Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Diversity" vs Human Development


What was the justification when immigration policy preferences of less than 10% of the electorate dominated 90% of the electorate for decades from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and even today, dominates with more than 75% opposing increased immigration?



It must have been an overwhelmingly obvious justification for that 10% -- so obvious that the 90% could be discounted as ignorant if not xenophobic rubes, unworthy of anything remotely resembling consent of the governed, normally considered the overriding human right in any significant dispute.  That human right was tossed out the window for some reason.

What was that reason?

The reason most frequently trotted out during this era was that "diversity is our greatest strength" and that the "greatness" attributed to the United States was "diverse" because it was a "nation of immigrants".


OK, that sounds good, but what was the support for this assertion -- support that must have been so overwhelmingly intense and urgent, even if obvious to only an "educated" elite, as to justify throwing out the most fundamental of all human rights for decades in, not just the US, but in all of European derived governments -- in a policy that most believe to cause irreversible changes?

Whatever that support might have been, the most comprehensive academic study of the actual results of that massive violation of human rights supported the opposite conclusion:

For the vast majority of people social capital is their primary form of wealth.  For these people, already deprived of financial capital diversity is also socially impoverishing even though it is financially enriching for the top echelons of society for whom social capital is of little interest.  After all, the wealthy can afford private social goods like private schools, gated communities with guards, etc.  However, this elite will become very interested in social capital when their attack on the foundation of civilization -- implied by massive violation of human rights, not to mention victimization of the less fortunate 90% of society by this violation -- comes home to roost.  This is now happening with the derisively-termed "populist" movements.

The author of that academic study, Robert Putnam of Harvard University,  delayed its publication despite the urgent relevance of his discovery to public policy.  It was urgent as, at that time during the 1990s and 2000s, immigration volume and diversity was undergoing catastrophic increases.  These increases were so great as to alter the electorate hence decrease the majority opposition to immigration increase from more than 90% to between 75% and 80%.  The reason he delayed publication is that he feared it would be "misunderstood" as providing arguments against this massive violation of the primary human right -- violation that required arguments for this massive and irreversible gambit -- a gambit that put civilization itself at risk.  And that is if any amount of theoretic support, no matter how empirically justified, can then justify non-consensual treatment of human subjects.  In all scientific disciplines, apparently except the social sciences, even if a treatment has gone through double-blind control studies to establish safety and efficacy, it is still unethical to subject humans to those treatments without their fully informed consent.

Putnam wanted time to come up with justifications for the "short term" (already decades long) human suffering imposed by "diversity" with its social impoverishment of the vast majority of the electorate.  Ultimately, Putnam offered little beyond the tradition of anecdotal polemics that so-characterized 1960s discourse about "the nation of immigrants" used to radically alter and socially impoverish the electorate in the first place.

The essence of Putnam's polemic was that "in the long term" society would benefit.

OK.

Fine.

So let's look at the long term.

Let's look at the long term, not in terms of anecdotal polemics, but in terms of statistics:  A large number of operationally defined data points comparing "diversity" and "human development" in the world maps (see below), of these.  Superficially, what we see is that in areas with the highest "diversity" we find the lowest "human development".  At the other extreme, such as Scandinavia with its very low "diversity", we see the highest "human development" (Norway was ranked #1 in "human development" by the UN).

But this is a relatively superficial view of these maps.  With a closer reading for what might be called "long term" effects, we see that in the places with the longest history of "diversity", such as sub-Saharan Africa, there is not only the highest "diversity" but the lowest "human development".  Moreover, the apparent exceptions in places like the US and Canada were, until recently, so lacking in "diversity" that the attitudes of men in those prior eras, by today's standards, are considered "white nationalist" if not "white supremacist" or even "Nazi".

Such maps have little effect when reality is twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools but is of great value for the "deplorable" rest of us who demand self-determination.  They help expose the moral, ethical, scientific and political bankruptcy of even the strongest argument yet set forth by those who claim their attack on civilization's foundation -- the consent of the governed -- is justified.

The top map is "human development" measured by the United Nations.
The middle map is "ethnic diversity" measured by the Harvard Institute for Economic Research.
The bottom map is "cultural diversity" measured by the University of Bremen Center for Transnational Studies.

Spin these however you like, massive violation of the most fundamental human right has attacked the foundation of civilization for speculative long term gains for the vast majority, a risk imposed by an elite with a clear conflict of interest in short term centralization of wealth and power by immigration.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Johnny



A few weeks ago, when my mother, in her 90's, asked me to please take a couple of boxes "of yours." I was curious as to what they could be.  Tonight, I finally got around to looking through them.  They included everything from a teddy bear to high school newspapers for which I written articles.   When I ran across this very short story written for my high school English class, I have to admit:  I was a little spooked.  Those familiar with me and my rather unique world view will recognize its major themes:  
  • The evolution of virulence in horizontal transmission
  • The evolution of eusociality as anathema to sexual individualism
  • The absurdity of unlimited exponential reproduction
  • Birth control abuse as auto-genocide, and 
  • The illusion of "communism" as "the enemy" when there is something far more virulent and world-threatening operating at a biological level.






Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Replacing "Human Rights" With The Right to Vote With Your Feet

Capitalism is in a political deadlock with liberal democracy's tyranny of the majority limited only by vague laundry list of selectively enforced "human rights".

