1.Utopian Eco-Socio-Economic System
3.Eco-Principles and Human Rights
5.Ecocracy Vs Democracy
6.EU Economic & Political Invasion
All copyrights© preserved for the author Henri Maalouf
Ecolism Copyright ©972103005 is for Henry Maalouf Gilbert since 2008. Inquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publisher, Henry Maalouf Gilbert email@example.com
The moral right of the author has been asserted. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licenses issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalog record for this book is available from the British Library.
Dedication to the Utopian Eco-City
If the poor become rich, the rich get richer, let us eliminate poverty for a richer planet
When everyone on this planet can live self-sufficiently in an Eco-home, enjoying a decent standard of living, then humanity becomes morally advanced, evolves and ascends to a higher plane of existence. As I look at our civilization, I see poverty and undignified living standards for 70 % of the human race and this means only 30% are civilized.
Therefore, I dedicate this book to all those who dream to own an Eco-home and make a plea to the leaders of the world to make such dreams come true. Maybe I am dreaming of a utopian planet that is so civilized it is like an advanced alien race living on another planet in outer space. There is nothing impossible if we have the relentless will to pursue our dreams. Building Eco-cities as described in this book is the first step towards providing Eco-homes to everyone on the planet.
The richest of this planet have enough wealth to build an Eco-home for each family using the excess money of the 63 wealthiest elite in the world. If peace dominates the earth and countries stop spending $1.6 trillion on weapons, they can build an Eco-home for each family. If corruption ends, governments can divert the wealth to the poor. If spending is prioritized to building homes, every family could have one. If systems are more efficient instead of being bureaucratic and micromanaging to control us more, the welfare systems can build more homes for the poor.
However, if investing in people includes everyone, productivity increases along with the national wealth. If personal, narcissistic greed ends and caring and sharing prevail, then more people will be lifted out of poverty. If people, elect those who build homes for them and make their lives better, people become wiser. If people fight for their rights to live free and dignified, they improve their lives. There are many ifs and buts; I hope there will be equality, justice and fairness for all.
I hope we can plant the seeds for more fruitful trees on our planet and remove the thorns from our bushes. It should be a compulsory human right to secure for each family an Eco-home in which to live an Eco-lifestyle as a safety net that eliminates poverty. Each family should be provided with universal credit to survive on the bare necessities and each capable person should work harder to enjoy more luxuries.
Introduction to the Utopian Eco-City
I have researched some topics in more depth than others for two reasons: the first is my lack of specialty in each one and the second is to make it easier to read without having too many details. However, depending on finances, available land and governments’ will, the details can be worked out following the guidelines of the concept.
The Ecolism books aim to create more public awareness about the alternatives for building cities and houses the traditional ways. The concept of developing a new Eco-city is that instead of keeping adding to and modifying the existing ones without solving all the problems, we build a new one that does not have such issues. It is like an old car that keeps falling to pieces; we are better off buying a new one that remains intact.
I like my readers to take part in discussions and forums on my website (myecocity.co.uk) and to volunteer their ideas or expertise to help to create the most self-sufficient and economic Eco-city, surrounded by Eco-industries and large enough to employ and cater for all its residents.
The architectural design of the Eco-city is outside my specialization when it comes to the details. However, it is a vivid dream I have seen since childhood about a city surrounded by a river. I did not know the details then, nor did I know about the meaning of ‘Eco’ or environmentally friendly. There was hardly any pollution worth mentioning 50 years ago. There were no plastic bags, packaging or plastic bottles. There were many fewer cars and people relied more on public transport. Also, there was a smaller amount of people on the planet and the required food supply was also smaller.
The cycle of life is birth and death recycled into different forms and different forms need different environments. Therefore, we must recycle our old, polluted cities into new ones and adapt them to produce 0% pollution and eliminate homelessness and poverty.
Summary of the Eco-City
If a city is full of sins and hard to purify, recycle it into a newly purified one.
This summary is for those who do not have the time to read the detail of this book and want to know about the concept in brief. The concept is to create one million Eco-homes in a self-sufficient and sustainable Eco-city, with surrounding Eco-industries and businesses.
The aim is to employ all the unemployed, retired and anyone who can work for at least a few hours a day or a week. By doing so, governments can reduce the welfare spending and balance its economy. Consequently, more families can own Eco-homes, pay the mortgage, spend less and live better in an Eco-lifestyle.
