There are countless things we can do to save the planet for future generations. I have outlined 16 that I have chosen for either their economic viability or for the huge impact that they will have on the survivability of the planet.
Save Planet #1: Paint All the Roof Tops and Break Down Lanes
Paint all the rooftops with infrared reflective coatings except flat ones that are strong enough to hold soil and planting lawns to cool buildings.
In February, researchers at Concordia University estimated that painting one percent of the world’s urban surfaces white (rooftops and pavement) could reduce CO2 emissions by 130 gigatons over the next 50-100 years. In 2011, global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion reached 31.5 gigatons.
Said another way, painting 80% of world’s rooftops white would eliminate the production of 10,400 gigatons of CO2 emissions over the next 10 years. (This is because it would serve to cool the buildings there by reducing the need for internal building cooling.) That’s 10,400,000,000,000 tons of carbon saved or the equivalent of removing 8,666,667 CO2 producing coal plants out of the system every year that would certainly buy us sometime!
Also, in the USA alone there are 46,876 miles of interstate highways, just painting the breakdown lanes would provide us with 8 feet X 46,876 miles (5,280 feet in a mile) = 71 square miles of infrared reflective surface. We receive 93 watts per square foot of radiation from the sun. Assuming we paint them with an infrared coating that is 70% efficient at reflecting the 95% of the light that is visible and infrared, we would reflect 63 Watts per square foot back into the atmosphere. With 27,878,400 square feet in a mile, we would reflect 1,979,366,499 square feet*63 watts per square foot or 125 billion watts back into space. Or the equivalent of taking 249 coal fire plants out of commission. Remember that’s US highways only! The numbers would be huge if we could do the same for the world.
Save Planet #1: Do lots of Painting!
Save Planet #2: Recycle all plastics
In the US alone we waste 37 million tons of plastic each year. Currently, we recycle only 7 percent of that plastic in the US. If we recycle all of it, we can generate 24 billion gallons of fuel oil each year and over a 10 year period we can have a net monetary gain of $147 billion after paying for sorting costs and for the cost of the machines needed to transform the plastics into fuel. Worldwide the total value gained over a 10 year period of recycling all plastics at US labor prices would be $5.9 Trillion.
This will pay for many of the other ideas outlined in this document with a one-year investment of 546 Billion by the US for the machines. We could broker deals to use the money gained from these world-changing solutions. The math is all worked out here for those who like looking at numbers!
Save Planet #2: Recycle all the Worlds Plastic Waste. It’s a money making no brainer!
Save Planet #3: Recycle all the rest of Municipal Solid Waste
Since a large portion of the sorting cost is handled in the process of sorting the 37,000,000 tons of plastic, one can take advantage of recovery of the rest of the MSW. The materials are worth a fortune. As of right now I haven’t worked out the exact numbers (plan on doing so in the near future). But the numbers are huge.
If we recover all the MSW we get lots of raw materials such as metals, PVC pipe (which can’t be turned into fuel oil), biomass, and many other categories of materials that can either be refined and made into products or turned into fuel for engines to generate electricity. It’s worth the effort, the money can be used to change the world. Worldwide the total MSW was about 2.02 billion tons last year.
Save Planet #3: We paid for the sorting cost when we picked out the plastic. Let’s recycle the rest of the municipal solid waste. Another Money Making NO BRAINER!
Save Planet #4: Institute a System of Air Carbon Capture
The total cost of Air Carbon Capture for the whole world’s CO2 output generated each year would be 7.82 Trillion dollars. That would buy us 30 years of Air Carbon Capturing Infrastructure. Recycling the plastics for 10 years takes care of all but 1.92 Trillion of the cost. (That does not even account for the value gained from recycling the rest of the MSW. )
Save Planet #4: Use the money made recycling the waste to institute Air Carbon Capture!
Save Planet #5: Vertical Farming
This is a method of growing food inside a high rise building as a means of providing locally grown in highly populated cities. It reduces the carbon footprint of food distribution and has plant growth efficiency and a vast reduction of water needed.
Scientists in South Korea are developing a farming system that could allow food to be grown in any climate, a project that becomes increasingly pressing as the world’s population reaches new heights.
The scientists practice vertical farming: the mass cultivation of plant and animal life indoors, in urban settings.
This cultivation system could help reduce overall carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere by recycling emissions from nearby industries. Artificially controlling the variables of the environment such as temperatures, humidity, and CO2 emissions could also provide optimal environments for plants in a variety of settings.
Once the Koreans make the system more sustainable and affordable, the plan is to export the idea to harsher climates like the Middle East.
Save Planet #5: Feed the Cities In the Cities!
Save Planet #6: Eliminate 10% of Inefficiency from the USA
Use National Guard and Army Core of Engineers as well as volunteers to increase the efficiency of all homes by using insulation, triple pane windows, and insulate pipes and heaters for the most inefficient homes. Get the volunteers, engineers, and National Guard on board by offering 7 years of college tuition for free in exchange for seven years of work. This has the added effect of producing a large set of highly skilled workers which will act as a world economy catalyst.
Save Planet #6: Plug the easiest to plug heat and cooling leaks!