Breaking this deadlock requires empirically grounding the social sciences by sorting proponents of social theories into governments that test them: Sortocracy.

This means that the current model of "human rights" must be replaced with a single, well defined, right to vote with your feet. This right to vote with your feet necessarily implies three material rights:

  1. The material right to land. 
  2. The material right to transportation. 
  3. The material right to border enforcement.


#1 is obvious since you can't put your social theory into practice without land. #2 is also obvious as people who cannot practically relocate cannot vote with their feet.

#3 _should_ be obvious but, due to the moral zeitgeist, it is not. Incarceration rates, particularly in the US, show us that there are two, fundamentally opposed, kinds of borders: Those that keep people out and those that keep people in. Of the two, the kind that keeps people in is least compatible with the right to vote with your feet,  Even the US's 13th Amendment to the Constitution has provision for involuntary servitude: Slavery for those imprisoned.  Legalized slavery is increasing.  We see a prison-industrial complex arising at the interface of government and capitalism to exploit this loophole in the 13th Amendment.  The moral zeitgeist's mandate is "let people in".  What is not admitted is this necessarily entails walls that keep people from leaving who are found to be "criminal" by the admitting society.

The moral zeitgeist has to reconcile its moral outrage at imprisonment with its moral outrage at border controls. The only realistic answer to this is absolute enforcement of free emigration combined with absolute tolerance of restrictive immigration.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Definition of the Word "Conspiracy" As a "Conspiracy"

The original definition of "conspiracy" circa 1300s, was simply "acting as one" derived from the Latin root "breath together" or to be "acting in the same spirit" depending on the sense of "spire" (which was also the origin of "spire" in the sense of a cathedral's architectural "spire").

Therefore the original definition does not denote conscious intent to act in coordination with others of the same "spirit", as does the modern definition. Somewhere along the line, the connotation of deliberately coordinated action became denotative.

I am going to argue below that this more restrictive denotation of "conspiracy" was a result of a "conspiracy" in the original sense of the word -- a "conspiracy" which did not require any deliberate, consciously intended coordination of action but was, nevertheless, the work of a group (or groups) for whom that restriction of definition was an evolutionary advantage to their selfish genes.

Group selection produces unconscious coordinated action between members of the group -- and humans have been under group selection since our common ancestor to chimpanzees (see E. O. Wilson's "The Social Conquest of Earth"). This has the same quality of coordinated action that occurs in the eusocial organisms -- organisms that also engage in group, as opposed to individual, combat aka "war". Indeed, the world's foremost authority on eusocial organisms, E. O. Wilson, argues persuasively that human society -- particularly "civilization" -- is evolving in that direction, which ends in the reification of the group, itself, as meta-organism -- a group of organisms "acting as one" on behalf of selfish genes expressing in the group's behavior patterns.

Now here's the key:

Because of the great diaspora of the human genotype out of Africa into a wide variety of environments, there has arisen biodiversity in the human genome adapting to a wide variety of population densities. In the areas with higher population density, there has been stronger group selection than in areas with lower population density. Over the tens of millenia, and in particular over the last ten millenia with the rise of agriculture, this has led to a substantial increase in the gradient of genetically adapted group cohesion between groups. Because these groups were not mixing, due to limitations in transport and barriers of language, natural adaptation to climate, as well as "xenophobia", this didn't immediately result in the destruction of the more individualistic populations.

However, with the rise of empires and resulting mixing of widely dispersed populations, it became a decisive factor in human evolution.

The original definition of "conspire" allowed more individualistic populations to talk about perceived patterns of behavior that were of vital interest to them, without taking on the burden of proof that there was some sort of conscious, secret Cabal behind the pattern. This burden of proof was advantageous to the unconsciously coordinated group organisms since it was, of course, impossible for the individualistic populations to bear in their attempts to come to grips with what was happening to them.

The most recent and stark example of this is in the mass rapes occurring in Germany where there is a "conspiracy theory" that the refugees acted in a conspiratorial manner to have some of them creating diversions while others engaged in rape of German women. There is no need to posit conscious intent on the part of the "rapefugees" and there is reason to believe they may be from populations more adept at group conflict -- unconscious warfare -- than others.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Ebola Epidemiology They Won't Talk About

Remember the AIDS epidemic?  I mean back when AIDS was Big News in part because it was New and in part because it was actually rapidly spreading during the late 1980s.  Well there was this rumor going around the midwest that "the AIDS epidemic is over".  It was more than a rumor, though; It made it into newspapers -- in particular college newspapers where the rumor's optimism could potentially do the most damage by encouraging sexually active young adults to let down their guard so to speak.

Guess where that rumor started?

The world's most prestigious science magazine:  Nature.

Guess where that rumor ended?

Me.

No, really; I ended it.

I won't go through all the details of this bit of history here.  I will, however, focus on the correct arithmetic formulas describing the AIDS epidemic and then proceed to describe a way current "authorities" may be underestimating the dangers of the current, unprecedented, Ebola outbreak.

One of the errors the general public made in thinking about the AIDS epidemic was corrected by May RM, Anderson RM in Transmission dynamics of HIV infection*, Nature. 1987 Mar 12;326(6109):137–142.  That error is to over-simplify the transmission dynamics of the virus.  The oversimplification is to assume that the number of people an infected person will infect is proportional simply to the average number of sexual partnerships per person infected with HIV.  

