Scarcity and growth is a bitch.
What about a decentralised future pandemic (100% chance) adaptable, hacker-proof (if it exists...it's a moving target), climate-proof (climate science research and reports + use your imagination), resilient (more so), Carbon-based circular steady-state economy?
Why not speed her up (climate emergency) then slow her down (steady and 'Desert time')?
Ecological overshoot scenario, we've probably lost the Arctic, 4 degree average global temperature increase 'stabilisation'. Emeritus Professor Will Steffen's 2-3 degree stewardship possible. E.O.Wilson's 'half planet' anyone? Or if we really do this, back to 0.5 degree warming and a 'safe climate' + slow down or even reverse the current 6th great mass extinction event.
Maybe it can be done...So, here we go:
-'Green stimulus'/'Green (New) Deal'/'Just transition' for Covid-19 recovery...'ecological macroeconomics' as opposed to mostly outdated 'Keynesian economics'
-'Million jobs plan', Beyond Zero Emissions (up to 1.8 million new green jobs by 2025) OR if for some reason the Gov keeps ignoring the world winner of Greentech think tanks they could make their own plan with rolling 5 year ambitious objectives that are transparent and on the net for everyone to scrutinise and apply feedback
-90% Carbon-free emissions by 2030 (as opposed to 100% renewable energy which might be a no-brainer)
-Public and private investments and partnerships for clean green infrastructure
-green public/Gov jobs for people on welfare to build the green infrastructure (as opposed to many meaningless 'Work for the Dole' jobs with limited skill set improvements)
-green bonds...experimental but would probably attract domestic and foreign investment
-green manufacturing for green technology
-an ?ARC research hub for 'Space Base' research in the South Australian 'Outback'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2 (see 'See also' for more projects)
-biochar for Millennia-scale Carbon sequestration (as opposed to normal soil Carbon)
NOTE: these calculations do NOT include permafrost thawing and subsequent Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) release (with significantly higher global warming potential than CO2)
and biochar for water conservation et al
-more Permaculture community gardens eg. Mullumbimby Community Garden
-no more tax cuts for the wealthy...'trickle down' Keynesian economics is outdated in the current climate emergency, We need more green and appropriate technology happening on the micro-economic level
-seed funding at R&D (more) and commercialisation (less) stage for greentech startups
-DoD (not 'taking the piss')
- greentech R&D+deployment unit, liasing with DSTO, Military and private sector with funding for green fuels eg green H2 for hybrid H2/electric engines, C-based biocomposites, biochar-impregnated hemp uniforms, C-based electronics, retrofitted self-regenerating Permaculture systems for bases eg.aquaponics, microgreens, food forests (search for 'Greening the desert') + 100% renewable nrg eg. solar and storage/H2 production for standalone power and vehicle refuelling, seawater micro-electrolysis for O2 and H2O. For starters, check out these sites:
-CSIRO's 'water banking' in low-level groundwater aquifers for drought proofing
-100% renewable nrg (eg.solar and H2 hubs) and appropriate housing in Indigenous communities
-virtual public debating, on an open-source platform eg. using the https://www.kialo.com/ platform eg. Voting on topic choices, comments etc, between members of the public and speakers and pollies, 12 months of the year
And for the really bold - hydrological science/hydrogeological science/hydropolitics:
PROBLEM: Water is a scarce precious resource. Water is life. It is predicted that there will be increased desertification and drought due to climate change in Australia. 'Water wars' is a future systemic risk, especially in trans-boundary river basins. It's reading the landscape and stewarding, 'water balancing' and let Gaia do her work...And finally, finding synergies between the old ways and the new ways!
HYPOTHESIS: A greener, desertification and drought prepared, vastly more politically compatible network of 'Integrated Water Management' systems allocated to each 'drainage division[s] and river basin[s]' (see below for a diagram), underpinned by a flexible and secure IT platform that could replace state and national management (and possibly water trading) of water with a focus on holistic, fairer and more sustainable water management at it's core.
