This TED talk is quite amazing simply due to my misinformation. I just thought it required far more plants to generate the air-per-person that we need. But for 15 years Kamal Meattle has worked in a building with its own oxygen, supplied by indoor plants… and the ratios of plant per person are not extremely burdensome to achieve this. (EG: 4 plants at shoulder height per person, with 6 of another type of plant for night time oxygen).
Is this the beginning of Arcologies, Buckmeister Fuller’s “Domed Cities”? If air quality gets too bad in the coming years, maybe. It can be seen from two angles…. keeping the “bad air” outside, or keeping our pollutants inside. The sheer stress on our natural environment means that we are already at a point where even optimistic greenie sites that insist there are solutions (like my favourite site Worldchanging) are starting to feel that we need to consider “one planet living”. That is, every little action each individual has takes effect on the whole planet. Every time we take a breath, our Co2 emissions are around the planet’s atmopshere within 3 months. Every time we eat, it involves supporting a system of agriculture that has massive implications for biodiversity loss, climate change, topsoil loss, water use, the Murray-Darling river crisis, and more. It is all global: what we buy, what we eat, what we wear… everything has global implications. That is what Arcologies try to address: living in our own artificial “ark ecology” or “arcology” with the aim of protecting nature from us. Think of these as space-ships that have landed on an alien planet. We want to both protect ourselves from the outside and protect the outside world from our activities. It would have to be a complete ecosystem, with everything run by “Cradle to Cradle” local goods and services that endlessly recycle biological and industrial wastes into the next generation of products, powered by renewable energy, endlessly recycling water and all raw materials.
It is a dry run for space colonisation, but I think I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ve got to get through peak everything first. 😉
Note: depending on my activities over the next week or so, I might be commenting on TED further as I’m slowly working my way through the TED environment talks.