The actual formula is:


R0 = βcD

WHERE

R0 = Reproductive rate of the virus ( If > 1 we are in an epidemic.)
D = Duration of infectiousness
β = The odds of transmitting the virus per partnership

So far so good, right? I mean the longer you are infectious the more people you are likely to infect and the more likely you are to infect a given partner, the more people you are likely to infect.

But what about that 'c' up there? Well, here it is in all its complex glory:

c = m + σ²/m

WHERE

c = The effective average number of partnerships per person over the distribution
m = The average number of partnerships per person over the distribution
σ = The standard deviation in the number of partnerships* per person over the distribution

The big enchilada of epidemiology is determining R0 for a given population. The big enchilada of public health is getting R0 as low as possible -- most urgently below 1 and most desirably 0. One of the things that can make people over-optimistic about R0 is thinking 'c' is 'm' when, in fact, 'c' is bigger than 'm'. Indeed, if σ is large, the smaller 'm' is the bigger 'c' hence R0 is.  

Oh, but its worse than that!  

Did you notice that 'σ' is squared: σ² (aka "variance" in the number of partnerships per person)

You know what that means?

It means "diversity is strength" squared. Strength of the epidemic squared that is!

It is known that during the AIDS epidemic there have been AIDS murders; someone with AIDS simply "loses it" and starts having sex -- deliberately unprotected sex -- with others to infect them. Indeed, AIDS neuropathy may contribute to such serial-killer-by-sex behavior in some cases.

There are people who harbor profound feelings of resentment if not outright hatred of US society. Do you think that number has decreased since 1987 when the above epidemic formulas were derived for AIDS? Has the "diversity" of US society decreased since 1987?


I'll put it this way:


If, on average, one of those serial-killer vectors has Ebola and is able to "scan" enough of the population (say, by boarding a subway and leaving a lot of bodily fluids around) to infect another of those vectors, civilization is in big trouble.

*That was the article that I, in turn, further corrected to end the rumors that "the AIDS epidemic was over".  My correction was merely to the definition of one of the variables -- a correction that was later published by Nature in a quasi-retraction -- that being "the probability of transmission of the HIV per partner contact" vs "the probability of transmission of the HIV per partnership".  A "partnership" is a sexual relationship regardless of the number of sexual acts within that relationship.  As Robert M. May told me in our conversation, the tendency to transmit was more dependent on the particular two people in a relationship than it was on the number of times they had sex.  I know -- its counter-intuitive but that's really what he said.  My suggested change to the formula was to keep "the probability of transmission per partner contact" as the definition of β but to exponentially approach 1 with the number of sex acts. He told me that's not an accurate model of the probability and although I don't understand why, I can accept that he did have the proper background to make that judgement. In any event, his is a better definition of a "hit and run" type of encounter between members of the public in anonymous urban settings, which is the primary problem in the Ebola epidemic.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Exponential Remediation of Civilization's Footprint

Introduction

"The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to emotionally comprehend the exponential function." - Edward Teller

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Al Bartlett

Below is a first-order (approximate) description of a fast (potentially very fast) doubling time system for remediation of civilization's environmental damage. The fast doubling time drives exponential growth that could, at enormous profit and in under 15 years, drastically reduce civilization's ecological impact while, incidentally, sequestering large amounts of CO2. It is not intended to overcome Dr. Bartlett's accusation that sustainable growth is impossible and cornucopian thinking is "The New Flat Earth Society". It is intended merely to argue that imminent environmental catastrophes may, with appropriate refinements and corrections of the described system, be averted within the time estimated for environmental catastrophes by some of the more pessimistic projections (usually several decades rather than a mere 15 years).

An important principle to keep in mind is that as baseload electricity costs decrease, recycling beats other sources of raw materials. This means that if one is targeting zero environmental footprint, the most compelling path is through lower baseload electric cost simply because recycling is more economical than waste.

Baseload electric generation in the following scenario is the Atmospheric Vortex Engine for six reasons:
  1. The AVE's theory is quite basic and, if located in an environment with low winds, such as the tropical doldrums, quite representative of reality -- hence projections based on it are likely to be sound for the tropical doldrums.
  2. AVE technology is scalable to hundreds of terawatts without significant environmental impact.
  3. The AVE, unique among prospective baseload electric generation systems, is inherently suited to scrubbing the atmosphere of pollutants.
  4. The AVE complements any baseload electric generation systems that produce waste heat (including prospective ones such as cold fusion, thorium breeder, hot fusion, advanced fission, solar collection, etc.) in that only the AVE can reach a virtually limitless heat sink of the very low temperatures required for high Carnot efficiency cogeneration. 
  5. If located in the tropical doldrums and produced by rapid reproduction to macroengineering scales, the projected cost of a kWh of baseload electricity from the AVE, alone, drawing heat only from renewable oceanic heat, is on the order of a few mils (tenths of a cent of a USD) -- 5 mils is a conservatively high figure.
  6. The AVE's primary construction cost is structural materials which, given electric power are economically derived from in situ resources.
Another important principle to keep in mind is that civilization's primary environmental impact is agriculture. The primary objective must be to reduce agriculture's environmental footprint -- where agriculture includes all sources of food to sustain civilized populations including not only land-based agriculture but also exploitation of natural fisheries. Moreover, if you focus on agriculture, you must focus on "primary production" -- the photosynthesis of food calories (proteins, carbohydrates or oils).

