MZ3’s vision for a sustainable future - with WiFi. Stories or examples of how this can be done are below.
MZ3’s mission is to help build a society based on wood.
Wood means trees and it turns out trees and the fungi or mycorrhiza (mike oh riser) in their roots may be the solution to everything.
We have been steadily deforesting the past 10,000 years cutting trees down and now the environment is in bad shape, the simple fix is we need to plant trees back. Allowing for replanting earth still loses 14bn trees each year so we need to start plant at least that many back each year.
The latest U.N. IPCC warning is very clear - reduce CO2 emissions 45% in 12 years or face a very angry climate and metres of sea rise as early as 2050. We now have to completely change everything and especially how we interact with nature.
First thing to explain - what is all this global warming climate change stuff!
We have been burning coal, oil and gas for 150 years and pumping all that CO2 into our thin atmosphere while also cutting down trees. The extra CO2 is like putting a blanket over the earth. Right now it is 400,000 Hiroshima bombs per day hotter! I don’t believe climate change skeptics although it sounds great if we didn’t have to do anything. Remember thalidomide, ddt, tobacco and asbestos - now it is fossil fuels turn.
We can’t all afford to go and live somewhere cooler when it gets really hot.
What do we have to change. Ideally STOP burning ALL fossil fuels right now.
What can you do. Start reducing fossil fuel use and try not to buy anything. Try not to drive your car or if you have to - drive it as little as possible. Live as close as you can to work. Try not to fly in an aeroplane or if you do buy carbon offsets. Holiday local. Shop local. Buy local food and products so less ships and trucks are needed. Western agriculture uses a lot of fossil fuel - there is a better form of agriculture explained below. Mine less and stop using fossil fuels for mining. Live a simpler life with less stuff. Try not to buy anything - if you buy something new a factory starts up somewhere and materials produced with fossil fuels start flowing into it.
Buy only good things that are sustainably made and last a long time.
Try and eat less meat - this is good for you anyway - the Roman gladiators were predominantly vegetarians. If you do eat meat - eat less red meat - try chook, pig and fish. Try and grow some of your own food - it is fun and amazingly productive when you start to get the hang of it. The next blog will show you some tricks on how easy it is to grow good food anywhere with almost no effort.
How do we fix the CO2 problem. Well easy, plant trees. The are the only thing that will suck up CO2. You may be told there is no land for trees because we need the land to grow food. This is completely wrong and where it gets really interesting! Read on ….
We currently grow artificially fertilised and chemically weeded and pesticided grains on vast manmade treeless plains. We use the grains for cereals and bread and we grain feed animals in feedlots for meat. What if we could grow more food, organically, in the same space, using trees. We can it is called alley cropping or agroforestry or permaculture or food forestry or syntropic agriculture or successional agriculture. Trees, nuts, fruit, vegetables, coarse grains, vines and root crops like potatoes are all grown in the same space. Any food dropped feeds freeranging ducks, pigs and hens. Western Agriculture is doomed anyway - due to increasing salinity, excessive mining of groundwater and we are rapdly running out of mined phosphorous and potassium. On top of that weeds and pests have developed chemical resistance and watertables are becoming soaked with salt and Nitrogen and soil health is crashing. Look up peak P or K and Nitrogen pollution.
OK so what is the vision?
According to Maslow’s hierarchy humans need the following things and have to satisfy each level before proceeding to the next - like a computer game.
Basic needs: Shelter, food, water, temperature control
Then: Personal, emotional and financial security - and health and well-being
Friends and family
Advanced: Doing what we are best at - to help others and look after nature
We would all do the right thing if it were a realistic option and did not take away from what we have now, was better and costs no more. Here is how that can happen.
These are seven visions or short stories based in Western Australia that show how we can fulfil Maslow’s hierarchy, live a good life AND look after the planet.
Story about houses.
You are a new home buyer in WA and can choose to buy one of two houses.
One house is conventional double brick & tile, takes a year to build and is bad ecologically.
The other is prefabricated lightweight construction, better or equal to double brick in acoustics and energy efficiency, looks good, is built in 8 weeks, costs 10% less and is much better ecologically. Actions speak louder than words. This builder is doing this right now.
Which house do you buy?
Story about organic vegetables.
You buy vegetables at the supermarket. They are marked as grown chemical free or not marked at all if grown with chemicals. The chemical free vegetable is cheaper because the farmer has amortised the cost of his solar weeder in one year and his cost of production is now lower than growing with chemicals. His weed seed bank is now decreasing every year so his weeder has more time available to weed a bigger area with no extra capital cost. For a modest monthly subscription fee the Solar Weeder software team release regular over the air (OTA) updates so his weeder gets more and more efficient. He takes his weeder on a trailer once a year to the weeder service factory in his nearest city. The Solar Weeder team are planning to release updates to make the Solar Weeder platform capable of precision seeding, picking bad bugs and harvesting. It will replace the tractor and work powered free from the sun while you do other things. We have built a prototype that proves the concept and are building funds to complete it for field trials. If you are interested in investing in this project or can help us write a kickstarter application for it please email email@example.com
Story about alley cropping.
