MZ3’s vision for a sustainable tomorrow - with WiFi!
Our ancestors made two big mistakes and you and I are still making them!
We have been cutting trees down for 10,000 years AND burning coal, oil and gas the past 150 years. This is putting more and more CO2 into our thin atmosphere. The extra CO2 is like putting a blanket over the earth that is keeping in an extra 86,400 Hiroshima bombs of heat every day. It is getting hotter and there is nowhere cooler to go and live.
The latest U.N. IPCC warning in 2008 is very clear - reduce CO2 emissions 45% in 12 years or face a very angry hot climate and metres of sea rise as early as 2050 and potentially 100’s of millions of climate refugees.
We have to completely change everything we do and especially how we interact with nature NOW.
We have to STOP burning ALL coal, oil and gas right AND start planting trees to absorb the extra CO2.
Allowing for replanting, Earth currently loses 14bn trees per year - 2 full grown trees for each of us.
We can’t wait for our governments - we don’t know what they will do or when - we have to fix this ourselves.
What can you and I do and what is MZ3 going to do.
What you and I can do about global warming.
Start reducing our fossil fuel use. Try not to drive our car or drive it as little as possible. Live as close as you can to your work, to shops and to entertainment. Try not to fly in an aeroplane, if you do, buy carbon offsets. Holiday local. Shop local. Buy locally made food and products so ships and trucks are not needed to import and export.
Try not to buy anything at all - live with less stuff - if you buy something a factory starts up somewhere and new materials for it are mined and processed with fossil fuels. Only buy good things you really need, check they are sustainably made and ensure they 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 and grow some of your own food - it is fun and amazingly productive when you start to get the hang of it. A future blog will show you how easy it is to grow good food anywhere with almost no effort.
Plant trees which are the only thing that will suck up the excess CO2. If all 7bn of us planted just 2 trees a year we would halt global deforestation. Let’s do it!
Our grains are grown on artificially fertilised and chemically weeded vast manmade treeless plains. We use the grains for cereals and bread and to grain feed animals in feedlots for meat. Western Agriculture has deforested vast areas, increased salinity, mined and polluted groundwater and is rapidly running out of the phosphorous and potassium that it depends on. The UN says Western Agriculture has 30 to 60 years left. On top of that weeds and pests have developed chemical resistance. Look up peak P or K and Nitrogen pollution.
We could grow more food, organically, in the same space, using trees. This is called alley cropping, agroforestry, permaculture, food forestry, syntropic or successional agriculture. Trees, nuts, fruit, vegetables, coarse grains, vines and root crops are all grown in the same space. Any food dropped feeds free ranging ducks, pigs and hens.
OK so what is MZ3 going to do about it?
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 needs: 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.