Finally, it is important to co-locate human habitats with the primary production systems but this is of no avail if those habitats are not more attractive than current human habitats. People must spontaneously relocate to these systems where their wastes are recycled.

Overview of the Fast Doubling-Time System

The fast doubling time system is a tropical-doldrums, artificial floating atoll, sheltering a low sea state lagoon upon which floats algae photobioreactors of exceedingly high primary production for the food chain. The atoll is produced from in situ resources available in the air and ocean by the application of very low cost baseload electricity generated by an Atmospheric Vortex Engine, the primary structure of which is also produced from the same in situ resources, the electricity for which is from a pre-existing such AVE.

A reference design is based on the 500MW capacity maritime AVE projected by AVE patent-holder, Louis Michaud. The projected per capita electric power use will be 4 times higher than the US at present in order to support total recycling with most energy for industry and transportation derived from electricity. This yields a near-zero environmental-footprint carrying capacity of 100,000 people per atoll.  These 100,000 people enjoy not only beach front lifestyle but also sufficient population and density to substitute for current urban amenities.

The doubling time is potentially on the order of months, with an estimate of 3 months justified below.

A system with a 3 month doubling time could remediate the environmental impact of civilization's 7 billion people in under 15 years.

If you have an emotional reaction against this "outrageous" claim, try to recall the words of Edward Teller and Al Bartlett about human emotions and exponentials (doubling times).

Emotions are no substitute for arithmetic.

The Fast Doubling AVECarbocrete Core

The core of the system is the electric power from the AVE coupled to the Carbocrete production process. Doubling time of the whole system is limited by the doubling time of the AVECarbocrete core because once an AVECarbocrete exists, the rest of the surrounding atoll can be constructed without increasing the doubling time of the system.

Carbocrete(TM) is 75% lighter and more durable than steel reinforced concrete. It is a very good candidate for AVE arenas in general but is particularly well suited for the maritime AVE for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the electricity from the AVE can be used to manufacture Carbocrete entirely from maritime materials available in the air, seawater and sand from the sea floor (Carbocrete requires 50% less sand than normal concrete and requires no rock aggregates).

The Calera process is a promising* way to create concrete (CaCO3) from electricity, air and sea water. The carbon for the Carbocrete is available from CO2 and can be extracted by a sub-process of the Calera process -- a process in which very high pH media (NaOH) absorbs CO2 either from sea water or from air that is passing over its surface (as would be the case with the AVE). Magnesium is also available from sea water with electric extraction and could form, along with carbon fiber parts, much of the remaining materials of an AVE, such as turbine blades.

The Calera process requires 3.3GJ of electricity to produce one tonne of concrete**. If a system design focused on self-replication (with human labor inputs of course) from in situ materials and AVE electricity, the doubling time of these maritime AVECarbocrete systems could be exceedingly short -- hence the resulting AVE electricity cost brought much lower.

The initial system could be constructed from a floating Calera 500MW input plant designed to be constructed primarily out of Carbocrete from Calera cement reinforced with carbon fiber. To bootstrap the very first AVECarbocrete system, the 500MW input to that Calera plant could be 3 natural gas turbines from GE (GE9281F @ 217MW each and @ $40M each) floating on barges, fueled by LNG ships. These would be rented and the rental costs, paid for out of capital, rapidly amortized by subsequent rapid self-replication of the AVECarbocrete systems.

If we had a rough idea of how many cubic meters of Carbocrete a 500MW maritime arena would require, it would then be straight forward to calculate the amount of time the 500MW maritime AVE would have to run in order to manufacture its own Carbocrete construction materials.

A very rough calculation with some guesses of my own to illustrate how such a calculation would work using Unicalc:

A 200m diameter, 80m high AVE arena might be approximated as a cylinder with two circular "lids" -- all averaging 1ft thickness:

((pi*200m*80m)+(2*(100m)^2*pi))*1ft?m^3
([{pi * (200 * meter)} * {80 * meter}] + [{2 * ([100 * meter]^2)} * pi]) * (1 * foot) ? meter^3
= 34472.067 m^3

So that's the volume of Carbocrete required. Now the time required to produce that Carbocrete given 500MW input to a floating Calera plant given Carbocrete is 2.7tonne/m^3 and it takes 3.3GJ/tonne of Calera concrete (and that approximates the energy to produce the Carbocrete):

(34472.067 m^3/500MW);(2.7tonne/m^3);3.3GJ/tonne?days
([{34472.067 * (meter^3)} / {500 * (mega*watt)}] * [{2.7 * ton_metric} / {meter^3}]) * ([3.3 * {giga*joule}] / ton_metric) ? ...
= 7.1098638 days

This incredibly fast doubling time illustrates that raw materials are the least of our worries. Keep in mind, these constitute the majority of the materials that, otherwise, would need to be transported by ship thousands of miles to the tropical doldrums.

Let's double that amount of Carbocrete to reproduce the floating Calera plant that is paired with each AVE, and double it again to account for inefficiencies and double it again to be on the safe side: we multiply by 2^3 = 8 -- so that's 57 days or about 2 months doubling time for the AVECarbocrete core's construction materials.

A doubling time of 2 months still seems ridiculously fast, but if modern automation and construction techniques, such as concrete printing, are applied, a reasonable argument can be made that the primary structure of this system need not be the limiting factor in reducing the doubling time. Other critical components such as machined parts, electronics, etc. are far smaller and can be transported much more easily from high production volume facilities. Ultimately these, too, would be incorporated into the system but such is not essential.