Save Planet #7: Convert USA Coal Plants to Generation IV Reactors
After applying five years of the research needed to advance the technology needed to make generation IV reactors a reality, convert all coal fire plants to generation IV reactors. A five year Manhattan style project will ensure the technology works in just a few years. Originally the Manhattan project which helped us develop the atomic bomb took 4 years to complete at a cost of 23 billion in today’s dollars. We should do the same for generation IV reactors.
Save Planet #7: Get rid of the CO2 Polluting Coal Plants and replace them with something more economical!
Save Planet #8: Efficiency Standard for Data Centers and New Buildings
Mandate efficiency standards for data centers and for new buildings that are within the limits of today’s technology. Forcing builders to make smart design choices with efficiency in mind.
Design the law as a moving efficiency goal post that is reevaluated each year relative to the rapidly changing technology that can make infrastructure efficient. Keep moving the goal post for the next 50 years. Currently, our brains are a million times more efficient than the computers we run and at the same time are a million times more powerful!
Legislate a Moore’s Law of efficiency into existence. If we press the issue and put money into it so that we can build the technology to get our computers to match the efficiency of the human brain. There already has been several designs proposed to make this happen including using old analog types of computer designs instead of digital ones which are far more efficient for some things.
Also, another one was to design chips to come up with correct answers using the chaos and noise rather than by overriding the noise by pushing high voltage differences between 1’s and 0’s which is a lot closer to the way the human brain works.
Save Planet #8: Make the computers run more efficiently and save huge energy costs on grossly inefficient computers and build new buildings in a smart manner!
Save Planet #9: Develop Ocean Wave Power
Research and develop wave and ocean power. It is a steady source of energy that is hidden away from view so there can’t be too many complaints about it being unsightly. It can provide energy more efficient than the wind.
“If we could harness 0.1 per cent of the energy in the ocean, we could support the energy needs of 15 billion people. In the English Channel, for example, there is a very strong current, so you produce a lot of power.”
Save Planet #9: Let’s take advantage of the ocean waves to generate power, this is an almost completely untapped resource!
Save Planet #10: Immunize the World
200 countries around the globe have endorsed a shared vision—known as the Decade of Vaccines—to extend the benefits of vaccines to every person by 2020, thereby save more than 20 million lives. The eradication of polio is an early and important priority. This international collaboration has generated the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), a road map for extending the delivery of a basic package of vaccines, making vaccines that are available in richer countries accessible in the developing world, and supporting vaccine research and development.
This is the intent of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation but all people should be involved with it.
Save Planet #10: Extend our good fortune to the less fortunate children of the world!
Save Planet #11: X-Prize Material Challenge for Developing 3D Printer Materials
3D printing technology has the potential to revolutionize the making of everything from cups to houses to eye glasses. It has the potential of pulling the poorest countries out of poverty and revolutionizing biology. By instituting an X-Prize challenge, we could accelerate this technological wonder.
Save Planet #11: 3D Printers will revolutionize world production industry and raise the standard of living in poor countries if we had materials as strong and malleable as steel. An XPrize challenge is a sure way to make this happen sooner!
Save Planet #12: Gather Genetic Samples of All the Worlds Species
Take genetic material samples from every species possible with enough diversity to bring back the species if they are driven to extinction as global warming predicts (as a precaution) extend what is already being done elsewhere so as not to duplicate efforts.
Do the same for all plant species, extending what already is done and underway.
Save Planet #12: Create a large Noah’s Arc database of ALL species while we have the chance.
Save Planet #13: Buy the Remainder of the Worlds Rain Forests
Buy the remainder of the world’s rain forests for conservation and mine it for disease cures.
Save Planet #13: Buy the remaining rainforests before they disappear and we lose the potential life-saving medicines before we can take advantage of it. There is a cure for cancer and heart disease in there somewhere!
Save Planet #14: Mining the Global Minds Mine
Find the world’s most promising Youth and Adults and give them an advanced education. This can only serve to better mankind.
Save Planet #14: Ramanujan is probably one of many unknown geniuses. Ramanujan died at an early age do to preventive illness, malnutrition, and a possible liver infection in 1920 at the early age of 32. He was one of the greatest mathematicians to have ever lived. Let’s prevent that uncountable loss from happening again.
Save Planet #15: Immigration Laws for the Very Best and the Very Brightest
Change the immigration laws so that they are favorable for allowing the smartest and most promising people to come to the US to work and to educate.
Save Planet #15: We need the smartest people here in the US to push the technological envelope. Let’s make our immigration laws favorable for allowing these minds in!
Save Planet #16: Stop Fishing in all the world’s Oceans for Five Years
Less than 10% of the ocean fish population remain that were around fifty years ago. It would take just five years of no fishing for the oceans to recuperate.
If we don’t do something soon the oceans will no longer be able to supply future generations with a source of food. Assist countries that get a large portion of their food source from the oceans get alternative food sources for the five years including a source of farmed fish stock.
Save Planet #16: In less than 50 years all the oceans will be empty. Let’s reverse the damage the human race has done before it’s too late. Let’s restore the beaches to the point where you couldn’t walk on them because there were so many crabs and lobsters crawling on it!