global symbiosis

Life is a flowing process, of inputs, processing, and outputs. What goes in, must go out too. Living beings not only have to find food nutrition, consume and utilize its material and energy, it must also release the parts that no longer are useful. And it is the Sun's energy that powers the churning of the process.

Much as cities do with their garbage, a cat digs a hole and buries its waste product. Widening the viewpoint, it can be seen that the cat's fecal matter becomes nutrition for the plants which also receive solar-cycle purified rainwater, and powered by the solar energy from the Sun, use the combination to produce re-structured materials, vegetation that animals eat; and eventually the cat again gets fed, completing the loop. But most of the garbage buried by the cities is not in the loop, be aware. Remember what eventually happens when a process loop is broken?

Although, sometimes a broken process loop is helpful. Fossil fuels are the decayed remains of once-living beings' stuff of eons ago, too, still containing some of the potential energy input by the sun's energy to re-structure materials in ancient times; it also thereby locked in the carbon that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. For now, we have plenty of good oxygen to breathe, and perhaps still little enough greenhouse gas carbon in the atmosphere so as to still have a nice invigorating balance of winter and summer to keep nature's processes cycling well. Those living creatures of long ago that locked the carbon out of the atmosphere by storing it as coal, oil, and methane hydrates, did their job well, such that it created the air we now live and breathe in.

The release of some of that energy (and unfortunately their carbon back into the air in the form of carbon dioxide and methane) has also enabled the huge jump of civilization over the latest century; if we make that jump significantly further to enable life's expansion beyond the fossil fuel basis, perhaps it all will be worth it to the world.

There is an overall symbiosis between plants and animals on this planet, all powered by the sun. The global viewpoint shows that there is an overall symbiosis between plants and animals on the planet, and that the Sun's energy input powers the life system of living beings on the planet, the plants and animals sharing the energy in the form of re-structured materials.

Coral in the ocean forms a tight symbiosis, the animal part provides structure and nutrients, while the plant part utilizes the sun's energy to recycle the nutrients. This provides a morphological model for a possible way for civilization to continue to greatly grow without ruining the rest of the world around it.

As mankind's civilization expands to require an ever bigger slice of the pie, the sheer mega quantity of solar energy endlessly available in space above the earth looks increasingly inviting, to maintain the growth robustly and even enable a purer existence, by directly intercepting the solar energy, such as stationary above the rotating Earth in GEO, both to convert the energy into re-structured materials while up there, as well as later to completely recycle the component materials back to pure materials once the products are discarded. Raw solar energy received at GEO could power large mass spectrometer type machines in that zero-gee hard vacuum environment that would vaporize the otherwise unusable toxic garbage industrial trash materials and distribute their pure elements into buckets, for uses as if brand new stuff; thus the sun's energy would be used to reverse the entropy brought on by civilizations' processes, readying the materials for re-structuring anew, restoring the overall process loop for the cities and industry in general.

Of course, it is easier to do things as we have always done; in fact, can we really do anything we have not already done before? There are lots of ways we can squeeze more energy out of the existing ground system, by alternative energy processes. But like squeezing a grapefruit for juices, more squeezing eventually does not produce more juice. Same for natural energy sources. Even nuclear fission electric powerplants use energy stored inside suns of long ago, re-structured material on the nuclear size level, and is limited in quantity. These are the familiar paths, with less risky unknowns for the currently powerful to fear during the term of their shift; unfortunately for civilization's world, those on the next shift are likely to make the same decision, on and on. The only bravado visible here is that of men gloriously bashing into other men on gaming fields of vast variety, to see who is the winner of the pot, and trample on the vanquished, showing who is boss. In that arena, life is in the trenches even for the winners; it is just different in quality. Man is capable of much better than that.

It is likely that mankind's technological prowess is up to the task of building space access electrically powered transportation structures, such as of the anchored tether space elevator type, and of the earth-encircling dynamically centrifugally supported space carousel escalator form. and thus is surely up to the task of enabling adequate connection between ground materials and the solar powered environment in Geostationary Earth Orbit, where much can be built and utilized for civilization's vast expansion without munching the rest of the ground ecosystem's pie to destruction. Sure, it is very tempting to stick with the well practiced industrial techniques, the schoolbook-taught well known justifiable same old same old, thus not risking loss of job and stature if things go bust a bit along the march of progress. But rocketry's space access is extremely energy inefficient due to the need to lift all the fuel's mass needed for the trip to orbit; we know that, and it severely limits our ability to utilize the energy and processing environment in high earth orbit. But the within-reach potential of space access large transportation structures can change the whole nature of the opportunities possible to mankind.

So the will of man is not up to the task; business-as-usual has been living much more hand-to-mouth than what is needed to have business as usual where business has a detailed whole world view and the interests of civilization into decades from now, so as to provide the products that will be really needed by people in the world environment not just today but likely more distant tomorrows too, in case we are there. The products that were not created by the corporations are not there to provide the business, nor there to meet the needs of the consumer of tomorrow. And the corporations dare take only the tiniest of risks; the stockholders tend to care not what the products are, they just want that money to keep coming in, to fuel their living style. And the elite that guide it all dare not take risks that might dump them, nor even acknowledge they missed something important to us all, lest they lose their elite public image that feeds them so well. The will of aggressive action-doing man is just not up to the task, as it is too risky and does not pay off in their kind of coin.

Life is a flowing process, however, and inputs and outputs will go on, so long as life lasts. Plants have long had the wisdom to build as far upward as they have strength to build, and up there to spread wide to bask in the solar energy reception; will we? How far upward, far enough to not shade our roots from the rain?

Jim Cline


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home