Lets tack on another 50% for various bottlenecks in the critical path of construction and we have:

Doubling time of 3 months.

Agriculture -- The New Green Revolution

As has been previously discussed, the next green revolution will provide at least a factor of 10 lower area requirement for agriculture, based on floating photobioreactors. These photobioreactors require wave-break shelter from even moderate sea states -- shelter naturally provided in the lagoon of an artificial atoll. In the tropical doldrums the primary production of agricultural feedstocks would be far higher than the annualized 35g/m^2/day measured for more northerly (Mediterranean) climates, but let's stick with 35g/m^2/day to be conservative.

Although the total agricultural system would be aquaponic, yielding high-value produce in symbiosis with high value sea food, let's look only at the sea food protein resulting from a food chain based on a natural species of algae: arthrospira platensis aka "spirulina".

Spirulina consists of better than 50% protein. The trophic loss in fish aquaculture is approximately 2 to 1 -- or about 2 units of feed for 1 unit of fish. Lets further say that an additional factor of 4 is required to provide a wide array of kinds of sea food -- not just algae grazers like tilapia and sockeye salmon -- including predator fish as well as invertebrates such as mollusks, crab, lobsters, shrimp, etc. Each square meter of photobioreactor's primary production of algae is therefore reduced by a factor of 16 (50%*(1/2)*(1/4)) before it is consumed by humans. Each square meter therefore produces a little over 2 grams per day of human consumable food.

How big must the lagoon be to support the atoll's population?

Well, first we need to know how big the atoll's population would be and for that, we need to look at the per capital electricity consumption of the 500MW AVE capacity. Since we are positing electricity-intensive infrastructure for all energy needs, including replacing most raw materials with recycled materials, let's increase the per capita electric consumption by a factor of 4 over the current US per capita electric consumption.

Each 500MW AVE could support a population of 100,000 people.

If that 100,000 people needed to consume 1lb of protein equivalent per day (remember we aren't including fruits and vegetables that would be hydroponically produced in conjunction with the sea food production of the aquaponics system), then the photobioreactor area, hence the lagoon area, would need to be about:

2g/m^2/day;1lb/person/day;100000person?(km)^2
([{(2 * gramm) / (meter^2)} / day]^-1 * [{(1 * poundm) / person} / day]) * (100000 * person) ? (kilo*meter)^2
= 22.6796 (km)^2
or about 23 square kilometers.

Assuming the atoll is perfectly circular, that represents a radius of:

sqrt(23(km)^2/pi)?km
sqrt((23 * [{kilo*meter}^2]) / pi) ? kilo*meter
= 2.7057582 km

So the atoll has a diameter of about 6km.

Closing the Deal With Tropical Beachfront Real Estate

A 6km diameter represents a potential of:

pi*6km?m
pi * (6 * [kilo*meter]) ? meter
= 18849.556 m

or about 20,000 meters of beach front real estate.

Recalling that each atoll's population is about 100,000 people, that yields population density of about 5 per meter. This indicates a high-rise condominium beach front, as with Miami Beach. People have shown a clear preference for these kinds of urban beachfront environments.

Let's therefore stick with that figure and calculate how many stories of family-of-four condominiums averaging 4000ft^2 each with 40ft of beachfront would be needed to accommodate this 5 people per beachfront meter population density.  First, lets calculate how many people must be stacked on a 40ft beachfront to achieve 5people per meter:

5people/m;40ft?people
([5 * people] / meter) * (40 * foot) ? people
= 60.96 people

Now let's calculate how many stories this requires at one home per story:

60.96 people/(4people/story)?story
(60.96 * people) / ([4 * people] / story) ? story
= 15.24 story

Or about 16 stories in our beachfront condo.

Comparable condominium complexes in Miami Beach go for on the order of $3 million for each condo.

Obviously, this is price, not cost of these beachfront condominiums -- and it is only the price for early units. However, if it were possible to sell these condos for $3 million each, the real estate value, alone, of the atoll would dwarf its food production value, let alone the electric generation.

100000people;3e6usd/home;4people/home?usd
([100000 * people] * [{3E6 * usd} / home]) * ([4 * people] / home)^-1 ? usd
= 7.5E10 usd

or about $75 billion.

The food at approximately $300/person/month with a 12% zero amortization schedule has a present value of approximately:

100000people*300usd/people/month;100*month?usd
([{(100000 * people) * (300 * usd)} / people] / month) * (100 * month) ? usd
= 3E9 usd

or $3 billion.

The electricity at approximately 5mil/kWh with a 12% zero amortization schedule has a present value of approximately:

0.005usd/kWh;500MW;100*month?usd
([{0.005 * usd} / {kilo*Wh}] * [500 * {mega*watt}]) * (100 * month) ? usd
= 1.825E8 usd

In other words, the value of the early atolls is dominated by their real estate value, with food value coming in second and electricity value negligible.

Now lets figure how long it would take for an AVECarbocrete core to produce the Carbocrete for these beachfront condos.

