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Old August 7th 08, 12:31 AM posted to sci.environment,
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Default How to fix the environment.

Here is the way to fix the environment over the next 80 years -

1) solve the energy problem. Humanity burns 23.8 billion barrels of
liquid fuels per year, 5.5 billion tons of coal per year and 2.2
billion tons of natural gas per year - generating over 40 bilion tons
of carbon dioxide each year. Natural processes that are part of the
carbon cycle have a limited capacity to absorb these sources of
anthropogenic carbon - only about half of it is efficiently absorbed -
principally through carbonate formation in the oceans. This leaves an
excess of about 20 billion tons to accumulate in the atmosphere. Here
is what to do;

a) deploy terrestrial solar power panels made at very low cost over
210,000 square miles of desert lands. 250,000 square miles of desert
lands are owned by a handful of surface mine operators, who have
signed agreements with solar power companies to take over the mines
after they are close, and are then turned into power producing
centers. The terrestrial solar power panels take water and produce
form it using sunlight by electrolysis - hydrogen and oxygen gases.
These are piped to fossil fueled power plants and combined to create
steam, which drives these existing power plants with very little
change - freeing up principally the 5.5 billion tons of coal each
year. The stranded coal, which still arrives at the coal fired power
plants, is converted with additional hydrogen and oxygen, into 38.5
billion barrels of gasoline diesel fuel and jet fuel, at the power
plant sites. This eliminates our need for extracted oil altogether,
while increasing the availability of liquid fuels (23.8 to 38.5
billion bbls/yr) and cuts our carbon foot print in half.

b) use hydrogen/oxygen infrastructure to provide bulk of expansion
beyond 38.5 billion barrels of petroleum products and natural gas.
This allows the expansion of humanity's use of energy while
restraining our carbon emissions to levels the environment can

c) develop chemically powered reusable heavy lift launchers along
with inflatable concentrators that power efficient solar pumped free
electron lasers that beam bandgap matched energy to the existing solar
panel arrays increasing their power output 16x - to provide ever
increasing amounts of hydrogen fuel in response to a rapidly growing
world economy - fueled principally by hydrogen.

d) develop deep space power sats that orbit closely to the sun, in
solar orbit, and advanced laser beaming technologies that permit
terawatt laser beams to be efficiently controlled across the solar
system - and providing an all optical power network - with beamed
power feeding optical power fibers - as an adjunct to hydrogen

e) in conjunction with power satellite networks, there are also
communication and control satellite networks erected in step d) -
these provide wireless global broadband, global financial and banking
services, global communications, and universal tele-robotics. This
allows anyone to live anywhere and work anywhere else vastly
increasing the ability of everyone to find work.

f) develop laser powered rocketry both on a massive scale and on a
small scale. On the small end, MEMs based rocket arrays laser powered
- allow the construction of propulsive skins that efficiently safely
and reliably propel very efficient spacecraft. On the large end,
laser detonation of inert materials,such as asteroidal masses, provide
a means to efficiently move gigatons of materials across the solar
system. Here we not only deflect errant asteroids away from Earth,
but we also survey, and capture, rich asteroids and bring theminto
Earth orbit.

g) orbit solar powered tele-robotic factories to process asteroidal
materials into finished goods for use on Earth, on orbit, and wherever
people are found in the solar system. Uniting the vast resources of
the richest asteroids in polar orbit around the Earth, with abundant
solar energy and billions of laborers, provide a means to create
unprecedented wealth - a portion of this wealth is distributed
directly to end users from orbiting factories using GPS guided entry
vehicles and solar powered rail launchers.

h) develop orbiting pressure vessels to build large assembly and
processing plants, large farm satellites, and large forestry
satellites - to provide consumer goods, food and fiber in addition to
raw materials

At this point despite very high standards of living for all people
everywhere, environmental impact is nil.

i) build large geodesic spheres that float on air (Buckminster
Fuller's Cloud Nine Cities) - these 1 and 2 km diameter cities house
50,000 people each, and are powered by laser beam from space - and
roam freely thorugh the skies of Earth. All the developments will
bring freedom justice and prosperity to 5 billions of the 7 billions
who inhabit Earth. There are another 2 billions that due to a variety
of factors that will have fallen through the cracks. 40,000 free
flying cities floating in the skies of Earth, will circulate to
provide a place of safety and stability to those who are denied that
on the ground. In these cities they will work, and learn, and prosper
and live their lives. In 8 to 12 years of labor, most will buy homes
in other areas, return victorious to the nations they had to leave, or
become part of the next development.

j) build space homes on orbit - large orbiting ranches privately
owned - forming a ring of billions of stations - with the rich
asteroidal feedstock - acting as shepherd moons. The development of
MEMs based laser rocket arrays and propulsive skins, along with high
efficiency low cost laser beams - bring personal ballistic and space
transport to everyone on Earth. The Earth becomes a single global
village - where any part of Earth is only minutes away from any
other. The Earth has become a vast residiential park and nature
preserve. The orbiting ring of factories, farms and forests, expands
to include an orbiting ring of space homes the size of a small county
- each owned individual families, and tended by an army of
increasingly sophisticated AI and robots - and fed by the same
industrial infrastructure that supports every one on Earth.

k) develop powerful deep space propulsion systems - to turn at will
- any space home into an interplanetary mother ship.

l) develop more powerful laser light sails to turn interplanetary
cruisers into interstellar capable spacecraft.

As we move beyond Earth, the population levels ON Earth decline by a
few percent per year - and in 200 years - there is only a remnant of
the human population we find today - and only a few historically
important cities - that are kept open as museum pieces - with period
lifestyles enacted by sophisticated humaniform robots.