The design of the Eco-city, accompanied by an Eco-socio- economic system as described in Ecolism 1, ensures a better standard of living for the poorest, reduces the amount of public money spent on the welfare system and saves billions. Consequently, the national productivity increases, the government debts decrease and growth and revenue balance the national deficits.
The Eco-city should have at least one million Eco-homes, surrounded by Eco-businesses, Eco-agriculture and Eco-industries to employ its residents as long as they are capable of working. The design of the Eco-socio-economic system for living an Eco-lifestyle in an Eco-city is a self-sufficient, independent human ecosystem that interacts with others but protects itself first.
As an example, imagine if the European Union (EU), Scotland and Ireland shut their borders to England, would the English survive? There would be chaos, as there was in World War II. Therefore, the country’s economic ecosystem must be self-sufficient to survive external influences or international economic turmoil. Perhaps, in such circumstances, farmers will learn to produce more and be competitive and people must buy local products, even if it is more expensive, to sustain the country’s ecosystem as a matter of national security.
Each Eco-home in the Eco-city is prefabricated from timber and costs £100,000. The interest rate is currently between 1.5 and 3%, so the cost of interest is about £125 to £250/month for a family of four or for a couple living together. It is 75% cheaper than the renting or social-housing costs, which saves governments such as the United Kingdom (UK) government billions in housing benefits.
On the one hand, if people are unemployed, the welfare system should pay the interest on a guaranteed government mortgage loan. On the other hand, if the government employs the jobless, it pays nothing and collects more taxes. Employment must include the retired, elderly and physically challenged, who can flexibly work few hours a day or a week to earn enough to either pay the interest or repay the mortgage.
Building an Eco-city of one million Eco-homes, which costs £100 billion plus another £20 billion to be spent on its infrastructure, is probably beyond most governments’ comprehension or ambition. However, if we have the will, we find ways to achieve our goals.
The following outlines ideas to finance the Eco-city:
Any government, national trust, royal family or rich person may donate or lease public land on which to build the Eco-city and its surrounding Eco-industries.
The government can guarantee to pay the interest on the mortgage loans for those who are on social benefits. It will be cheaper than paying for any rent or cost to accommodate them.
Financing the Eco-city is open to any investor, great or small, who accepts a 1.5 to 3% guaranteed return on their investment. It will be more than people can get on their savings in a bank.
Charities, housing associations, lotteries providing funding, industries and businesses can participate in helping people to buy an Eco-home in the Eco-city. Moreover, they may be able to find the people jobs to repay the help or loans received.
The residents should live within their means and have an Eco-lifestyle of less outgoings than they would spend in ordinary cities. They should accept training in new skills suitable for the available jobs, so they are able to pay the interest on their mortgage as a minimum or make repayments towards the outstanding mortgage. It is better to build up equity in a property that they can use when they get frail, old and cannot work anymore, to spend on better care.
The government spending cost per head should follow the residents to the Eco-city to be spent on its infrastructure.
The government should license the Eco-industries and Eco- businesses to operate in the Eco-city, only if they employ the locals, provide flexible hours and train their staff in the required skills; otherwise, their licenses should be removed.
Eco-industries and businesses will be encouraged to move to the Eco-city to benefit from lower overheads by employing cheaper workers, 24/7 availability and flexibility, having free electricity, having free or leased land and having ring-fenced net tax-free profits of 5% on investment.
Each Eco-home will have an edible garden for people to grow their food, which is to prevent starvation under any circumstances and to reduce their outgoings.
Each Eco-home will produce more electricity than it consumes, from renewable sources and supply the excess to the industries.
Each person should have access to the internet to learn and work from home, which is to save on costs for education or gaining vocational training skills.
Building a large Eco-city of one million Eco-homes should not be contracted to profiteering developers. The Eco- home should be designed and prefabricated for self-build following step-by-step instructions.
A group of seven people, which can include the unemployed and volunteers, can build an Eco-home in seven days; from this, they can earn credit to own one.
Conditionally, each person must accept training on required new skills to work and pay at least the interest on the mortgage; otherwise, they risk losing it all and having to leave the Eco-city.
The Eco-city will not only help the unemployed, young and elderly to own a house but will also revive the industries, businesses and agriculture and save billions on the social-welfare system.
If Eco-homes in Eco-cities become the norm of our civilization, only then, the social-welfare system become fair-minded, morally civilized and ethical.
In the UK, the United States of America (USA) and Germany, the unemployment rate is below 4.5 % in the year 2018. In the EU it varies from 2.4 to 21% in Greece and in other countries it starts at 0.1% and goes up as high as 95% in Zimbabwe. However, if each nation builds Eco-cities, the unemployment rate becomes 0%. Poverty, homelessness, insecure living and crimes all disappear. Only then can our civilization become moral, caring and sharing and give people their complete human rights to live in a dignified manner.
I would like to repeat what I said in Ecolism 1: imagine if the USA creates peace on earth and stops spending more than $700 billion each year on weapons of mass destruction, the humankind becomes more morally civilized.
Moreover, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) must stop wasting 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on weapons, followed by other countries like Russia, China, India, Pakistan North Korea and the rest of the world.
The USA can build Eco-cities in each state and each country can do the same to give an Eco-home to every low -income family.
Every American and human will become richer from such projects, including the political parties. Similarly, there will be no poverty or unemployment and there will be more prosperity in Europe and the rest of the world. Only then can our humanity become more morally civilized and an advanced human race.
Governments spend billions on discovering other planets, neglecting the perfection of planet earth. I wish they would spend more billions to eliminate poverty, to educate more people to explore much more galaxies.
The Utopian Eco-City
If our cities cannot be environmentally and socially ideal for everyone, then we should not create new ideal Eco-cities.
The concept is to create one million Eco-homes in a self- sufficient, sustainable Eco-city, with surrounding Eco-industries to employ the locals and help them to pay the mortgages on their Eco-homes.
For example, each Eco-home in the UK could cost £100,000 and the interest is a maximum of £250/month for a couple or a family, which is much less than the rent or housing benefits paid to the unemployed in the UK. European countries have different welfare systems to support the unemployed and retired. But, as a minimum, they provide about £600/month and it is a burden on governments’ budgets. But, if governments succeed to employ everyone, then that burden goes away.
Note: Other countries have different costs of living and different lifestyles. It varies from large populous nations, such as China, India, the USA and large countries in the EU, to small countries, such as Monaco and many small islands. Nevertheless, the principles remain the same: building Eco-homes to live self-sufficiently, spending less and living better. Of course, nothing can be free; people have to work to earn enough to pay the interest on the loan for an Eco-home as a minimum. Obviously, they have to work more to receive more and repay the cost of their shelter. If all fails, it is the governments’ responsibilities to enhance the living standards of their people.
Any government can donate or lease public land for an Eco-city and its surrounding Eco-industries and guarantee the mortgage loans’ interest for the unemployed. Therefore, financing the Eco-city is not a problem if it is open to any investor at a guaranteed maximum interest rate of 3%. The residents will live within their means in an Eco-lifestyle and must work at any job in the Eco-city to pay the interest or repay the mortgage. The Eco-socio-economic system, as described in Ecolism 1, is designed for the Ecolists to live on the lowest possible outgoings so they can accept lower hourly rates to become competitive and get a job.
Eco-industries and Eco-businesses will be encouraged to move to the Eco-city, as they would benefit from low overheads by employing cheaper workers, having free electricity, being granted land and having ring-fenced net profits of 5% on an investment. They will be very competitive, selling to the Eco-city, meeting its needs and exporting the excess at globally competitive prices.
Each Eco-home will have an edible garden for people to grow their food, so that nobody starves under any circumstances or in a national economic meltdown. Each Eco-home will produce more electricity than it consumes and should have an internet facility for people to learn and work from home through access to the rest of the world.
The Eco-councilors governing the Eco-city must be subject- matter experts in their departments and not politicians; they must share governance with committees from businesses and public representatives to cooperate and ensure the Eco-city’s sustainability and self-sufficiency.
The new concept of the Eco-city is a complete human ecosystem with a socio-economic system where residents live an Eco-lifestyle governed by a new Eco-Magna-Carta as a new social charter of ethical principles, as described in Building a paradisiacal Eco-city must be done in the most cost-effective ways, utilizing every available space on the land for producing something useful, but without causing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) or any other harmful gases, using renewable energy sources, growing organic food and being surrounded by Eco-industries, Eco-businesses and Eco-agriculture.
Before we design an Eco-city, we must find the right land with sound geological conditions, positioned in a strategic location close to a major city with easy access to a seaport and airport. Undoubtedly, it should not be next to a volcano, as the Eco-city could be destroyed by its eruption; nor close to the sea, where it could be flooded by a tsunami (a giant sea wave); nor near earthquake zones with high seismic activity, nor in an area where it is vulnerable to a river flooding or any other disastrous force majeure possibility.
Once we find the right land, then we can design it to accommodate one million houses surrounded by a human-made river, a fence, sustenance zones and Eco-infrastructure, as suggested in the following sections. However, before we start building an Eco-city, we must have a vision for an Eco-socio-economic system and Eco-lifestyle to ensure its success, self-sufficiency and sustainability.
The logic behind the Eco-solution is to save the inefficient spending of billions in our economy, to reduce the N2O and CO2 emissions to 0% in an Eco-city, end unemployment and poverty and develop a new Eco-socio-economic system based on sustainability and self-sufficiency, which is fairer than capitalism, free of democracy’s flaws and more successful than socialism.
The concept of the Eco-solution and its infrastructure is for people to work flexible hours according to their abilities and give better care to the elderly and society, from the cradle to the grave. The new Eco-socio-economic system raises the living standards of the poor, gives the financiers reasonable profits and protects the interests of both, for a harmonious and sustainable coexistence. If everybody is reasonably happy and has a piece of the big cake, no one should fight to have more; equality and justice will then prevail.
In the Eco-city and under the new Eco-Magna-Carta of its Eco-socio-economic system, the governors, investors and workforce collaborate in a joint venture for long-term sustainability and the welfare of all. They work together like a chain that is as strong as its weakest link and where links must be removed or strengthened to maintain the total strength.
Humanity is still in a chaotic state, evolving randomly at various speeds in all directions and must have a better vision, better leadership and be on the right track for its train to reach a better destination.
Some people are still riding a slow train, which stops at many stations and is going in the wrong direction, while others are riding a super-fast one that never stops until it reaches its destination.
It is almost impossible to help every human to evolve at the same speed as others and reach the same level of enlightenment. Humans are not standard robots running the same program. They were created in various imperfect images, trying to evolve more and achieve perfection at multiple speeds.
Figure 1 Fast Train to Shanghai Figure 2 Slow Train to Katowice
Some ride the fastest train for free, others cannot pay the fee for the slowest
However, I still believe that Eco-cities for similar groups of people will create more harmony, unity and alignment for them to follow the same path towards faster human evolution. Hence, it is unavoidable that there will be various types of Eco-cities in the world.
Therefore, the new Eco-socio-economic system leaves the current systems as they are but offers an opportunity to those who would hop onto a different train going to an Eco-destination towards a more advanced social and utopian human ecosystem.
The Benefits of the Eco-City
Solving a major problem needs a comprehensive solution; addressing part of it creates loopholes for other ones.
The Eco-city solution will save billions on the social-welfare systems or taxpayers’ money in Europe, the USA and other countries. It will revive the economy, reduce unemployment to near 0% and end poverty and homelessness. It will raise the minimum living standards and lower the cost of living simultaneously. People will live better and spend less.
Furthermore, the new Eco-socio-economic system with the new Eco-lifestyle will direct people to live within their means in a fairer, freer society of equality and responsible Eco-freedom that works for everyone.
The Eco-city solution will also create new Eco-opportunities for businesses, industries and agriculture, to make the poor rich and the rich richer. Hence, the solution works for the rich as well as for the poor and the government, as long as each compromises a little bit.
For the Eco-solution to work in the USA, EU, UK or other countries, it is best if it is a sizeable Eco-city of one million houses, each having an edible garden and where the Eco-city has Eco-agriculture, Eco-businesses and Eco-industrial-zones.
It is vital that the Eco-city be large enough to find jobs for the various skills of its inhabitants. Small countries might create an Eco-city or two, while a great big country like the USA might build an Eco-city in each of the 50 states. Hopefully, the EU would build at least one Eco-city in each of their member states.
One of the aims of the Eco-socio-economic system described in Ecolism 1 is to save a high percentage of the public spending on the unemployed, pensioners and disabled. As an added value, employing them would convert them to taxpayers, instead of being a burden on the national welfare system.
To create a more competitive economic system, governments in Western countries must reduce the cost of living so people can accept lower wages to get a permanent job or work a few flexible hours to match their abilities. It is contrary to the ongoing trend of increasing the cost of living and having to raise wages with it, which increases unemployment and drives companies to invest in cheaper labor from other countries.
The proposed Eco-concept may look simple, but behind the concept is a sophisticated design. The challenge is to create a new Eco-socio-economic system that does not conflict with national laws and, at the same time, reduces peoples’ outgoings. When spending less to live, they can accept lower hourly rates to compete with cheaper labor from other countries and it encourages businesses to employ good-value-for-money and high-quality local workers with higher productivity.
The fundamental concept behind the Eco-solution is to build affordable, prefabricated Eco-homes from natural timber that will last for over 500 years and reduce the carbon footprint that results from other industrial materials used to create a house.
Buying an Eco-home must be accessible and affordable by any citizen, without them paying a deposit or subjecting them to credit scoring, a high-interest rate and other affordability checks. The condition for lending is that the government or the welfare system pays the interest on a mortgage, instead of rent and finds a job for the unemployed so they can pay the loan back.
The interest on a £100,000, three-bedroomed Eco-home is affordable by someone from even the most impoverished country in Europe or any deprived area in the USA.
In a well- organized, self-sufficient and sustainable Eco-city, designed to help the residents grow their food and live on minimum expenditure, the Eco-socio-economic system of the Eco-city will not only save billions in government spending but will also enable the poor to survive any global economic recession, such as what happened in 2008 and the two world wars.
Even if an Eco-city was isolated, people would not go hungry or be subjected to a dictatorial imperial power like the EU, such as what happened when the Greeks rebelled against the EU system and the Germans/EU shut down their banks.
The Eco-lifestyle in the Eco-city will reduce or diminish the costs of utility bills, transport, hospitals, schools, universities, security, insurances, bureaucracies, legal or professional fees and other areas of public spending to enable people to become more competitive and get a job or become self-employed and have recurrent revenue.
If we keep increasing the cost of living, we need higher income and that make us less competitive.
The trend of change is heading towards a rising cost of living and that is what makes Western countries less competitive. Companies keep influencing governments to allow them to recruit cheaper labor from other nations who accept lower wages and live a less-extravagant lifestyle. It is one of the main reasons why locals become redundant and become a burden on the taxpayers’ contributions.
Therefore, politicians must create an environment for societies to live within their means, spend less and to accept less to become more competitive with other nations, but also have a reasonable standard of living.
A successful business person uses all the available money and resources wisely for higher profits. A government should do the same, invest in people and use everybody’s potential to become more productive and efficient. Governments should learn from the Germans, South Koreans, Japanese and other successful nationalities.
The Eco-city has the potential to become an industrial Eco-city and a business center to generate wealth equivalent to a commercial city like London or an industrial city like Munich, because it will be 100% productive, competitive and work will always be available for the locals at any age, working flexible hours to match their abilities.
One benefit of the Eco-socio-economic system is to save a high percentage of public spending on the unemployed, pensioners and disabled. The best way to achieve this is to reduce outgoings, pay lower wages to increase competitiveness, balance the cost of living with net income and create a system of flexible working hours available 24/7.
The proposed Eco-model may look simple, but behind it is a sophisticated design for how an Eco-society can live better, spend less, accept lower hourly rates to compete and live in a more self-sufficient, sustainable ecosystem.
Imagine how many billions the government can save by resolving the socio-economic problems for the poorest and most unproductive. The benefits of building a large Eco-city are much more than politicians envisage.
An Eco-lifestyle in an Eco-city will save on hospitals, schools, universities, security, insurances, bureaucracies, the legal system and other areas of public spending, to enable people to become more competitive and get a job or become self-employed and have more sustainable revenue.
An Eco-lifestyle supports the logic that says when people are wealthy, they can afford luxuries, but when a person is underprivileged, will have no choice but to compromise and live on the necessities for survival. However, when even the basic needs for survival are not available, then more poverty, misery, crime and injustices emerge. Therefore, it is vital that we get the balance right, live an Eco-lifestyle, accept lower wages, spend less and work more.
The Eco-city will not only help the unemployed, young and elderly to own a house, but will also revive industry, businesses and agriculture. The politicians in the UK, USA and other countries, throughout a succession of governments, have converted capital cities into prosperous commercial cities, but have also destroyed the nation’s industrial capabilities. This project may initiate a significant shake-up to create a new Eco-industrial-revolution to compete with the rest of the world.
Employing two million people to build an Eco-city and the Eco-industries that will manufacture what it needs and sell the excess is not that difficult, especially in an organized Eco-socio- economic system, where people have a lower cost of living and can afford to be competitive and accept lower hourly rates to get a job.
The industries will have the incentive to move to an Eco-city that provides competitive, high-quality, skilled workers at a lower cost, with free land and electricity, which reduces their overheads so that they may become more competitive and prosperous.
The Eco-City’s Success
The measure of a country’s success is in its higher living standard, productivity and efficiency.
The success of building an Eco-city depends on meeting its objectives and pre-set criteria as proposed in the later sections. However, the primary driver for building an Eco-city is the high demand for housing and the affordability of owning a house. Therefore, developing an Eco-city should not be another project for a developer to make massive profits from building it, so that it becomes expensive and unaffordable for the poor. Instead, it should be a great national project created by volunteers at the lowest cost possible.
The primary criterion to determine if this Eco-solution is successful is if the central government or a local authority donates or leases a sizeable area of public land, which is large enough to build one million three-bedroomed, detached Eco- homes with edible gardens, in an Eco-city surrounded by Eco- industries, business centers and agriculture.
The second most important criterion is whether the mortgage loans for the unemployed are guaranteed at a maximum rate of 3% fixed interest and 0% deposit, without a credit score requirement or any other unaffordable payment conditions.
The third most important criterion is whether the Eco- city’s administration organizes an Eco-lifestyle for the Eco-city’s inhabitants, where no one can go hungry or live without shelter and provides social care and jobs at competitive rates for people to work and pay back the mortgage loan.
The fourth most important criterion is whether the Eco- social-economic system is put in place, forming a government troika of committees, consisting of specialist Eco-councilors, businesses and the workforce. A governing troika or tripartite system should always agree on the conditions and rules for the mutual benefits of everyone, ensuring continued sustainability and high productivity.
The fifth essential criterion is creating an Eco-bank capable of managing more than £100 billion for building the Eco-city and an Eco-commercial-bank managing more than £100 billion in investments for the industries.
The sixth criterion is building a large Eco-city of one million houses without contracting with traditional, expensive construction developers, but allows self-building for the unemployed in groups. The Eco-homes are a standardized prefabricated design and come with step-by-step instructions, to allow each of them to be built in seven days by seven people, supervised by professionals to make it easy for the non- professionals to build them.
The seventh criterion is that groups of volunteers can build their homes for virtual credit that can be paid as a deposit on a house.
The London 2012 Olympics’ success was down to the 70,000 volunteers organizing it.
Imagine two million unemployed building the Eco-city of one million Eco-homes! Completing the Eco-city may only take one year, providing that small carpentry factories are built for manufacturing the prefabricated building materials.
However, unlike the volunteers for the Olympics, who did not work for any reward, the builders of the Eco-city will get virtual credits for their working hours to use as a deposit for buying an Eco-home. Moreover, the Eco-solution should not be a partisan project nor a commercial one. It should be a social motivation to build something great, like the Egyptians building the pyramids, but, instead, in our modern day and age, building a unique Eco-city and new Eco-socio-economic system.
Financing the Eco-City
We are all equal before God, but if money is God, we are not!
There are about 7.7 billion human beings on our planet. Moreover, the total wealth is rising to about $280 trillion. The wealthiest 1% own 48% more than the most impoverished population. In other words, the 77 million richest people have more money than 3.7 billion of the poorest combined. According to Oxfam, 42 business people hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion of the poorest. There are also wealthy pop stars, kings, princes, prime ministers and presidents of countries, most of whom hide their actual wealth in hedge funds and secretive offshore accounts.