Let's say we want the 16 story condos to rest on a flotation platform that extends the beach 200 feet to the water and another 200 feet beyond that for the breakwater. We'll let the lagoon-side terminate at only 100 feet. With the condos being 100ft in radial length, we have a total of 200ft+200ft+100ft+100ft of flotation platform in radial dimension. Since the condo's weight determines the amount of water displaced to float it, we'll estimate that first:

((40ft+100ft)*12ft+100ft*100ft)*1ft?m^3
([{(40 * foot) + (100 * foot)} * {12 * foot}] + [{100 * foot} * {100 * foot}]) * (1 * foot) ? meter^3
= 330.74077 m^3

or about 400 cubic meters of Carbocrete per condominium with stories each 12 feet high and 1ft thick walls and ceilings/floors that are shared with adjacent condos.

The volume of Carbocrete per length of beachfront per condo is then:

400m^3/40ft?m^3/ft
(1000 * [meter^3]) / (100 * foot) ? (meter^3) / foot
= 10 m^3/ft

And for 16 stories it is  obviously 160 m^3/(ft beachfront).

Given a Carbocrete density of 2.7tonne/m^3 we have:

160m^3/(ft beachfront);2.7tonne/m^3?tonne/(m beachfront)
([160 * {meter^3}] / [foot * beachfront]) * ([2.7 * ton_metric] / [meter^3]) ? ton_metric / (meter * beachfront)
= 1417.3228 tonne/(m beachfront)

That means the flotation platform has to displace approximately 1500m^3 of ocean water for each meter of beachfront.

Keeping in mind the 200ft+200ft+100ft+100ft of flotation platform in radial dimension, to displace that 1500m^3 per meter of ocean water we need:

(200ft+200ft+100ft+100ft);1500m^3/m?m
([{(200 * foot) + (200 * foot)} + {100 * foot}] + [100 * foot])^-1 * ([1500 * {meter^3}] / meter) ? meter
= 8.2020997 m

or about 10 meters of air space below water for the entire radial length of the platform.

That means the flotation hull has to have a Carbocrete perimeter in the atoll's radial dimension of about:

(200ft+200ft+100ft+100ft+10m)*2?m
([{([200 * foot] + [200 * foot]) + (100 * foot)} + {100 * foot}] + [10 * meter]) * 2 ? meter
= 385.76 m

or about 400m (0.4 a kilometer).

Assuming this flotation vessel averages about 1ft thick the mass per beachfront length of the flotation hull is about:

1ft*400m*2.7tonne/m^3?tonne/m
([{1 * foot} * {400 * meter}] * [2.7 * ton_metric]) / (meter^3) ? ton_metric / meter
= 329.184 tonne/m

Adding that to the condominium's mass we have:

1417.3228 tonne/m+329.184 tonne/m?tonne/m
([1417.3228 * ton_metric] / meter) + ([329.184 * ton_metric] / meter) ? ton_metric / meter
= 1746.5068 tonne/m

or about 2000tonne/m of Carbocrete per meter of beachfront real estate.

How rapidly, then, can our 500MW AVECarbocrete core produce this?

3.3GJ/tonne;500MW;2000tonne/m?m/day
([{3.3 * (giga*joule)} / ton_metric]^-1 * [500 * {mega*watt}]) * ([2000 * ton_metric] / meter)^-1 ? meter / day
= 6.5454545 m/day

or about 6m of beachfront real estate per day per AVECarbocrete core.

How long would it take to complete the atoll?
20000(m beachfront)/(6m beachfront/day)?years
(20000 * [meter * beachfront]) / ([{6 * meter} * beachfront] / day) ? year
= 9.1324201 years

or about a 10 years to complete an atoll once its AVECarbocrete core is producing its Carbocrete.

(At this point please note that it is likely feasible*** to build more than one 500MW AVECarbocrete core by diverting early Carbocrete, that would ordinarily go into the atoll, toward constructing at least one more AVECarbocrete core.  This would bring the atoll completion time to 5 years instead of 10.)

Obviously there is a limited market for $3million condos, and 10 years is a long construction time, but, with automation brought on by industrial learning curve, the cost of beachfront condo real estate approaches the limit imposed by the cost of producing the materials which, by that time, is the levelized marginal cost of another AVECarbocrete core. 

A condominium has a material requirement (including flotation) of:

2000tonne/m;40ft/40condo?tonne/condo
([2000 * ton_metric] / meter) * ([40 * foot] / [40 * condo]) ? ton_metric / condo
= 609.6 tonne/condo

At 5mil/kWh this costs:

3.3GJ/tonne; 609.6tonne/condo;0.005usd/kWh?usd/condo
([{3.3 * (giga*joule)} / ton_metric] * [{609.6 * ton_metric} / condo]) * ([0.005 * usd] / [kilo*Wh]) ? usd / condo
= 2794 usd/condo

or about $3000 per family of four.



So How Do You Get To World Salvation In 15 Years???

Here's how:

Each AVECarbocrete core grows into an atoll supporting 100,000 people.  The time it takes to exponentially reproduce the number of AVECarbocrete cores for 7 billion people is:

100000people*2^doublings = 7e9people
doublings  = log2(7e9people/100000people)
doublings = log(7e9people/100000people)/log(2)
= 16.095067 doublings

And, as we recall, the doubling time for the AVECarbocrete core was 3months, which means:

16.095067 doublings;3month/doubling?years
(16.095067 * doublings) * ([3 * month] / doublings) ? year
= 4.0237668 years

Or under 5 years until the last AVECarbocrete core produced starts on constructing its atoll which, as we saw previously, takes 10 years to complete.

5 years plus 10 years is, through the miracle of addition:

15 years.

*The Calera process has to dispose of chlorine evolved during electrolysis of sea salt.  This is a serious environmental issue that will be addressed in a future article.  Considerations are  1) that the estimated US capacity, alone, for CO2 geologic sequestration is greater than that which would be required to sequester all of the chlorine resulting from the global scale of this project -- a project which not only sequesters virtually the same amount of CO2, but terminates further CO2 emissions, while restoring natural carbon sinks such as rainforests, 2) CPVC/carbon fiber/CaCO3/MgOH2 composites have shown properties superior to fiberglass, and the majority of the mass of such composites is chlorine -- a fact that could radically change the in situ structural materials approach so as to de-emphasize the Calera process and emphasize scrubbing CO2 directly from the air by recycled NaOH rather than liberating Cl2 from CaCl2.  This would radically reduce the amount of chlorine produced while using what little is produced as structural mass, 3) Chlorine in the troposphere -- usually derived from photochemical separation of oceanic NaCl -- is a major sink for methane and methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than is CO2.

**See footnote at Greenhouses Are Not the Next Green Revolution.  The cost of deep sea dredging for sand is assumed to be similar to the energy cost of synthesizing CaCO3.

***The feasibility of additional AVECarbocrete cores per atoll is limited by the thermal flow from the surrounding ocean water pulled in by downward convection of cooled water expelled from the AVE.  It is reasonable to posit at least two 500MW AVECarbocrete cores would have the requisite heat flow because the vast majority of the incident solar energy is absorbed by the floating photobioreactors, which are only about 5% efficient in turning solar energy to food energy.  That means 95% of the insolation would be available as heat flow colocated with the AVECarbocrete cores.  That amount of solar thermal power is:

23((km)^2);300W/m^2?MW
(23 * [{kilo*meter}^2]) * ([300 * watt] / [meter^2]) ? mega*watt
= 6900 MW

Or nearly 7GW, whereas the output of the AVE is 0.5GW -- and that the Carnot efficiency of the 500MW AVE is estimated to be 12% which means even without resorting to inward flow of ocean water outside of the atoll, the electric power available is:

12%*7GW?MW
(12 * percent) * (7 * [giga*watt]) ? mega*watt
= 840 MW

So we are very close to the 1000MW for two 500MW AVECarbocrete cores per atoll.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Greenhouses Are Not the Next Green Revolution



Before I explain why greenhouses are not the next green revolution, let me tell you about the next green revolution.

Why am I doing it in this order? 

Because whenever I tell people about the next green revolution, there is always some militant ignoramus who pipes up with something about "vertical gardening" or some other greenhouse based technology and they absolutely refuse to sit down with me and run through the basic arithmetic. That is why I'm writing this.

The Next Green Revolution: The Algae6 Photobioreactor

The next green revolution will reduce agriculture’s footprint by a factor of 10 while increasing protein yields to the point that the entire planet’s population can have a diet as high in calories and protein as the US diet (even going through trophic loss in aquaculture food chains), decreasing fresh water usage by a factor of 10, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and rewilding the Amazon basin’s soybean fields and other rainforests now being denuded for palm oil. That revolution is here: The Alga6 photobioreactor from Algasol, LLC brings the cost per insolated area below that for open ponds while yielding areal productivity at an annualized rate exceeding 35g/m^2/day using natural algae strains in high insolation desert areas, with a dry-biomass concentration greater than 12g/liter (critical for operational expense).

You haven’t heard of this because although Algasol sold thousands of its PBRs, it had to shut down production due to the strict labor laws in Spain coincident with the financial crisis, and is just now restarting a showcase under the auspices of the University of Majorca, which has the requisite labor relations.

The ideal environment for this PBR is floating on saline water. Deployment in the equatorial ocean desert doldrums is its ultimate destination — a location with much higher insolation and therefore much higher areal productivity potential, bringing the potential agricultural foot print of civilization to arbitrarily low levels.

When agriculture relocates to the ocean deserts, it makes sense to relocate population there as well — particularly if it is feasible to provide beach-front property via artificial floating atolls -- circular islands with interior lagoons.  The lagoons would have low enough sea state to provide an ideal environment for floating photobioreactors, rendering the atolls food exporters as well as population centers.  The demand for beach-front property is well established at thousands of dollars per ocean-facing foot.  Even so, the production of the atolls with beaches requires advances in energy technology that may be uniquely available in the tropical oceans.  See my prior blog entry on the Atmospheric Vortex Engine which is particularly well suited for the tropical doldrums.  In combination with the Calera process (requring 3.3GJ/tonne concrete*), the AVE can produce very inexpensive concrete from the heat collected by the photobioreactors, converted to electricity that is applied to elements available in sea water (calcium) and air (CO2).  With such technology beachfront property on artificial floating atolls could be manufactured for a small fraction of its real estate value.  With industrial learning curve, the cost of beachfront property may become affordable for virtually the entire population of the developed world.   These calculations will appear in a future article.**

An Interim Message To Aspiring Environmentalists

Rational environmental concern must favor technologies that out-compete existing technologies that have a larger ecological footprint. Any rational measure of ecological footprint must take into account the amount of biodiversity that is disrupted — not just physical size. For example, if a technology existed that would allow one to cultivate soybeans more profitably on the same amount of land in a desert as in a cleared portion of the Amazon rainforest, opposing it out of environmental concern would be irrational.