If the network operates smoothly over time, great but if it becomes dysfunctional due to inter-state rivalry, it could absorb the states and become a 'Federation of bioregions' (no doubt a bureaucratic, accounting, stationary and historical headfuck) with a virtual bioregional Parliament for 9 months of the year - geopolitical/environmental management/stewardship integration.
This could be cost-saving with less domestic travel to Canberra and no need for real estate acquisition/renting in Canberra = lower C footprint and allows more time for pollies within their electorates and with their families (11 months of the year + 1 month holiday:))
How? The democratisation of open source software and hardware...
The IT platform (hosted by a secure data centre on 'Ubuntu Public Cloud' https://ubuntu.com/download/cloud) with 'multi cloud' integration at the bioregional level - each bioregional office would have it's own content and 'private cloud', integrated with the national 'public cloud'- see REFERENCES below for some ideas. I should also mention that the IT platform hasn't been coded yet...could end up as a toolbox of tech that could one day be integrated in the open source domain of philanthropic and paid coders.
Down to business..How do the pollies/workers access their local 'private cloud' and national 'public cloud' from a solar-powered 'dumb terminal'?
Option 1 - a 15W computer, https://raspberry.piaustralia.com.au/
+ Raspberry Pi 4 8Gb ($130) + Aluminium alloy heat sink (fanless so less energy consumption compared to fans aka it's solid state and no moving parts to break) ($34) + power supply ($19) (optional, can also power the Pi via a reliable power bank eg.26,800mA that puts out 5V/3A power)
+ free and open-source OS, using 'Raspberry Pi imager' (https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/) to install, say, Ubuntu Mate 20.04 LTS (https://ubuntu-mate.org/ports/raspberry-pi/) - a separate download and can be loaded in imager via the 'Use Custom' option. I've tested it out and it works like a treat (with a few bugs but nothing major so far)!! Alternatively, Ubuntu Desktop 20.1 could be used. This is also fast, less bugs but only has 6 months of update supports. For a GIS, try using QGIS, which can be installed as a 'Flatpak' from here:
I would also recommend using 'Timeshift' which can be installed from the App/Boutique store found within the OS. This can be used to make system snapshots so if you break the OS, you can restore a previously stable version/state.
+ a removable '256Gb Sandisk 'Extreme Pro' microSD' card for the OS with plenty of spare storage ($90)
+ 2 X micro-HDMI to full HDMI cable
Optional - fun: For a retro games machine try using 'Raspberry Pi imager', installing native 'Retropie' (https://retropie.org.uk/) on a removable '32gb Sandisk 'Extreme Pro' microSD' card ($19) + game controllers eg. wireless: PS3, or USB: Nintendo 64 (~$35 for 2) + Sandisk 64Gb USB 3.0 flash drive ($17) for game ROMs
It works well! :)_
Total cost so far: $344
Why not relive the past and look towards the future?
+ Starlink (arriving in late 2021 in Oz - dish and router + monthly plan)
+ a solar-powered 'CharTron' green battery (with a 4 plug AC module) (see the 'Project Golf Buggy' page on this website) OR could run the Pi off a compact power bank with 5V/3A output and plug the monitors into the wall if it's available
+ keyboard + mouse (bluetooth or wired)
+ 1 or 2, 4k monitors.
Still need a separate phone.
Why not work in the field and from the home/office with secure mobile/desktop integration - no need for a laptop/desktop (Raspberry Pi 4) computer?
Note that it's at 'Alpha' stage of R&D. If you're looking for a more stable option, try 'Option 3' if you can afford it. Or just wait until the product is consumer grade. You can use the convergence module for external keyboard, mouse, ethernet and HDMI out. Just need a standard HDMI cable and monitor with HDMI (2k/1k would do the job).
A keyboard smartphone: Fx(Tec) Pro1-X, on IndieGoGo Specs are: 8gb/256gb, Snapdragon 835 (a little outdated but fast compared to the Pinephone 1.2Ghz ARM) for 1k, say running Lineage OS/Ubuntu Touch.
All you need is the phone, USB-C to HDMI cable and a monitor with HDMI - less affordable than the Pinephone but it includes a keyboard, mouse pad (using the screen) + minimalist aesthetics and lighter footprint.
These are not rugged phones though and if you lose it or it gets pinched you lose your communications and office all in one go.
Groundwater aquifers are probably too 'messy' to create geopolitical boundaries/bioregions around them. These would be integrated as another 'layer' beneath the drainage divisions and bioregional river basins for collaborative environmental management and stewardship across bioregions.
A 'smart' Integrated Water Management (IWM) system to manage river basin water assets/resources.
Here's a proposal to either build into the proposed bioregional water system or provide a mostly 'scientific' alternative if systemic geopolitical and the necessary Federal Constitutional and bureaucracy change is too difficult/too hot to handle/too expensive:
AI is just a tool that can be dangerous if left uncontrolled (and even if controlled, can be dangerous anyway)
The smart system would use AI, deep learning, IoT, solar powered ('hot carrier' Perovskite PV panels) (with energy storage eg.LiS, Kelp) smart 'wireless' water meters (that can't be tampered with), solar-powered (with energy storage) smart dams ('wireless' remote opening and closing) and biosensors (self-powering Graphene-based ones) eg. in wetlands, based primarily on hydrological modelling, in the basin that sends water (known as 'Environmental flows') to where it is needed in the basin, as a core platform for IWM and ecosystem protection.
Raspberry Pi's with a 3G/LTE/GPS 'HAT' module could be used in both the smart water meters and smart dams (see link under 'REFERENCES', 'IT' below).
There could be system operators oversight and approval - just in case the AI gets it 'evidently' wrong when compared to vital intel from on-ground human intelligence including Indigenous stewardship, farming and environmental management.
There would be some things AI could do eg.monitoring smart meters/solar electric pumps, monitoring and opening/closing smart dams, bio/water/chemo sensing, satellite mapping, hydrological modelling etc and some things it can't do eg.species surveys, equipment maintenance, policing etc.
The AI algorithms would only improve over time as the system is researched and developed and matures.
Ecosystem services could be prioritized over farmers irrigation needs (see bottom 'Water' link under 'REFERENCES' below) with automatic water credit buybacks when the water is needed elsewhere.
You could argue that this would create water uncertainty for irrigators but I would argue that this would secure ecosystem services ('No ecology, No economy') and provide incentive to build
keyline dams rather than shallow dams on properties and more water efficient agriculture. Gov incentives could be added to encourage more sustainable crop choices eg.hemp, practices eg.organic,
'measured irrigation' and utilisation of biochar for all it's Carbon drawdown, soil benefits eg. fertility and water savings.
Some farms will inevitably go out of business eg.cotton whereas practices like agroforestry, regenerative and biodynamic agriculture would flourish with the appropriate training and resources.
A small river basin or even a tributary (?) of the MDB could be used as a prototype and if successful, rolled out into the entire MDB. If that's successful, then other Oz river basins could use the system. Could be difficult to implement in trans-national/state boundary river basins eg. Mekong, Nile but who knows what's possible with biocentrism, biomimicry, Indigenous stewardship, science (eg.hydrological, agricultural, ecological and data), Green appropriate technology and ambition? Can we prevent 'water wars' of the future?
'digital democracy' and 'e-democracy'
Water...confused as I am? Currently at least three layers/levels of management
#And for a world-leading best practice model (with loads of room for improvement) with an interesting trans-boundary rivalry:
#Cash Splash, Four Corners, 2019
https://www.balena.io/etcher/ (alternative to 'Raspberry Pi imager')
#for a demo of a stable OS (based on Debian) with AI (games) on the Raspberry Pi 4, you've gotta have a look at this site - just requires a large download, starting with images from 32Gb for 32Gb microSD cards...