There is more than $33 trillion hidden in trusts and secret offshore tax-haven accounts in Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, the USA, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands and many other small countries. But who knows the truth? They are secretive funds for businesses and bribed politicians. Also, the global derivatives market is worth $1.2 quadrillion while the total GDP of all countries is rising to £100 trillion.
Such wealth in the world poses these questions: Why does poverty still exist? Why is there a wide gap between the wealthy and the poor? Why do the elite few have much more than they ever need, while the poor are desperate for food? Why do nearly half of the population of the planet or more than 3.6 billion people live on less than $2/day?
I am not suggesting communism or socialism as a solution, but I am not defending capitalism either. The Eco-socio- economic system is a concept to protect the fundamental human rights and ensure a decent standard of living for the poorest as a minimum. There are enough pieces of the big cake to go around for everyone on this planet. Some have bigger bellies than others, some can eat but have no food, others have more food than they can chew.
There are adequate funds on this planet to build a series of Eco-cities of all sizes, shapes and forms to remove poverty from every country. However, the current trend in any housing project ends up with more money for developers and suppliers that makes a house unaffordable by the poor. Notably, there are strict conditions that cannot be met by the unemployed and those who are on a low income. Hence, they cannot own a house. Additionally, the retired, those blacklisted by credit- scoring agencies and those unable to get a deposit have no hope of climbing the housing ladder.
The Eco-socio-economic system allows even the homeless to own a house, have an address to become entitled to housing benefits and benefits from the welfare system.
Note: In the UK, if people do not have an address, they cannot benefit from the welfare system and the government does not automatically house them to give them an address! Hence, they become homeless and street beggars to survive. I am sure there are similarities even in most Western rich countries.
Another example: California is one of the fifth largest economies in the world, yet its poverty is 20%. Why can’t it become the 6th largest economy and poverty is 0%?
The formula is simple: an affordable Eco-home costs £100,000 and, based on 1.5 to 3% interest, it would cost between £125 to £250/month for a family of four to live in an Eco-home. It is affordable for any working family in most countries and is even much less than any monthly rent or housing benefits paid by Western governments for the unemployed or retired. On average, renting in the UK costs about £1,000/month when paid by the welfare system, while paying interest on a £100,000 Eco- home is less than £250/month. Governments are short-sighted if they do not invest in social housing and save billions.
The cost of the estimated infrastructure for an Eco-city is about £40 billion plus. The government could finance it by diverting the funds from some needless projects to the Eco-city or redirecting the public spending per head for the two to four million people who will move to the Eco-city. Therefore, the public expenditure per head follows them and so there is no need for extra government borrowing or spending for such a priority project.
Finances for the Eco-city could come from various sources, such as local and global private lenders, banks, industries and businesses, provided that the investments are guaranteed by the government. Of course, it is up to the investors to accept lower interest and a lesser amount of profits depending on global competition, turnover and interest rates at the time of borrowing, which varies in different countries.
When investment is open to everybody, then anyone could invest any amount of money. Investors can choose to lend, either for an Eco-home at a guaranteed 3% profit maximum or invest in any business or industry that guarantees 5% tax-free minimum profits. This way some people can get more revenue on their savings than what they get from keeping it in a bank.
The Eco-taxation system will allow 5% tax-free profit to encourage investors to move to the Eco-city, train and hire locals, pay taxes from revenues gained above the 5% tax-free threshold allowed and enjoy lower overheads and the Eco-city’s free facilities.
There is a high percentage of struggling elderly with lots of equity in their houses that exceeds £100,000, who could easily downgrade to have spare cash to look after their health better and enjoy a more comfortable life in their retirement. The charities that take care of the elderly and disabled could also help to support them when living in an Eco-home in an Eco-city.
Housing associations could get a better return on their investment from buying Eco-homes in the Eco-city and anybody with access to loans or equity could do the same. Therefore, financing the Eco-city will not be a problem and could be done without creating a burden on the national budget.
Nevertheless, one can envisage more open inward investment opportunities from the rest of the world, including private investors, governments, all the global banks and anybody with enough money to invest in an Eco-home for £100,000 to benefit from 3% interest. The flow of investment will be overwhelming. Even industries can invest in their factories and build Eco- homes for their employees to guarantee their loyalty for many years to come.
