The dark blue tinted glass bridge is movable from port to starboard to permit more accurate maneuvering in close quarters and small ports. As cargo and passenger vessels, they are roll on/roll off with fail-safe bow and stern closures, light weight, high maneuverability and speed, and fun! The Hexcat again uses the hovercraft and hydrofoil technologies, with a novel kitesail launching & deployment arrangement that can put many kites into the sky, both to increase the traction of the available wind, and to reach winds that may be stronger, or in a more favorable direction further aloft. As with the Hovercat above, the hydrofoils are retractable so that both ships can launch from and return to beaches and concrete launching aprons. Both are envisaged for use as cargo ships, passenger ships, or both at the same time. Why not harness this technology to make transoceanic journeys even more efficient by linking many craft together? Please see the illustration below for a caterpillar configuration that may just become the monarch of the seas! I don't think that the weight of the sails/kites and rigs is an issue as kites now have helium filled bladders in their leading edges to get them out of the water and into the air.

2.

3.

This concept has 2 launching masts in carbon fiber that pull the kites out of a launching chute at the bow (orange above, yellow below). The top illustration shows an existing hovercraft that is capable of carrying 3 Hummers and substantial containers with equipment. As existing kite sails are capable of pulling kite boarders completely out of the water, see the illustrations below, one of the

functions of the hydrofoils is to keep the craft in the water and not launched to a height where the landing could be damaging! I am sure that the day of the end of petroleum is coming soon and, even if it is not soon, we need to keep the maximum amount of petroleum unburned both to preserve the atmosphere and for use in the production of sails, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer and pesticides, so that we can continue to eat! Why not extend this concept to winddriven flight using recycled and lightened aircraft fuselages, after there is no more fuel to power them? This concept uses tethered wing keels that also have wheels to roll directly onto rails for continued trans-continental journeys once the trans-oceanic part of global voyages is finished – eg. New York to Moscow non-stop!

PS. The following is a comparison between the number of pages
referenced by Google for the combination of “Wall Street” and “food production”, and “Wall Street” and “Oil Production”, and the Dow Jones Industrial Averages for the past decade. It seems that there is a reasonably close correlation between all 4! Let’s get some grad students onto this to see whether we can make Wall Street more transparent, so that fewer people lose their shirts there!

What may be interesting in examining the above is that a high occurrence of sites that mention “Wall Street”, and “oil production” and/or “food production” in the same article came after the crash in 2002-03, whereas it continued and preceded the crash this time, to rise far higher still after the crash. So, perhaps Wall Street learned just how important “oil production” and/or “food production” are to world economies, and has done its best to safeguard its own money, and to transfer others’ money into their own accounts to “safeguard” that as well? If we can render energy supplies and food production more predictable, steady, and subject to democratic influence, perhaps the world will be able to support more people with less waste and volatility, more predictably! Therefore Linear Ecocities because, in the end, we must imagine how to manage without a single drop of oil! And, we will more easily reach the goal of 100% sustainability the sooner that we start, and the quicker we progress! I have constructed this model as a goal at the end of the first curve in an oval racecourse. I challenge anyone to provide a better, more sustainable model! At the same time, I am also happy to predict that all of us will not be living in Linear Ecocities like those that I illustrate in 1,000 years and 10,000 years. Just as car, medical and communications technologies have evolved rapidly, the Linear Ecocity will also be subject to rapid evolution, including paradigm change! At least, I hope so!

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful