Juridical national measures on climate change
This is a list of suggestions to neutralise countries' emissions by means of a set of nationally implementable laws. The suggestions were taken from the JNMOCC website. As can be seen in the index below, this first document covers the measures focused
- On climate change and economy
- On Increased Environmental Advantage
- On Globalisation and Increased Urban Efficiency
The second document focuses
- On Transport
- On Political Reform
- On Education Reform
One must keep in mind that this document (at least at present: August 2008) only reflects my own research and beliefs. As this document ages, it will be modified (which I encourage) by several other Wikipedians which will think along how the current problems in our society can be addressed. Once this has happened (in a few years or so), this document will reflect the position of many people.
Main Measures (focused on climate change and economy
- To decrease 80% of global carbon and 40% of global methane emissions composed from:
- electricity generation (42% of global carbon and 40% of global methane emissions)
- transport (24% of global carbon emissions)
- residential and commercial sector (responsible for 14% of carbon emissions)
- To decrease health problems and associated expenses in healthcare
- To eliminate dependence on foreign countries for energy supply (oil, gas, coal, ...)
- To decrease the death toll global warming is causing (trough extreme weather effects and effects on food production)
- By implementing a law that states that the use of coal, gas, fossil & non-2nd generation vegetable oil, non-2nd generation alcohols and non-2nd generation biomass is forbidden if it is intended to be used as a harnassable source of energy, trough it's incineration.
- To implement a law that states that the sale and possession of alkane, and liquified petroleum gases aswell as mixtures thereof, coal, fossil oil, non-2nd generation solid biomass, and non-2nd generation alcohols are forbidden.
- To implement a law that states that sale, construction, installation or possession of any machinery, device or structure that is to use coal, fossil gas, fossil oil, non-2nd generation vegetable oil, non-2nd generation alcohols or non-2nd generation solid biomass as an energy source is forbidden.
Gases that are emissionless regardless of their use (ie incineration) should be excepted from these rules. Such gases include biogas, hydrogen, oxyhydrogen, liquid nitrogen, nitrous oxide, syngas, nitric oxide, nitrogen trioxide, nitrogen pentoxide, and the 2 forms of nitrogen peroxide (nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen tetroxide). However, these gases are only to be considered emissionless if they are produced from constituents (ie N, O, H, ...) that were already in the atmosphere.
Sectors that should be excepted from these main rules include: the metal sector, research sector, and aviation sector (turbofan airplanes). Finally, the waste disposal and energy sector's power plants that run on polluting resources, yet are equipped with carbon dioxide storage should also be excluded if the carbon dioxide storage eliminates all emissions resulting from the electricity power plants operation, and if the plants themselves have been constructed before the suggestions have come in effect.
Note At the moment, no laws exist in any country that forbid the use of these polluting energy resources, aldough enough alternatives are present. This makes it possible that climate change is increased as people are free to use these energy sources in their current, unmodified machinery and even built and buy new ones ( e.g. energy companies are still building allot more coal-fired powerplants without carbon dioxide storage although it is extremely polluting). Besides this, without the law, environmental technology needs to compete with this polluting technology (and other environmental technology that is not too clean e.g. coal without carbon dioxide storage, internal combustion engines running on 1st generation vegetable fuels, ...).
At the moment, oil, coal, gas, alcohols (made from fossil fuels or non-2nd generation) can all be replaced by alternatives as nuclear, wind, hydro, marine, geothermal and solar power (which can already be seen by several countries and cities as GSEII, Dongtan, and Newcastle). Depending on the sector, different energy sources or systems are used to replace the above polluting energy sources.
For electricity generation: They can be replaced by power plants, build by electricity companies and consumers (see suggestion 2) and running on nuclear or renewable (wind, hydro, marine, geothermal, solar, biomass, biogas, waste) power. Biomass is only to be allowed if it can be proven that the crops (of which the biomass is derived) have indeed been grown in advance, specifically with the intent to gather the main produce (i.e. grains, …) and fuel the power plant with the waste plant parts (so any pre-existing crops can’t be harvested to fuel the power plant). Waste can also be used as an energy source for electricity generation, if the waste used is non-recyclable. Polluting power sources (ie coal, natural gas, …) are also an option when the powerplant is foreseen with carbon dioxide storage.
For transport: All internal combustion engines can be either converted to a emissionless fuel (hydrogen, oxyhydrogen, liquid nitrogen, 2nd generation alcohols or 2nd generation vegetable oils) or replaced by combustionless zero-emission engines which include electrical engines powered by batteries, fuel cells or flywheels (FES) and compressed air engines. Although hydrogen has been the most popularised fuel for transport, being already adopted by several countries ( e.g. Iceland, ...) for use in the future, allot more alternatives exist such as the mentioned 2nd generation alcohols and 2nd generation vegetable oils, oxyhydrogen, nitrous oxide, ... Switching to 2nd generation vegetable oils and alcohols is the most intresting option as vegetable oil is about 2x cheaper than fossil oils. In most cases (e.g. IC-engines), only very limited changes will need to be done for running on such alternative fuels and costs will hence be very limited. E.g. changing from direct to indirect injection for IC (Diesel) engines needs to be done to allow running on vegetable oils, limited changes on indirect injection gasoline engines (on the carburettor) need to be done to allow running on 2nd generation alcohols as ethanol and methanol (more changes need to be done with direct injection gasoline engines; more precisely on the ECU) and no changes at all need to be done with gasoline engines when you simply use biobutanol as the fuel). For certain people that have already switched to environmental engines (e.g. hybrid electric vehicles), the new change required will be even smaller as in this case, even less modifications are needed (eg convertion or merely disabling the fossil-fuel powered engine).
As the converted (emissionless) IC engines as well as the fuel-less engines can be used in all vehicles, everything can altered; from cars to boats as well as some airplanes (turbofan/jet propelled aircraft will not be able to be changed). As said, for boats the engines proposed can be used as primary replacement alternatives, but given the size of the vehicle some more alternatives than those proposed are available, namely passive wind power (trough sails, kites, turbosails/rotorsails, ...), nuclear power and other less common ways of energy production also used on the ground ( e.g. PV solar panels, ...). As said, besides sails, kites too are available for boats (trough companies as SkySails). Besides kites, nuclear marine propulsion is also being used (e.g. in the NS Savannah, Otto Hahn, Mutsu, ...). Finally, other ways of energy production will be used by new ships as the E/S Orcelle.
Finally, the number of vehicles that will need this (very moderate) change needs to be put into perspective as a large portion of them are already electrified ( e.g. trains, trams, trolleys, ...) or do not feature a polluting engine at all (human/animal powered vehicles as bicycles, sailboats, rowboats, ...).
For residential and commercial sector: Heating of rooms, heating of water, and cooking can all be done by their electrical variants (electrical boilers, electrical radiators/convectors/heat pumps, and electric stoves). Conventional (non-electric) heaters can also be used, when they use 2nd generation biofuels. The required electricity can be gathered from the described power plants running on nuclear or renewable power.
For a small part of of the electrical equipment (especially heating of rooms) more energy may be needed than before. However as this electricity would be entirely clean this added extra energy need would be of no importance, and for these devices too when compared it would be seen that allot of pollution/GHG-gases would be avoided of being released than would otherwise be the case. If however the owner wishes to decrease his energy usage as well despite the fact that it does not really matter, this would also be possible and well combinable with electrical equipment. In the case of the heating of water and rooms for example, respectively by a solar thermal collector and home generation of electricity (trough e.g. a small windmill together with an energy storage device) can be used. Also, for cooking solar cookers may be used to some extent (depending on the local climate). Again, besides being environmental, economic gain can be achieved with these devices as the price of electricity from companies is generally higher than if you make it yourself.
Changing the economy to work on these power sources is needed anyhow as the current Western type oil-economy is producing way too much greenhouse gases to be sustainable. In fact, by 2050 countries will globally need to halve their carbon emissions to keep climate change within a safety margin. If this does not happen, an even much higher economic and ecological cost will result than that what will already be the case (at least 5% of GDP is the minimal cost when this margin is respected). Given the fact that we will need to to change our economy anyway to a more sustainable one, a complete withdrawal from gas, coal, oil, and wood might be invoked instead.
Besides being cheaper the sooner we change (5-20x the cost), and even being cheaper in operation, there are also other advantages. Changing to these energy sources has the advantages of not weakening the domestic economy by transferring our money abroad and also has the advantage of increased energy security (as the energy does not need to be gathered from the other countries).
Because of the fact that by using polluting resources as oil, gas, coal, ... we let our energy security depend on oil producing countries as Iran, Irak, Venezuela, Russia, ... in this regard too, it would be better to change to widely available renewable resources.
Finally, ethicaly seen should the polluting energy sources be abandoned as they are causing health problems with the domestic population and because of the indirect negative consequences they have on agriculture and severe weather (which is causing the death of thousands of people).
- To aid in the set-up of the described non-polluting technologies (modifications of , and when not possible, new devices/machines) for energy production, transport and domestic/commercial use.
- By implementing a one time money collection (trough taxes, ...) and transferring the money to energy companies so they can build timely, sufficient replacement energy plants on nuclear power and renewable energy. The money induced by the countries' inhabitants can afterwards be recovered by lower energy prices (depending on the energy sources used).
- By implementing a law that states that each private person, or company has in the first place the obligation to generate his own power, by means of a renewable and constant power source. It is only when the company or person is not capable of doing so, that he/it can opt to buy power from electricity companies.
- By implementing a law that states that the electricity generation source for private persons and companies needs to be chosen in descending order from the least polluting electricity production source to the most polluting, depending on price and local circumstances.
These suggestions should only be applied when they are needed, in most cases the electricity companies themselves will probably have enough resources and expertise to modify their powerplants and private people/companies will probably also be able to implement the changes, so that this preposition will not need to be executed.
For people that are not financially capable of changing (which would be only a very small part of the inhabitants) to a zero-emission engine and other electrical devices/machinery, the price advantage of the use of this electrical/zero-emission equipment can be used to repay an innitial loan ( e.g. by the state). As such people will be able to change, and even save more money after the downpayments have been done. Also, to decrease the price of the initial procurement of some of the environmental technology described ( e.g. solar thermal collector), do-it-yourself information-provisioning may be extended (e.g. via internet) and workshops/kits can be set-up/made available.
In countries where reliable energy companies reside and where the electricity lines are maintained and set-up correctly, the first suggestion can be chosen to allow decrease global warming and pollution timely. Depending on how it is handled, this first system could be more cost-effective and does not require inhabitants to put matters into their own hands.
In countries where no reliable energy system is set-up beforehand, the second suggestion should be followed. Depending on how things are handled, it might be more expensive and requires inhabitants to put matters into their own hands; however when there are no aduquate energy provisions present, it is the only way how matters can be handled efficiently.
For the second suggestion, the way how this is done can be chosen freely. Private people can do so on their own (trough a rechargable battery, flywheel energy storage (FES) or compressed air tank, powered by a solar panel, small windmill or small waterturbine) or they can join groups of people to pay for bigger power generation plants ( e.g. big windmills and waterturbines). Any surplus energy that is generated by a private person/company can be can be redistributed on the net (trough net-metering) which ensures that all generated energy is used optimally and also makes the system more financially attractive for private persons and companies .
The extra power supply generated should be more than sufficient to bridge the gap that will occur by putting the polluting power plants of electricity companies out of commission. As a similar system is also used by the ecocity of Dongtan, there should be no problems.
The electricity companies will keep providing the backbone of the energy system with nuclear and renewable power. Besides electricity production, the electricity companies can also keep taking care of the maintenance of power lines and distribution of leftover power by consumers, and monitor the electricity use (so it can be checked whether the consumer obeys the law, and fined when not following it).
This method, has several advantages over the traditional way of a power production generated solely by electricity companies:
- it allows countries to quickly change their energy production to become near-emissionless, as set up of power plants by the public can happen near-instantanious. This because the installation of a small powerplant can be done much faster than a large powerplant and together, the public has much more capital to invest in this energy production. The latter would also fasten the set-up as no time needs to be spend on gathering the money
- as no polluting electricity generation plants can be used (see suggestion 1), it would not only help to clean up power production faster, but also make the power production renewable. Renewable energy, as opposed to nuclear energy and the polluting coal, fossil oil, gas, ... is infinite
- given the huge increase in quantity of the energy production plants, and less dependence on the connecting electricity grid, there is also an increase in energy security. This is helpful as the electricity grids in Europe and the USA is becoming of age-and over the last decade, there have been more and more reported cases of malfunctioning and power outtages.
- it allows for much more efficient energy usage as less power is lost trough long power lines and their resulting great electric resistance
- The order of the degree of pollution of the energy sources can be determined trough the POST-report, and information from the company that supplied the energy source.
- To decrease emissions from waste management, responsable for 31% of global methane emissions.
- To decrease costs in waste management.
- To decrease pressure on the environment.
- To implement a law that states that products that contain fossil oil-derivates or other non-degradable materials whenever alternatives can be used instead, are forbidden of being sold (banning to be done only after careful, case-by-case evaluation).
- To implement a law that states that companies should try to align their products to the cradle-to-cradle design system and opt for natural alternatives, whenever possible.
- To implement a law that forbids the burying of non-biodegredable waste in waste disposal without a preceding waste treatment.
- To implement a law that forbids the storing of unpolluted biodegradable waste (e.g. from biodegradable municipal waste) at waste disposal sites, and transferring it to compostation factories instead.
- To implement a law that states that the waste disposal sector should adapt to the cradle to cradle concept, so that it's full potential can be attained (zero waste).
Note By implementing this law, we be able to save on costs on waste management, and decrease its emissions. Besides this, companies can save allot themselves, dumping of garbage is limited. Furthermore, if we want to stop using fossil oil, all byproducts made from fossil oil ( e.g. plastics, food additives, ...) will need to be replaced too. Like some of the other suggestions, the cradle-to-cradle system proposed is sturdy and will not give any problem in even the least developed countries. Especially in the developing world, wandering garbage will be reduced to a minimum so that clean-up costs, disease outbreak, ... will be reduced to a minimum. Finally, a cradle-to-cradle design system is already implemented in China (Circular Economy) and here it has already proven its value.
At the moment, companies can, in most cases, already opt for alternatives. Examples are:
- motor oil can also be created from other origins (plants)
- instead of making plastics from (fossil) oil, bioplastics (polylactate) and where possible, natural alternatives as rubber
- enough alternatives are already present to replace any harmful materials used in construction (e.g. certain insulation materials)
- asphalt can be replaced by concrete for road building
- glucose and food additives can already be supplied by the white biotechnology-sector
- vitamins and antibiotics can also be supplied by the red biotechnology sector
At the moment, almost all petrochemical products can already be replaced by products made by the white, red and green biotechnology-sectors, combined with natural products (e.g. rubber, sisal, hemp, jute, climatex, ...). Products ( e.g. oils, ...) derived from plants has the advantage that it contributes far less to global warming, when compared to fossil oil.
In regards to cradle-to-cradle housing, there should be no problem in achieving this as most common houses are already set-up fairly less polluting ( e.g. most houses are made from stone or wood, ...), and only some certain materials may need to be replaced (e.g. insolation materials). In less urbanized zones however, biodegradable housing may be used to also offer environmental protection (fauna & flora); especially as, because of the proposed population control less houses and urbanized areas will be needed anyhow and can be cleared (very gradually) to attain maximum advantage for the environment. As already mentioned this can be accomplished by wooden (light-frame) housing, already present in the USA, Canada, ... aswell as other natural building techniques as straw-bale construction, earth-sheltering, ... Finally, MBDC (and to some degree EarthShip BioTecture too) has already created such biodegradable housing. Complementary (dough not obligatory) to this biodegradable housing, the house lay-out, ... can be improved with the construction of new houses so that the costs of the buildings operation can be lowered and pollution (from energy use) can be lowered still. This can be done by promoting low-energy house construction ( e.g. the passivhaus standard) for new (and some existing) buildings. This suggestion would primarily serve to make the environmental measures proposed more popular, as the lower costs of operation would be far greater than the decrease in pollution. Please note that this suggestion is mostly intented for the western world as in the developing world (most of them located in the tropical or subtropical climate zones), the advantage of these houses is heavily diminished. This, as it focuses on decreasing heat loss, which is unneccessairy in these tropical or subtropical belts. Instead, in the tropical/subtropical regions, some mere low-cost solutions may be extra implemented, when this proves necessairy (e.g. when airconditioning is being over-used to compensate bad house construction). Even still these solutions needed would be very limited and only require implementations as house whitening (or zebra-striping), passive ventilation, ...
The measures the waste disposal sector need to take generally includes recycling metals and other certain material seperatly. Besides using different materials (including a high percentage biodegradable material aswell as metals), and seperating the materials more, the materials that can be completely or atleast heavily recycled ( e.g. glass, paper, ...) should be recycled to the highest extent possible. The seperation of materials can, unlike in the past can be done efficiently with the cradle-to-cradle system as cradle-to-cradle products are manufactured at such method that the different materials can very quickly and easily be disassembled (often even without any tools). Recycling together with certain other methods as incineration, compostation, materials recovery, reparing and return of broken products to the companies that created them ( e.g. Nike and its ReUse-A-Shoe program, ...) would even allow to completely eradicate the need of any landfills (zero-waste).
To decrease the extra needed effort that will need to be made in seperating the materials, besides seperation at the landfill/disposal sites themselves, private persons themselves can already do allot of the work by already (partially) seperating their (municipal) waste. If efficient municipal solid waste collection systems are implemented in the city (e.g. vacuum-based collection via the Envac-system), this extra effort that would otherwise need to be taken by increased sorting can be nullified.
What's more, the landfills created in the past can be regarded as an easy and valuable source of materials ( e.g. ferrous materials and other recyclable material, that is high in density and relatively easy to retrieve), aswell as a valuable source of energy (e.g. organic materials that are usable as a fuel, methane gases, ...) and can be reintroduced into the economy by making use of existing technologies as Materials Recovery Facility's and Waste-to-Energy Plants. This feature combined with natural occuring compostation and perhaps incineration of any leftover material (preferably using carbon dioxide storage) can allow previous landfill sites to be completely cleaned up, while benefitting he local economy. Examples of companies who can accomplish this are for example Green Power Inc. and Alphakat. Aldough fossil fuels are to be banned from being sold to the regular public, the fossils fuels these plants produce would be used merely in the beginning of the transition process and would only be used in (government) installations in which it is combined with underground carbon dioxide storage.
The cradle-to-cradle design plan for products will have as a result that allot of products, as they will be organic, will no longer need to be treated by incineration, ... yet will still need to composted. This can be done by the regular waste disposal or it can be left to private composting companies which can, when composted, return the nutrients back into the society by spreading it over land used in agriculture. This would again offer economic benefits to the society as this material too makes good fertiliser.
- To decrease carbon and methane emissions from electricity generation, by lowering the energy use.
- To decrease costs in most sectors.
- To speed up transportation.
- By implementing a law that states that all new roads, houses, electricity, and waterlines that need to be constructed should be set up in a grid plan (preferably cube-shaped).
Note By standardisation of waterlines, house, road construction and electricity grids, huge amounts of costs and energy can be saved, as it affects all sectors. At the moment both in the developed and undeveloped countries, no standardisation for these are present (aldough better city designs are present in some cities as New York City, Philadelphia, Lisbon, ...). This means a.e. that :
- trough the erratic shape of the roads, no efficient traffic flow is possible, provoking traffic jams and slowering the speed of delivery for goods, ...
- for houses, allot of energy is wasted trough heat loss as the surface cover is greater
- for the watertransportation, the erratic city grid also influences its efficiency at a negative manner
- the electricity grid's erratic shape and resulting longer power lines increase the amount of electric resistance, which is part of the reason why 4x more energy is needed in today's power scheme to transport the energy over the network
It is clear that trough inefficient city design, lots more energy need to be generated and climate change is increased. However, as only the manner on which electricity is generated (coal, oil & gas power plants) contribute the most to global warming, this added power loss is still of small importance for climate change when put into perspective. Instead, encouraging change on the above matter would make our climate change mitigation suggestions more popular as no one likes the annoyances (traffic jams, expensive energy/watt, ...) associated with the inefficient city design. As it has been proven in the past ( e.g. Lisbon) that even old cities not complying to the grid system can be altered efficiently over time, the West could gradually start to alter its urban planning. In the less-developed world however, as allot of cities still need to be created/expanded here they may inmediatly start to implement them in their new structures and save energy, cut back annoyances, ... easily.
The watertransportation system may also be improved by eliminating the use of watertowers. Instead, the piping itself can be pressurized. Extra waterreserves can be build by using regular reservoirs, supplemented with pressurized underground cisterns.
- To increase the wealth, and wages of the people and decrease costs of consumer goods.
- To decrease health problems ans associated expenses in healthcare.
- To decrease stress on the environment in general.
- To eliminate the extra greenhouse gases (up to 50%) sure to be emitted as the population is growing.
- To implement population control (targeting a population number of 2 billion people)
Note The extra greenhouse gases would, by 2050 double. Growth of the population would eliminate our previous work done on mitigating climate change. For this reason and because of the fact that current population levels need to be lowered anyhow (as they are unsustainable; not only on climate change but on the decline of biodiversity, pollution, diminishing resources, ...).
If we decide to decrease the size of the population rather than slow down or stop it, we can not only stop the increase of greenhouse gases, but also decrease present greenhouse gas levels. Besides the advantage for the environment, trough this birth control, the population would also become richer and wages would rise (which would also make our suggestion more popular), costs on healthcare would decrease, risk of pandamics lessen, less strain would be put on the environment, and inflation could drop ( e.g. price of food drops, ...). Similiar measures have already been taken by the P.R. of China since 1979 (One Child Policy), and therefore the method is proven to work.
Together with the birth control, eugenics may be used which would physically strengthen the population, making them healthier, more resistant or immune to diseases, and as such more productive. Especially in the developing world, where people are subjected to a physically harder life, where certain untreatable diseases ( e.g. malaria, HIV AIDS, ...) are prevailent and where not everyone is always vaccinated against the treatable ones (yellow fever, polio, ...), eugenics would ease their life substantially.
In order to achieve a sustainable economy that has all the above advantages, the exact population number to be targeted, should probably be around 2 billion people (1900-1950 pop. level). This, based on WWF's Living Planet report that states that if we all want to live with a high degree of luxury (European standards), we would be spending 3x more than what the planet can supply. This number would offcourse not be spread evenly, but instead the demographics charts of 1900-1950 could be used to determine the rate of decreasement needed per country, and region. I rest assured that country leaders (and their inhabitants) can be persuaded to decrease their population rate, given the many advantages. What's more, the (poor) countries that will need to decrease their population rate the most, will also see the most financial retribution. To convince the developed countries, their commitment to the Millenium Development Goals can be used in our advantage, for if they wish to keep them the industrialised countries too will need to lower their population number. Finally, it is a measure that can be implemented inmediatly, by all countries including the most undeveloped (as it is a low-tech solution) and could ensure a very big decrease in greenhouse gases.
- To neutralise all emitted anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
- By preparing a protocol that commits participating countries to neutralise all their emitted greenhouse gases, induced by human activity and emitted between 1860 and the current year + greenhouse gases spontanuously emitted trough the effects of climate change ( e.g. methane emissions trough defrosting of permafrost, ...).
Note The Kyoto-protocol was designed as a way to stop the worst effects of global warming from happening. As it is unable to stop or revert climate change, we will need a new protocol. This new protocol is needed as the current Kyoto-protocol is too weak (50% reduction is needed by 2050, which will not be attained by the Kyoto-protocol), and is not balanced fairly in terms of what certain countries have generated and are still generating in terms of GHG-gases and what measures they need only to take ( e.g. the industrialised countries have been and are generating the bulk of the gases yet only need to take more or less the same measures than the developing ones). A new protocol can level this by stating that all emitted anthropogenic GHG gases (thus emitted in the past and the current amount of GHG-gases) should be mitigated. This should be done only by methods that really absorb the gases, as the other methods described in Kyoto's flexible mechanisms (CDM/JI/ET) will no longer have any use (preposition 1 would already forbid all polluting energy production, so that there is no point in supporting environmental friendly energy production, which would become mainstream).
Although the first suggestion already decreases emissions by 80%, a complete mitigation is needed if we intent to create a sustainable society. As we can not eliminate all production of GHG-gases (sectors as manufacturing, agriculture, ... cannot go without), a protocol to mitigate the remaining 20% is needed.
Normally, all of the countries' oil usage, rates of deforestation, ... are known and calculating this should be no problem. The country can use this information to tax its inhabitants (average price), and companies (depending on the amount of emissions generated and their nature (GWP-value)). This revenue can then be used to neutralise the countries' emissions by tree plantations.
The location of tree plantations should be determined based on the vegetation (as how it was in 1900), and cost of the project/hectare. Particularly in developing countries, can very cost-effective plantations be set up ( e.g. Sahel-area, ...). The protocol could also be used to revert the natural vegetation and ecosystems by planting indigenous vegetation and mimicking the conditions of site as how it was in the 1900's. To support this using indigenous species to the particular site as well as a minimum number of tree-species/ha can be made obligatory. With this protocol it should be possible to replant the number of forests that were present a few hundred years ago, since the amount of co2 to be stored by the protocol would be as high and possibly even higher than what is needed for this. Besides the economic aspect, it would also be possible to do so practically as according to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the decline in woodlands would be reversed in 30 years, even without this extra funding.
To benefit the local population and possibly increase the financial profits, the plantations could also provide energy trough power plants running on the wood coming from the plantation site (biomass), as described in suggestion 1.
In addition, tree plantations, as they alter the local climate, would also provide (in some cases) the planting of certain foodcrops where before this would not be possible (e.g. in arid environments, trees can increase water availability, ...) and could hereby financially support the local population. To address any problems with soil nutrition that might introduce itself, the suggested system of nutrient recycling (in a closed loop system) may be used.
Finally, there are already enough ways how companies can lower their emissions (and taxes).
For farms, these include:
- techniques as manure application, management of nitrogen fertilization, reduced tillage systems, ...
- changing to other animals, or crops that are less carbon intensive (wheat instead of corn, ...)
For factories, they include:
- underground carbon dioxide storage
- carbon dioxide storage in seawater
In some cases, farms will however need to switch to alternative crops/cattle. This as certain crops/cattle may become less profitable, given as the extra expendatures on the GHG-emissions. However, this switch may only be required in very specific cases , and the switch itself can be very limited ( e.g. wheat instead of crops). As a result, very little investments or modifications to the machinery is required. If the government decides to also direct the attention on healthier food (e.g. by promoting vegetarian and macrobiotic cuisine, ... and besides these diets also promotes replacement foodproducts ( e.g. soy milk instead of plain milk, ...), than the farmer's switch to these different crops will be assisted (and in some specific cases, the farmers will get higher returns). This as demand for these environmental foods, proposed in vegetarism, macrobiotics, ... and now grown by farmers will increase. Also, promoting these diets will result in extra savings/profits as certain diseases (obesity, certain intestinal cancers) will decrease and thus health expendatures are decreased and economic productivity is increased.
Besides promoting diets that discourage (excessive) meat consumption, it may also be advisable to relook and update the government's agricultural subsidies (especially on meat production / cattle rearing). As the government should be seen as to sponsor certain types of high-carbon farming ( e.g. cattle rearing), these subsidies may be lowered or removed.
Given the above measures, the now common meat production will heavily decrease (however, for those willing to pay an extra price for meat produced at this way it will still be possible to obtain whilest having all gases in its production mitigated). For those people however that want to continue eating meat, at affordable prices, yet hereby accepting another way of production, solutions exist. These meat substitutes include first of all meat produced from algae, fungi or soy (brand names respectively valess, quorn, tivall/vivera, ...).Besides this, meat can also be produced industrially from animal cells, something which is already happening ( e.g. by a coalition between Stegeman and the universities of Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam).
Why the use of laws to regulate GHG-emissions ? Although some laws are already present to regulate climate change and a migration to a sustainable society ( e.g. Kyoto-protocol, those presented at the Rio Earth Summit as the UNFCCC treaty, Covention on Biological Diversity, ... and the Millenium Development Goals that amongst others supports sustainable development), they are not sufficient to handle climate change, ... on their own. This is because of the fact that most of these do not include a general approach on how things should be adressed, leaving it up to the energy companies, the political world and the citizens themselves to adress the situation. Others like the Kyoto-protocol do feature a practical approach but are much too weak to achieve any real change ( e.g. on the case of climate change a minimum global decrease of 50% is needed by 2050 while the Kyoto-protocol only commits countries to decrease emissions by 10% of current GHG-emissions. Recently, critics on the Kyoto protocol by Gwyn prins and Steve Rayner have confirmed that a more suitable approach needs to be followed instead of the approach followed by the Kyoto protocol.
The laws suggested however would support the existing environmental technology so that they are used at full and all their potential can be harnessed. The laws would hereby allow the needed changes to actually take place ( e.g. on behalf of climate change at least a decrease of 80% is attained). Besides supporting this environmental technology, it would also eliminate competition of certain environmental technology amongst each other. These environmental technologies that would be eliminated will be technology that does not decrease emissions far enough ( e.g. ICE- hybrid engines for cars, ...) and would only obstruct the set-up of the technology that can make the difference.
Is hydrogen a viable option for transport? As stated in the suggestions, internal combustion engines can be converted to run on one of several zero-emission fuels. One of these is hydrogen. Despite the fact that indeed a great amount of the energy is lost using electrolysis (upto 75% depending on the catalysts, ... used), hydrogen internal combustion engine conversions are still an important feature to aid us in converting to a emissionless society. Hydrogen may be produced may be produced in the future without the use of energy, eliminating this (great) downside; this may be possible trough the use of microorganisms, modified by synthetic biology.These conversions are important as they allows a relative fast, cheap (at very short term) and easy conversion. The fabrication and inmediate change to the use of fuel cells would however be very difficult to achieve. As such, the use of certain emissionless fuels as hydrogen will, for the time being, be restricted to the use in IC engines. The other proposed fuels (oxyhydrogen and liquid nitrogen) too are equally important (and probably even more important) fuels as they can also be used in regular IC engines and can even provide less energy loss/more power. The government can thus make sure good conversion kits for these fuels become available on the market. Also, the combustionless engines (compressed air engine, electric engines, ...) should be advocated to be fitted into the new series of vehicles. In addition to advocating this, fuel stations should be demanded to supply all of the other noted emissionless fuels (compressed air, nitrous oxide, oxyhydrogen, ...). To store these emissionless fuels, the tank that previously contained regular fossil fuels may be used (leftover fuel will be flushed out over time). Perhaps that some extra adaptations may still be required with the tank (eg airtight sealing, possible cooling). Also, the energy distribution network should be inspected and upgraded where needed. Especially the neighbourhood transformers are usually not equipped to allow vehicle recharging using grid-power (energy produced at home may however still be used as these do not depend on the transformer). This as hydrogen (using the contemporary production trough electrolysis) indeed features so much energy losses that a complete transfer to this energy carrier is not cost-effective.
Nuclear waste In the suggestions, nuclear power is advocated as a main source of energy. The main reasons for this is that renewable energy power plants (wind turbines, active & passive solar power plants, ... cannot supply energy continuously and are therefore no suitable alternatives if used on their own. Also, nuclear power plants can supply allot more energy, which is exactly what we need if we wish to completely convert to a emissionless society. As for the problem of nuclear waste; this can be resolved by nuclear reprocessing, this process can reduce the radioactivity tremendously and reduce the radioactivity period to 100 years or a few hundred years (rather than thousands). Also, with the new line of fission reactors (fast breeder reactors, ...) and with other new reactors as the fusion reactors now coming in sight, this problem will even eventually phase itself out in the near future.
How can we change as most of our power plants run on fossil fuel? A significant problem in most countries is the fact that most of the electricity production still relies on fossil fuel power plants. In countries where environmental inspection is strict enough (eg mostly countries in the developed world where corruption is low), this problem can be adressed in the short term by a temporarily solution; namely equipping the plants with carbon capture and storage (also noted in the remark). This solution may offcourse only be used with large-scale energy production power plants, and as mentioned before not with any countries where the conversion is not guaranteed and carefully inspected. In addition, the solution is a temporary one, as the building of any new fossil fuel power plants would be made illegal. The measure would thus support a slow phase-out of these types of plants. This is required as these plants -even if made emissionless- still have other drawbacks; namely still being dependant on resources that are usually located on foreign soil. In addition, the mining process itself, the great inefficiency of the plant and transport of the resource still inflict much environmental disturbance (spreading of dust, noise, coal particles, ...) and increase costs. Sometimes, conversions of the fossil fuel power plants to allow running on municipal waste (perhaps with material recovery) may contribute to keep costs of the economy conversion low. In continents as Europe, the Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants technology platform has already made up reports on how the conversions may be done.
How quickly can we start to reduce global warming ? Due to the many suggested laws, we will be able spread the difficulties in reducing out greenhouse gas emissons. This means that we can start to reduce global warming quite rapidly. This, as many of them (eg carbon sequestration trough reforestation, carbon capture and storage, population control, ...) require no more fundamental research and can be set up almost inmediatelly (after a mere planning).
When will we see results from the measures ? Actual drops in temperature rises can be expected quickly from some measures as carbon sequestration and the banning of polluting fuels. Other measures however, need some time before they take full effect.
What temperature increase limit should we not exceed ? With a +1°C, we can expect the destruction of a great portion of coral reefs worldwide, and a number of island nations being submerged by rising sea levels. A 2°C rise would be accompanied with heatwaves, and increased drought around the world. The +2°C increase is currently set as the limit. A recent paper by James Hansen et al. however states that even 2°C is too high, given the rate of degeneration of the Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheets, and that 1.5-1.7°C is more in line with adhering to the precautionary principle. As such the limit could is subjected to change. A 3°C increase would bring about the complete collapse of the Amazon ecosystem, and the threat of conflict over water supplies around the world.
It is likely that the carbon dioxide already released will continue to push up the temperature for years to come (a phenomenon known as 'thermal inertia') by at least 0.6°C, which could mean that we will attain a 1.4°C rise whatever we do. A 1.4°C rise, although worrysome, still falls within a safe margin despite the fact that many natural organisms will be reduced in number. However, as explained before, using the multitude of measures and because of the fact that some of the measures will take effect quickly, we will still be able to heavily limit the decline. Also, although the number of natural organisms may be reduced, with conservation efforts (eg, gene banks, ...), we may prevent the species themselves from dying out.
How to persuade the country's inhabitants ? By increasing public awareness trough the country's media (local radio-stations, TV-broadcast, and newspapers, ...). It should be explained that it is our duty as a human being and that changing to these energy sources, as well as following the other suggestions would rather benefit ourselves than make our life harder.
More precisely it is our duty as a human being because of the fact that:
- millions of people will die because of climate change, making us (indirectly) responsible to their deaths and neglecting our ethical and religious beliefs
It will also benefit us because of the fact that:
- decreasing the air pollution (as well as some other factors) would also positively increase our health (decreasing respiratory diseases, certain cancers, ...)
- the suggested replacement equipment would be cheaper to use
- the price of everyday consumer goods (including food prices) would drop
- it would stimulate foreign investments, as these laws would provide a unique market and unique market opportunities, as well as a test site for companies selling environmental products
Note on decreasing energy use Although described by many nature organisations, decreasing the energy use by companies and private persons is not the answer to the climate problem as
- the emissions cannot be decreased far enough by this method
- no binding regulations can be made for it
Although reducing energy use might be a valuable secondary measure (see practical examples at suggestion 1), I would not recommend it as a primary measure that private persons and companies should take. Instead, making the electricity generation more clean should be a first measure for private persons and companies. Making the electricity generation cleaner can allow much higher emission decreases and can be poored?? effectively in regulations.
To demonstrate the amount of emissions that can be mitigated, I refer to the POST report at which we can see that electricity generation of coal (still heavily used by electricity companies) versus solar panels is 16x greater and versus windmills 100x greater. If the power of the second user is also generated at the home, this can be multiplied by 4 (the normal electricity loss trough the power lines) which adds up to a difference of 66x-400x. This effectively means that even if energy is wasted (by our current lifestyle; something we will not be able to change), we can still easily decrease our pollution levels by a factor 100.
Finally, making the energy use more clean is also far more reinforcable than decreasing the energy use. This because setting up laws to decrease energy use would mean that for different person, and company higher or lower percentages of minimum energy decreases should be set up (something which is very hard to do). Instead making the it more clean is simply a matter of banning the polluting resources (with some exceptions) and by monitoring where the still present yet diminished flow of these resources (coal, gas, oil) is going to ( e.g. companies on energy plants equipped with carbon dioxide storage, ...). In addition to monitoring the sale of these resources, ..., door-to-door inspection (e.g. by the electricity companies themselves), and other technology that can detect carbon dioxide gases and heat accumulation ( e.g. by GMES, air pollution detectors, ...) can detect whether the ban is being followed.
Besides being better enforcable and being able to decrease carbon emissions way further than by decreasing the energy use, making the energy generation more clean (on the described manner) has also extra benefits:
- in all circumstances will huge reductions in emissions be accomplished, no mather whether people are motivated to reduce them, or whether the suggestions are to be implemented into a less developed country. In less developed countries, certain environmental technology ( e.g. more fuel efficient vehicles, more efficient energy power plants) may offer at first environmental advantage when compared to ordinary ICE vehicles (not zero-emission vehicles), and ordinary power plants on polluting resources without carbon dioxide storage but tend to lose this advantage when they are not maintained properly, which is frequently the case in developing countries.
- the described environmental technology and the entire approach can in certain cases decrease economic costs when compared to the presently used technology aswell as some of the environmental technology aimed at merely decreasing energy use ( e.g . nuclear power is somewhat cheaper than oil for electricity production, compressed air is 10x cheaper than oil, birth control would offer economic advantage, ...)
- unlike with decreasing energy use, the suggestions do not involve concessions on lifestyle/attitude, or technological fallback but would instead upgrade the technological level of our society
- the unique market and market opportunities that will arise because of these regulations, will attract companies with environmental products (e.g. compressed air car manufacturers, clean energy production companies making windmills, hydropower plants, ..., biotechnology companies, ...). This will be especially so as no other country has these regulations as of yet.
- unlike with decreasing energy use, the suggestions would decrease dependance on other countries (by decreasing dependancy on oil, coal, and gas). This too is an important, because of the lack of stability (on behalf of politics aswell as prices of the energy sources) in regions as the Middle East, and other certain oil producing countries ( e.g. Venezuela, Iran, Russia).
References and more information
- Sources of greenhouse gases:
- Alternative energy sources to replace coal, oil, gas, wood
- List of renewable energy generation methods
- Carbon emitting sectors:
- Air pollution by coal, gas and oil as one of the main causes of health problems
- Ecological economics
- Economics of nuclear power
- Carbon dioxide storage as the solution for current power plants running on polluting resources
- Kyoto-protocol approach unsuitable (Gwyn Prins/Steve Rayner report)
- Appropriate technology list
- Zero emission engines
- Zero-emissions vehicles
- Compressed air engine
- Electric vehicles
- Plug in hybrid electric vehicles (conversion electric)
- Zero-emissions internal combustion engine fuel conversion (eg hydrogen, oxyhydrogen, liquid nitrogen)
- Electric vehicles powered by batteries
- Use of kites to propel ships
- Rotor- and turbo-sails to propel ships
- New airplane and boat designs that may be used to increase energy efficiency/speed aswell
- Hydrogen (fuel cell) powered vehicles
- Flywheel Energy Storage (FES)
- Net Metering as a way to make private energy production cheaper
- Construction of photovoltaic and thermovoltaic solarpanels
http://biodesign.webeden.co.uk/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nABkkK-32w http://www.instructables.com/tag/type:id/category:home/keyword:water http://www.thesietch.org/projects/solarthermalpanel2/index.htm
- Construction of windmill and other environmental technology (diy)
- Electric radiators and stoves
- Solar cookers
- Solar Thermal Collector
- Cradle-to-cradle production process
- Cradle-to-cradle product certification
- Industrial Ecology
- Nike's ReUse-A-Shoe Program and Cradle-to-Cradle Shoes (Nike Considered)
- Red, green, white, blue biotechnology
- China's Circular Economy
- Natural building techniques
- Earth sheltering
- Green buildings and passive house construction
- Low cost house-improvement solutions for the developing world
- Zero waste to eliminate the need of landfills
- Envac's vacuum-based collection system
- Green Power Inc. and Alphakat being able to mine landfills for precious resources (gasoline)
- Waste collection methods as incineration, resource recovery, recycling, ...
- Grid plan (straight city design)
- Report demonstrating the link between urban planning and disease control
- Emergence of epidemics
- UN Population Fund calling to rethink urban planning
- UN Habitat and Kofi Annan calling for more structurised urban planning
- Impact of population growth
- World population numbers:
- WWF Living Planet report
- Cooperative brainstorming on best birth control method at wikiversity
- Population control
- China's One Child Policy
- Current agricultural solutions:
- Accounts of agriculture to global warming
- Ecological pesticides
- Veganism decreasing GHG-emissions
- Decline in deforestation to be reversed within 30 years
- Number of forests that could be reverted by suggestion 6
- Wikipedia's irrigation article (to allow tree reforestation projects to catch on)
- Wikipedia's deforestation article (contains info on reforesting)
- Meat produced by other means (algae, fungi, soy)
- Industrially grown meat (from animal cells using tissue culture)
- Climate change victims estimated at millions in the near future, according to Christian Aid
- 150000 people killed already by climate change
- Environmental ethics
- Only 1% of GDP required to reduce emissions aduquatly, according to the Energy White Paper
www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper/index.shtml UNEP's Global Environment Outlook saying that humanity is at risk by climate change and other environmental problems http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/26/climatechange http://www.unep.org/geo/
- Similarly and similarly drastic measures also proposed by the IPCC (4th Assessment Report) and Co-op America
- Global Sustainable Islands Initiative (GSEII)
- The carbon neutral city of Newcastle
- Dongtan eco-city
- EarthShip Biotecture
- Sweden to become oil independant by 2020
- Iceland to convert to a hydrogen economy by 2050
- Norway to become carbon neutral by 2050
On Increased Environmental Advantage
- To decrease energy use, to fasten transport, to decrease pressure on the environment
- To give 75%-95% of the country the status of nature reserve, divided over no more than 5 pieces.
By making high percentages of the country protected nature reserve, smaller area's will remain on which constructions, farms, ... can be placed. As these buildings will be build closer together, huge amounts of energy will be saved as
- distances to be travelled will be shortened, eliminating high energy uses, and costs on transportation
- the energy, and costs needed to heat houses will be decreased as the heat will be shared between adjacent houses, the energy and costs needed on lightening will decrease as this too will be shared, ...
- for water transportation, energy requirements and costs will decrease as the water needs to be transported over less distance
- the energy required and costs for the electricity sector will decrease as transport of electricity over powerlines will retain less electric resistance due to shorter powerlines, and because less material and work is needed to lay the electricity lines
Besides this, allot less pressure will be put on the environment as fauna and flora will be given more space and less interaction will happen between humans and fauna/flora.
Although the amount of farming area may decrease, due to the increased fertilisation (from the recycling of nutrients from sewage), less ground will be required for the same amount of crops and as the population is due to decrease, less food will need to be grown anyhow.
Depending on the country, a percentage between 75-95% will need to be given the status of nature reserve. For certain countries (e.g. Singapore, Hongkong, ...) however, huge deviations may be allowed. Finally, an example of the benefits can already be seen in Japan, where the non-availability of flat terrain has limited construction possibilities to a small percentage of the country, creating a similar situation.
- To decrease stress on the environment and avoid the dry-up of fish stocks by 2050.
- To decrease the death toll by pesticides.
- To forbid all hunting activity in the protected reserve.
- To forbid the harvesting of fish that has not been cultivated by human interaction.
- To implement a law that states that in aquaculture, precautions need to be taken to prevent over fertilisation of the water in which the fish is grown and precautions need to be taken to prevent contact (including escape) of the fish with (/in) nature.
- To forbid the sale of fish that is not cultivated by human interaction.
- To allow the use, creation and sale of genetically modified (GM) organisms, to companies which can 100% guarantee that the GM-organisms cannot end up (e.g. escape, ...) in nature.
- To forbid the sale and use of all non-biodegradable pesticides.
- To commit to clear all important infestations of non-indigenous organisms.
- To implement a law that states that farmers are to take the necessary precautions to prevent reproduction of non-indigenous organisms in nature.
- To implement a law that states that the least possible number of roads should be built between cities without heavily disturbing general road traffic and the delivery of goods.
- To promote “circular gardening” (eg as in permaculture, forest gardening, wild gardens, ...) and set a certain limit (or higher taxes) to the amount of biodegradable municipal waste a private person can bring in to the cities biodegradable waste disposal sites, coming from private gardens.
Exceptions should exist for
- food production companies, within the complex or just outside it.
- nature conservation organizations or government in the interest of controlling the natural fauna/flora or for eradicating non-indigenous organisms.
Note Fish production can be set up trough aquaculture, and has the benefit that no price variations will arise as it will become independent from fluctuating fish catches. Fish from aquaculture can also be checked more thoroughly, which raises the fish quality. Finally aquaculture can also allow fish to be cultivated even in landlocked countries (without lakes).
Farmers can make use of seedless varieties or varieties that produce non-fertile seed to ensure that no excess spread of their modified crops end up in nature. Besides these cultivars, they can also make use of structural barriers (e.g. by a well chosen location, or a self-made barrier as in greenhouses) between their cultivation and nature.
Although a lot of pesticides will be forbidden, using the new agricultural techniques (organic farming techniques as Fukuoka-method, Biodynamic farming, Agroecology, Natural Pest Management, Integrated Pest Management, Bio-Intensive Farming, System of Rice Intensification, ...) and new crop-varieties (cross-bred and GM), no pesticides are required anyhow. Although these systems use no pesticides, yield does not suffer; in the System of Rice Intensification yield can actually be increased by at least 100%, while being grown completely ecological. For crops where pesticides are still required, biodegradable pesticides and biological pesticides can be used (e.g. lime sulfur, basalt rock dust, substances derived from plants (eg wormwood extract, ...)
Although the number of roads between (not within) the cities will be halted from increasing or even decrease, enough roads are to be maintained for general road transport (although in some cases more distance will need to be travelled), and can be assisted with other means of transport that do not require roads (e.g. trains, boats, airplanes, ...). Finally as, according to NASA, roads are putting up too much strain on the traffic itself, it is expected that it will be replaced anyhow and by the progress that is made perhaps even within a few decades (e.g. NASA's push on PAV's, ...). As such little gain can be made by putting down more roads.
A certain limit (or higher taxes) to the amount of biodegradable municipal waste a private person can bring in to the cities biodegradable waste disposal sites, would decrease the amount of stress put on the cities biodegradable waste disposal system, and would decrease the unnecessary extra traffic, energy usage and relocation of nutrients/minerals/bacteria, ....
- To prevent stress on the environment by non-degredable waste (plastics, cans, ...) and water pollution.
- To implement a law that states that all human created waste that is not biologically degradable and which is located on your property is to be collected and incinerated.
- To implement a law that states that all water, polluted by human interaction should be completely purified after use. Whenever companies create this pollution, they must purify it themselves, if they are capable. Whenever companies not capable of doing so or private persons create this pollution of water they can allow it to be purified by water companies or government institutions occupied with this matter.
- To decrease methane emissions from waste management (31% of global methane emissions)
- To decrease costs in agriculture
- To decrease waste
- To decrease pressure on the environment
- To decrease water consumption
- To decrease costs on sewage
- To implement a law that states that all private persons and companies should have a septic pit if they live in a zone where human excrement can be collected; or if they live in a zone where this is not possible, they should have a working system in place to collect and process the human excrement into compost, after which it is spread over land used for agriculture.
- To implement a law which states that in zones where human excrement can be collected, collection of the excrement is to be set-up and disposal needs to be done at land used for agriculture, after processing into compost.
- To implement a law that states that where no aduquate sewerage is present, a system should be set up in place to collect human excrement raw at private persons/companies and move it to processing plants where it can be converted to compost. Where this is not possible, the composting can be done by private persons/companies on-site and spread over agricultural land.
- To implement a law that states that all compost processed from human excrement is to be used in agriculture.
- To implement a law that states all working sewage systems need to be shut down and converted for alternative uses (eg placement of electric wiring, shelters, transformators, collection and transfer of rainwater run-off to rivers, ...).
Note At the moment no closed food cycle is present in any country and closing it will mean that less nutrients need to be gathered from other sources (e.g. no extra farming grounds will need to be created), costs on fertilisation of these farming grounds will decrease heavily. Methane emissions will also be decreased because compostation generates less methane than natural degredation of the waste and the methane produced can be collected and burned as it will be centered. Besides this, pressure on the environment is also lowered susbstantially as in many, if not all countries, not only are the nutrients not being reused (in developed countries they are burned), they also often end up in nature without processing (mostly in developing countries) where they disrupt the ecosystem and do even more damage (e.g. the sea; where it overfertilises the water hereby encouraging algae growth and the destruction of the local ecosystem).
The use of a sludge processing plant placed after the underground canals of the sewage was considered, but ultimately discarded because of the fact that huge water consumption would still occur and as raw collection of the waste material would yield a better soil additive. In addition, the system's set-up is way more simple (seperation between water purification and sewage, and for this sewage system no piping, collectors, pumps, water purification plants, ... are required;; only a septic pit, 1 processing plant and trucks to carry the waste material) the cost to set-up the system (aswell as it's operation) would be incomparably cheaper. This new system of large-scale waste disposal could be set up fairly quickly as it is based on existing composting loo's combined with the constant recycling of nutrients (present in nature and systems based thereon; as the MELISSA-system, and the cradle-to-cradle design system).
As the initial set-up and operation costs of this system of sewage are cheaper, they could help to decrease non-existent (80% of developing countries) or inaduquate sewage. To increase the financial beneficits for the general population too, (part of) the money saved by the price difference of this method could be used to make the septic pits (which need to be bought by the user itself) cheaper or to allow loans. As such, this measure would help to increase popularity for our suggestions, decrease environmental pollution and improve the life-quality of the people.
- To decrease GHG-emissions, to decrease pressure on the environment (ozone depletion)
- To implement a law that states that all production of ozone depleting substances (ODS) is forbidden.
Note GHG-emissions will be decreased as the ozone depleting substances are also gases that contribute heavily to climate change (high GWP-value), and because of interaction. Although the Montreal-protocol already banned the worst ozone depleting gases as CFC-gases and chlorofluorocarbons, not all ODS-gases are banned by it. Finally, trough the Montreal protocol, it has been proven that all technical barriers have been broken.
- To decrease pressure on the environment (fauna/flora, trough exotic species).
- To implement a law that states that the sale of all non-indiginous fauna/flora, other than for food supply, is forbidden to private persons.
Note Forbidding non-indiginous plants will also decrease water use (as sprinkling will become unneccessairy because indiginous plants are adapted to the (in)availability of water in the area. Besides this, the people will not only need to water the plants less, but weeding and other annoying garden activities will also decrease because indiginous plants grow allot faster and can easily outcompete weeds.
Laws to be implemented until the countries in question have also implemented the suggestions:
- To decrease GHG-emissions
- To increase technical advancement and economical profits trough the field of bionics
- To decrease stress on the environment (decrease of biodiversity, ...)
- By implementing a law that states that all activities involving deforestation are forbidden in the biodiversity hotspots , described by Conservation International.
- To implement a law that states that all sales of wood, and foodstuffs coming from biodiversity hotspots is forbidden.
Note In biodiversity hotspots, all logging of trees (without replanting) should be forbidden as it not only accounts for emissions of carbondioxide but also for a huge loss in biodiversity (which has a huge negative financial impact trough the field of bionics). To counter this, all activities that involve deforestation should be forbidden in biodiversity hotspots.To compensate the loss of money, countries can receive 10% of profits from intellectual property, gained from bionics found in these countries.
References and more information
- Composting toilets
- MELISSA system
- Rainwater harvesting for private users
P.S.:Hook-up with other side-projects: Perhaps a law can be implemnted that forbids all agricultural crops (thus exepting the horticultural crops) of being grown outdoors. This would completely phase out any environmental damage that may result and can be replaced in practice by
- Vertical Farms
- Home production of certain (staple) agricultural crops, as seen in the proposed Low-cost private food production system for tropical/subtropical climates (aswell as a version for temperate climate zones)
Optional digitalisation of city communal services
- To simplify the current society as a whole and discard unefficient (expensive) city services (e.g. postal service, analogue radio stations, public libraries, by replacing them electronically.
- To increase the availability of information and make them available for everyone (e.g. city, street, information, location of stores, events, ...)
- To make certain services more efficient (e.g. delivery of goods)
- To decrease the crime rate/and the number of crimes, and simplify the search/search&rescue for missing persons/people in distress.
- To decrease the unneccessairy/unefficient use of paper and decrease environmental damage by the lower amount of treelogging that needs to be done. To decrease expenses by the resulting improvement in efficiency.
- To implement a better telephone system and decrease decrease costs for the people making use of it.
- To reduce/simplify the amount of different cabling and technologies used (e.g. instead of separate cables for telephones, internet, cable television, ... 1 (internet) cable will come in place).
- To build up a positive understanding between cultures/people by increasing the availability of different types of music, information on religions, cultural regions, ... from these different cultures.
- To allow nationals from any country to live and work in the country of their choosing,
without needing any government-issued paperwork such as a passport, visum, permits (residence permit, entry permit, work permit, ...)
- To stop providing unemployment insurance altogether (to aliens, naturalized people and countrymen), or alternatively, to only provide semi-naturalisation for aliens (indefinitly)
- To implement a law that states that all persons need to be equipped with a (non-battery powered) RFID tracker, and that each RFID tracker is to emit, when asked, the persons ID number.
- To implement a law that states that all government services are to use a single standardised file/media format for each type of file/media (e.g. openoffice-docs for electronic letters).
- To implement a law that states that all government services are to use a single standardised operating system (OS).
- To implement a law that states that all non-open source software is forbidden of being used or sold.
- To implement a law that states that keys and locks are forbidden of being used of sold.
- To implement a law that states that all radiostations transmitting via analogue way (e.g. FM/AM) aswell as all equipment intended to receive these broadcasts are forbidden.
- To forbid non-international TV/radio-news channels of operating within the country.
- To set a production maximum (or forbid) the production of writing paper made from living organisms or from fossil resources (hereby increasing the price). To forbid the use and sale of the paper versions of newspapers aswell as non-educational magazines and books.
- To forbid the use and sale of analogue telephones. To oblige mobile phones of having VoIP+Wireless LAN-functionality implemented.
- To forbid analogue broadcasts from TV-stations.
- To oblige providers of cable television of offering a certain amount of highly educational/informational TV-channels in their basic products.
Notes The first measure above is intented to allow people from countries with a high population density, lower development index and still many pristine areas to move from their countries that are more developed and have little pristine areas. As such, people have a chance to become more productive and wealthier, while at the same time preserve the natural environment better. It also allows people in countries that are at risk of climate change (low-lying islands/countries, ...) of moving to another country easily.
The second measure ensures that if they have moved to another country, they do not become a financial burden to the people of this other country. In addition, it also ensures that people within the country act more responsively with the money they attain from their job, and are more eager to keep their job. Note that most social securities would be unaffected though, so disability insurance and financial assistance to people that need medical support and can not pay for this themselves should remain in place. The indefinite semi-naturalisation for aliens mentioned as the alternative would involve that during the course their life, they would not be able to attain any unemployment insurance whatsoever.
Technology that can be used to replace non-open source OS':
- Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu-Linux), preferably modified to include 3D effects (e.g. as in IRIX) and google-addons (google books, google earth, google maps, ...)
- Technology to replace analogue (AM/FM) radiostations and analogue listening equipment:
- WiMax-antenna's, linked-up with the cities high-speed internet connection and used to
- provide internet radio (all radio-stations)
- provide viewing of international 24-hour news channels (e.g. CNN, CNBC, Sky News, ...)
Technology to replace libraries and postal services:
- Electronic, free and open libraries (e.g. google books, ...)
- Electronic mail and express mail for packages (e.g. trough companies as UPS, DHL, FedEx, TNT, ...)
Technology to replace the old keys/keycards to open doors and for other security purposes:
- IRIS-recognition devices and fingerprint authentication devices
Technology to replace writing paper, aswell as the paper versions of newspapers, & non-educational magazines and books:
- Electronic paper and other electronic equipment as Portable Digital Assistants (PDA's), Portable Media Players (PMP's) and (portable) PC's. These latter can, as they are already needed to for the city's other services as internet radio, electronic mail, ... be used at no cost at all.
- When absolutely required, regular paper made from rocks rather than tress can be used
Technology to replace analogue telephones:
- Mobile and stationary VoIP-telephones linked up to the cities internet/intranet (via respectively wireless or wired connection). Trough this internet connection, both free internet calls aswell as calls to analogue telephones are possible. When the VoIP telephones are to be used outside the cities (at remote locations), a satellite uplink may be used to make phonecalls (e.g. trough VSAT's, ...).
Technology to replace analogue TV broadcasts (via cable/VHF&UHF-antenna):
- Digital broadcasting via DVB (trough WiMax-antenna's) and preferably distributed exclusively on-demand (so one can select exactly the program you wish to view)
- people's movement can be tracked trough RFID-code reading + storing the persons ID-code together with date, time and GPS location on harddisk. This tracking can decrease crime rates and facilitate arranging meetings and social life; if the last known location (GPS/date&time info) of that person is easily obtainable via internet/intranet. Given the many advancement with RFID and integrated information storage (e.g. via the De-ViTTS/Ne-ViTTS, GeoBips- programs) there should be no problem in realising this.
New services the city will need to offer:
- Free high-speed internet connection to all residents
- government-issued electronic mail adress (in the form RFIDnumber@CRcountryname.continental union-code (2 digits)
- an efficient number of, freely usable, computer terminals to allow the less wealthy as well as ordinary people to make use of these services at every moment of the day (some restrictions may be invoked on the duration of use per day). Also imbedded in these terminals should be the Smart Cities E-Lens service to allow people of being informed of events in the city.
- wireless internet/intranet by WiMax-antenna (set-up per district to have 100% coverage). The Wimax-antennas may be created diy (see: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcwtr665_177hmwvxxfp )
- File storage for the cities' inhabitants trough the use of a base station. The base station can feature HD partitions that are uniquely accessible to the owner-citizen. File storage can include but is not limited to personal calendar information, ...
P.S.1: Perhaps 3G-masts can be converted or used altogether to also distribute the services mentioned in the cities internet/intranet network (probably by LAN). If so, analogue radio communication (which GSM-mobile phones also use) may be completely forbidden and replaced by voIP-phones. To address the then occurring problem of reduced coverage, new mobile voIP-phones may as an extra be equipped with low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication.
P.S.2:Hook-up with other side-projects The express-mail companies described (UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx, ...) may use the UAV proposed in one of my side-projects to deliver goods/packages. Also, the UAV proposed may in the (distant rather than near) future be used as a personal air vehicle (PAV) to decrease stress on the road system and improve transport efficiency.
P.S.3: By means of hydraulically retractible tables and chairs, extra space can be conserved , reducing costs (for heating rooms), and making simplifying cleaning. Besides for people, this simplification of cleaning may also be useful for making robotic cleaning (e.g. with the Roomba vacuum cleaner, ...) possible (cleaning robots being similar to the Robomow, but then for cleaning)
P.S.4: As the UN is pushing internet access as a human right, the set up of global internet access will need to be done anyhow and actually features no extra cost
P.S.5: File storage for the cities' residents trough base stations is required to allow them to use smaller pc's called UMPCs or handhelds (as on these machines very few files can be stored)
References and more information
- Wikipedia's RFID-article
- Wikipedia's WiMAX-article
- Package Delivery Companies
- Goobuntu (Google Linux distribution)
- IRIX (Unix distribution with 3D functionality)
- Compiz (3D Modification for Linux)
- Croquet Project (3D Modification for Linux)
- E-Lens Service
- Wikipedia's Electronic paper-article
- Paper made from rocks
- Wikipedia's Voice over IP-article
- VSAT and satellite VOIP telephoning
- Wikipedia's Digital Video Broadcast-article
- Internet access as a human right
- Wifi-networks already covering allot of cities
- Rural Broadband Connection in the UK
- To equalise/internationalise the electric grid.
- To decrease the excessive electricity use.
- To internationalise the weight, speed, ... and other units used, making them and the equipment they are used in usable/understandable for all people
- To forbid all lighting that uses technology other than high intensity discharge (HID), light-emitting diode (LED) or organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
- To forbid the use and sale of all devices; electrical equipment and cables that use domestic AC plugs and sockets that do not comply with the CEE 7/7 standard or industrial CEE (3-phase power plugs/sockets operating on 230V/50Hz).
- To forbid the use and sale of all unearthened devices, cables and electrical equipment.
- To forbid the using of a mains power system operating on a different voltage/frequency other than 230V/50Hz.
- To forbid the use and sale of Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) displays.
- To forbid the use of equipment, the equipment itself and all writing that displays information in non-SI units (hereby also including °Celcius).
- To forbid the use of equipment, and the equipment itself that displays information in any language that is not the current lingua franca.
- To implement a single traffic regulation for the whole of the continental unions in stead of regulations per country
- To forbid all non-dvorak simplified layout computing keyboards.
- To forbid all writing with reference to translated (english, ...) names for any natural species (plants, animals, fungi, ...)
- To make simplified english the national language. Note that the simplified english that would be made the main language for the country would need to be altered to use the international phonetic alphabet in regular writing.
- To forbid the use of any timecode other than Universal Time (UT1).
- To forbid all devices indicating the time in analogue form (e.g. quarter to four instead of 1545h, ...)
- To forbid the use of any other calender system than the calender system to be approved globally (still to be determined). This calender system would probably combine the features of the World Calender and Holocene Calender (respectively more structurised calender system and elimination of references to faiths)
- To forbid the use of the current system of naming (for people) and replace it by a call name and a unique (RFID) number (so that with a single number anyone can be precisely marked). This number would be used in all legal documents and identification papers. The number would eliminate any errors that might resolve from the now inaduquate system of given and family name.
- To set-up a continental union-wide open-access database with the identification information of each inhabitant. The database would be similar to Facebook and replace this database. It would be the main legal identification method and thus be maintained by the state. The making of the online document aswell as later corrections need to be done by a official representative. The user itself will be given no access to it. This would make people's identification information easily available and simplify paperwork. It will also eliminate the need of a ID-card, passport, WHO vaccination card, social security card, drivers licence, ... As an extra advantage, it will aid forensic research when a crime has been committed. The RFID-transmitter implemented with people allows an automatic searchup of the ID-information in the online database, to supplement any additional data that exceeds the storage/transmitting capacity of the RFID-transmitter. Supplemental data would include place of employment, place of residence, social security information, vaccinations, complete DNA profile, driving permit (aswell as permits for controlling other personal vehicles, a digital image of the fingerprint, digital identification image, ...
- To forbid the sale of any device that does not comply with a minimum (ISO) safety standard
Note: Technology to replace Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) displays include Liquid Cristal Display (LCD), and Plasma Display Panel (PDP) viewing devices
- Although all non-SI units will be forbidden, the international system of units has been carefully studied and set up a list with units that can replace older units as the mile, gallon, litre, ... These of course include replacement units as the kilometer, cubic meter, ...
- Instead of using translated names, the official, latin names should be used for all natural species. Thus, for example instead of saying “cat”, one would say Felis silvestris catus, or instead of saying “man”, one would denote male Homo sapiens. This would work with all fruit, nuts, and other natural produce too; instead of saying “apple”, one would say “fructus malus domestica, ... Finally for plant parts other than fruit, nuts, ... the latin name can also be used; for example "tea": this would be replaced by foliae Camellia sinensis. The advantages of using this latin denomination are also not limited to making the adressing of the intented natural species (or their parts) understandable everywhere, but would also allow extra advantages. Notable extra advantages are the that this latin description gives more information (even if a person does not know a fruit, plant part, ... he is inmediatelly told what exactly it is), and another advantage being that the person may include extra information as the cultivar (e.g. by saying fructus Pyrus communis 'Conference').
References and more information
- Light-emitting diodes
- Organic light-emitting diodes
- CEE 7/7 standard for plugs and sockets
- Mains electricity
- Simplified english
- International phonetic alphabet
- Universal Time
- Calendar systems
- Personal names