You have a large wheat farm in Perenjori. The area is known as ground zero globally for climate change. Rainfall has declined 30% in 30 years and it is getting hotter each year. Small grants are available to plant trees on your farm. You don’t bother accessing them as planting trees and getting them to survive is a lot of work. A company MZTree offers to plant and look after each tree for one year for $1 per tree for a minimum order of 20,000 trees. This is less than you could do it for so you take up their offer. They help you and your neighbours obtain grants. At the start of winter MZTree use machines operating 24/7 to plant all the trees in your area. Their machines scallop the soil, drill holes for the trees, inject compost, plant the trees, place and stake an organic weed mat and tree guard, then water the tree. MZTree grow tree seedlings in local robotic nurseries in organic pots optimised for their machines and tree survival, MZTree come back in 3 months and drone survey all your trees. One man operates 15 drones at once. They come back again in summer with a robotic waterer that inspect and waters all your and your neighbours trees - you just have to provide the water. They help you apply for carbon offsets which are rapidly becoming very valuable as fierce global warming sets in.
Due to climate change your conventional crops now fail more often and the carbon offsets from the trees are the only thing making you any money so you now plan to plant as many trees as you can. MZTree introduces you to successional agriculture tended by Solar Weeders. You start growing fruit, nuts and vegetables in between with your trees fed by tree loppings. Pigs and hens free range on the windfall fruit. As it is all organic so there are insects and birds and bats feeding on them. This moves phosphorous from the plant leaves to caterpillar to bird and bat guano deposited from the trees. This replaces phosphate mined 1,000’s of km away and spread with fossil fueled tractors. It is much more intensive agriculture than what you are used to but you are making money feeding an increasingly hungry world as climate change sets in globally. You now have more work than you can handle so you can employ permanent workers. MZTree introduce you to YourHouse who provide energy efficient low embodied energy attractive houses for your new workers, using the wood you grow. You and your workers enjoy what you do providing chemical and fertiliser free food and timber to the towns and city. You know you are doing something good and worthwhile. You are looking after nature and it is looking after you.
We have built and trialled several concepts in a treeplanter we have designed to plant 1 tree per second. Over 6 months 24/7 and 80% work time that is 12m trees. We need 1,125 machines to replace the trees earth loses each year. We then need more machines to start reversing the deforestation we have done since agriculture began. This is a big project.
Story about rural regeneration.
Due to the new jobs and people moving to work in your area your town is rapidly growing with pubs, clubs, sports and a cinema. It sponsors concerts and big comedy events. It now has a hospital and high school and a University specialising in successional agriculture. Many overseas students study there. There is even a film studio documenting the new agriculture. These facilities are all built using prefab components made in the town. There are lots of good jobs and a community owned and run non profit zero interest bank. It feels like you are living in a Treetopia.
Story about beekkeeping.
Many of the new trees planted in your area are WA natives and are prolific nectar producers. There are many beekeepers now working the farms. Honey is robotically extracted at each hive which is less backbreaking for the beekeeper and much better for the bees. There is now a local mead brewery exporting all over Australia. Some plantations have trees selected to produce Manuka honey which is used by the hospital and exported as a health and medical product. We have 85% developed the machine mentioned above and it is currently being field tested and refined.
Story about high speed fossil fuel free transport.
You and your workers buy MZ3 streamliners for transport and enjoy using them on the 200km/hr solar powered hyperloop between country towns and the city. The hyperloop monotruss rails are carried 15m in the air on solar panelled, hollow spiral laminated timber poles. The super aerodynamic two seater hyperloop pods convert themselves to sleek electric smart cars when they come off the loop. They are very lightweight and incredibly energy efficient.
Story about reversing salinity. Saltbuster - WA wheatbelt restoration.
The WA wheatbelt has had salt, carried by sea breezes, deposited on it for millions of years. Rain washes the salt through the soil into the underground water table. When trees are removed the water tables rises to the surface and evaporates leaving salt behind which kills any plants. Is the problem the solution? Can we eliminate the salt while producing useful byproducts and even sequester CO2 at the same time. How? Using common farm windmills pump up saltwater from low places on salt affected wheat farms. Solar distill (the wheatbelt has plenty of sun) the saltwater into brine and freshwater. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_desalination Electrolyse the brine by running a low voltage current through it with solar cells to make hydrogen and chlorine gas and Sodium Hydroxide. Sell the hydrogen to cook with or use as a vehicle fuel. Sell the chlorine which is a very widely used chemical. Bubble air, which has CO2 in it, through ponds of sodium hydroxide to make solid Sodium Carbonate or Bicarbonate Na2CO3 which captures the CO2 as a solid. Sodium hydroxide pumped into the ocean raises pH and the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2. If you are an electrochemist and interested in helping progress this idea please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4℃ Map - this is increasingly likely what science says the world will be like before 2100
Most of the world is a desert. This will displace billions of people. See the two maps below.
The green areas in the northern latitudes are near the arctic circle with short winter and long summer days but a very short growing season. It is also quite possible the gulf stream will slow or stop due to Greenland ice melt making Europe much colder than it is now.
Only the Sahel South of the Sahara, Western Australia and New Zealand are green in the Southern hemisphere. The green area shown in the antarctic is very active volcanically and well inside the antarctic circle with a short growing season.
NEWS. Bom WA report 23 Nov 18. In the Kimberley and Pilbara, rainfall has increased in most areas
Over the last 60 years, annual rainfall has increased over northern and interior WA. A recent study of tree growth in the Pilbara found that 5 of the 10 wettest years in the last 210 years occurred in the last two decades.
Where we all live now but we will have to move to above the red line or to the red circles and New Zealand and Europe may freeze if the Gulf Stream shuts down. This is why this is bloody serious.