The tragedy befalling the environmental movement is that the majority of self-proclaimed “environmentalists” don’t care about the environment in this rational way.

The open ocean has places with far lower biodiversity than coastal ecosystems. If, for example, an open ocean aquaculture technology pollutes to the same degree as current aquaculture techniques that utilize coastal areas, but is more profitable, then it should be seen as an environmental good.

One would prefer to move these aquaculture operations to the so-called “ocean deserts”. If there were a technology that attracted them to that location, then that, too, would be an environmental good — all else being equal. That's where the Alga6 PBR comes in;  but do keep in mind that all else is not equal with the Alga6:

The Alga6 dramatically reduces the amount of area required for primary protein and oils production compared to the Amazon soybean fields or palm oil fields of Indonesia.

Truly those successfully opposing such technologies are doing more harm to the environment than the big corporations they decry.


Some Basic Arithmetic For Greenhouse Advocates

Dutch greenhouse technology has the highest productivity per area of any greenhouse technology, at 90lbs of tomatoes per square meter per year.  This is so far beyond the productivity of ordinary agriculture that it is easy to see why people would believe this to be the next green revolution.

In our arithmetic demonstrating the Alga6 beats Dutch greenhouse technology, we will ignore the cost of constructing the Dutch greenhouse as well as the electrical cost of artificial light and other operational expenses.

Fair enough?  You do understand, don't you, that by ignoring these costs we are giving greenhouses a running head start -- placing a handicap on the Alga6 in this comparison  (because the Alga6 has a much lower cost of construction and uses natural light)?

Now, the first thing you have to understand about agriculture is that the primary need for food is energy.  The vast majority of food mass you eat is either discarded or burned up to power the body.  Average humans burn energy at about the same rate as a 100W lightbulb.  That's even if they don't lead a particularly active life.  The brain alone burns about 20W without straining itself.  

That means people need to eat food at a rate of about 100W of power.

Now let's calculate how much power, in food watts, is produced per square meter of an artificially lighted Dutch greenhouse:

90lb/m^2/year;22kcalorie/123g?W/m^2
([{90 * poundm} / {meter^2}] / year) * ([22 * {kilo*calorie}] / [123 * gramm]) ? watt / (meter^2)
= 0.96939567 W/m^2

or about 1 watt of food power per square meter of greenhouse technology.

What did I just do there?  

Its pretty simple when you use the Unicalc calculator, as I did:

Dutch greenhouse technology produces about 90lbs of tomatoes per square meter in one year.  Tomatoes have an energy content of about 22 food calories (or 22 "kilocalories") per 123g.  Unicalc has the conversion factors and knows how to multiply and divide quantities given their units.  It makes doing calculations like this a snap and through the miracle of arithmetic we can discover wonderful things like what will work, what won't and even what is best.

Now lets look at the Alga6's production of food power per square meter:

35g/m^2/day;410kcalorie/100g?W/m^2
([{35 * gramm} / {meter^2}] / day) * ([410 * {kilo*calorie}] / [100 * gramm]) ? watt / (meter^2)
= 6.9537708 W/m^2

or about 7 watts per square meter of food power.

Now let me make this as plain as I can:

The Algae6 does 7 times better than the best greenhouse technology!

The difference is in the energy content of algae as food.  In this case we're using the food energy for chlorella -- a widely consumed health food -- which is 410 food calories per 100g.  Chlorella just happened to have been the first algae species test-grown by Algasol, so these are verified production numbers.

Another thing to note here is that comparing tomatoes to algae isn't really fair to algae because algae possesses high concentrations of protein and omega-3 oils.

Now, one might object that people aren't going to eat algae directly whereas they will eat tomatoes directly, and this is true.  Not everyone is a healthfood nut and furthermore you don't want to make algae a primary component of your diet due to its high DNA (nucleic acid) content, which can cause gout.  Algae is best thought of as a foundation for agriculture:  It will feed the base of the agricultural food chain, just as do corn and soybeans now.  But if one looks at the energy losses in the food chain for, say, sockeye salmon -- a fish that eats algae and gets its "fish oil" directly from algae's oils -- the loss is about a factor of 2.  So that brings us down to a mere 3.5 to 1 advantage of Algae6 PBR over Dutch greenhouse production.  Ah... but now the shoe is on the other foot!  Everyone likes tomatoes, of course, but what about fresh sockeye salmon?  Moreover, with aquaponic technology coupled with aquaculture, the waste from from the fish is nutrient input to vegetable production.  So you can have your tomatoes and eat them with your salmon, too!

*The chemical formulas for the Calera process:

2NaCl+2H2O =>2NaOH + Cl2 + H2
CO2+2NaOH+CaCl2 => CaCO3+2NaCl+H2O

Combined with Calera's claimed reduction of energy usage by 60% with their “Alkalinity Based on Low Energy” (ABLE) process, yields the following energy/mass balance for CaCO3:

0.4*2*411.12kJ/mol;100.0869 g/mol?GJ/tonne
([{0.4 * 2} * {411.12 * (kilo*joule)}] / mole) * ([100.0869 * gramm] / mole)^-1 ? (giga*joule) / ton_metric
= 3.2861044 GJ/tonne

** Not that it is very important in this scenario but, yes, it does turn out that levelized algae oil costs for the Algae6 bring it into competition with crude oil — particularly when coupled with hydrothermal processes that have now been demonstrated.