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While you're here- Waive your Magic Wand

Continued population growth and the increased food production it requires will continue to gobble up thousands of additional sq. km every year. Basic ecology tells us that once an ecosystem (like a planet) can no longer support a given population, something comes along that causes a population crash. Disease, starvation, war, emigration to new territory etc. I have no idea what the carrying capacity of mankind is for planet's landmass but at some point, it will be exceeded.

Plus, as someone who enjoys the wild places, we need to embrace high density living less we consume all available space and turn the entire planet into a global suburb. Here is one idea.


    1. Seasteading

    One way to conserve our wilderness land mass is for humans to move onto the remaining 70% of the globe. Most thought processes would place anchor these floating, high population dense cities in sheltered bays and lagoons in the sub-tropical areas of our planet. I believe that with the correct engineering they could also be free floating and mobile.

    2. Power

    Virtually all of the current power technologies can be used afloat. Current nuclear-powered ships go decades between refueling. Wind power has been harnessed by ships for centuries for propulsion. Instead, sea steads could use it to generate electricity, power pumps, etc. Solar will be a very strong candidate to ease electric loads. Wave action as well as tidal action can be harnessed using a variety of sea gates, power cylinders, or kinetic motion electric generators. Electrolysis can produce gas which can be harvested as well as pure drinking water.

    Most important factor is that a sustainable sea stead would employ many forms of power generation to reduce dependents on any one.

    3. Food

    Aquaculture, fishing, vertical farming, algae farming, and hunting of larger pelagic species can all serve as a portion of a sustainable diet. This is one area where being free floating instead of anchored or moored in a single location would be beneficial.

    4. Waste

    Despite maximum recycling and reusing policies, waste will still be produced. Waste can be managed in several ways. Some can be burned to produce energy. Some to the production of crops or animal feed. And ultimately some would have to be disposed of by burying either in inhabited land or in the abyssal depths of the deep sea. While these practices would be kept to an absolute minimum that there would be zero waste doesn't seem feasible.

    5. Manufacturing

    This is a difficult problem to overcome as regards to self-sustainability. Yes, you can salvage and use deep sea mining techniques, but most raw materials will still come from the shore. Likewise, manufacturing is often space intensive and space is one of the commodities in least supply on a sea stead vessel. Advancements in 3D printing and other areas of materials science can lead the way here.

    6. Size matters

    It seems counter-intuitive, but the larger the sea stead, the easier sustainability is to achieve. Also, consider a sea stead can be built and expanded in true 3 dimensions. Not just out and up. How much of the iceberg do you typically see?

    7. Progress counts. And don't forget other arenas.

    Several sea steading projects are currently working towards launch. Or are struggling to stay afloat. Likewise great minds are working on the obstacles of colonizing the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Certainly, figuring out new ways to live, work, and play on Spaceship Earth has got to be simpler than that. And everything learned out there can be applied in here.

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