Even the worst government could see the economic sense in prioritizing the Eco-city project as the best investment and value for taxpayers’ money. Governments spend billions on the welfare system and social issues for the unemployed, getting nothing in return. However, if the taxpayers’ money were spent to build the Eco-city and employ the unemployed, it would be paid back through the profits from the tax revenues.
Furthermore, governments do need to invest billions, but must guarantee the loans and probably need to spend £20 billion to £40 billion on the Eco-city’s infrastructure instead of spending on less important projects. The benefits of building an Eco-city to serve two to four million citizens outweighs the benefits of any other national projects, such as high-speed rail or even a nuclear power plant or increasing international aid, while poverty and homelessness exist at home.
Eco-Cities of the World
In ancient history, the Greek philosopher Plato, in 423 BC, raised his philosophical teachings about the flaws in socio-economic systems. He discussed, in his book The Republic, capitalism, tyranny and democracy. He came up with a solution called timocracy. It means the love of honor is the motive for rules; in other words, the ethical should rule. Does it exist nowadays?
Ethics in politics and business practices hardly exist around the world in the 21st century and yet we give ourselves the title ‘civilized’. In my opinion, humanity has a long way to go yet to deserve such a title. However, of course, some are morally more civilized than others and the percentage is decreasing by the day. The richest or lobbyists are the real rulers, influencing politicians to legislate what is better for their vested interests and higher profits at any cost and not necessarily what is ethical, ideological or better for the wellbeing of the humankind.
The Eco-concept is a modern version of timocracy. I call it Ecolism or you could call it Ecocracy. It is a tripartite-governance Eco-socio-economic system formed from an efficient workforce, moral rulers and ethical investors. They have to keep the balance of an ecosystem to maintain its sustainability and protect it by making it self-sufficient in all its requirements.
Note: Eco-self-sufficiency does not mean agriculture and food only. It means the ability to work and self-pay for education, health, home and other expenditures required for a decent living standard.
Therefore, it is essential that the socio-economic system and Eco-lifestyle are created, preferably in a large Eco-city, to supplement the individual ability to live self-sufficiently. The Eco-socio-economic system is designed to provide those necessities at a much cheaper cost to enable people to become competitive at work and pay for the cost of dignified living.
In the recent history of the UK, Sir Ebenezer Howard, in 1898, created the garden-city concept, which was intended to develop well-planned, self-contained communities surrounded by a greenbelt, holding proportionate areas of residence, industry and agriculture. However, unfortunately, the concept has changed to a more commercial project rather than being a rational and social design.
Since then, the idea has spread around the world and many small projects have taken place. Eco-cities of one kind or another have been built in Latin and North America, South Africa, Europe and Australia and there is the Kibbutz in Israel set up in 1909. Recently, Abu Dhabi has created the Masdar Eco-city, China is still building Chinese Eco-cities and cooperating with Tianjin Eco-city in Singapore and, in India, the small Auroville Eco-city is being constructed by local people, while in 2015 the Indian government launched a national initiative to build smart cities.
Most of the above Eco-cities are comparatively small projects for small populations and none have an internal, devolved, local government based on the new ethical Eco-socio-economic system. Most Eco-cities in the world concentrate on solar energy and an Eco-environment, touching on local employment, good health and transport, but has no social charter for a harmonized, ethical and peaceful community living in an Eco-socio- economic system such as that described in Ecolism 1.
Therefore, these Eco-city projects have environmental and commercial aspects, but they are missing the social Eco-lifestyle and their suitability for the poorest to live a cost-effective lifestyle. In my concept, the Eco-city should not be luxurious and must be economical in all of its aspects and built for sustainable self-sufficiency that is unaffected by national or global economic turmoil or external influences.
The infrastructure layout in the following chapter outlines the proposed Eco-city design for Western countries. However, other nations might adapt the model to suit their geography, economy and culture.
The Eco-City’s Infrastructure
The Eco-city has three primary sectors encircling each other, starting from the outermost perimeter surrounding the Eco- sustenance sector, followed by the Eco-city’s residence sector in the middle and the central section of the Eco-city’s council.
The visionary Eco-city’s layout is like the circles of a lake rippling out to navigate from the center to the edges. It has a symmetrical design with smaller to greater circles and sections accessed by three sets of ten gates for each sector. It features Eco- gates, Eco-rivers, Eco-fences, Eco-industries, Eco-businesses, Eco-agriculture and Eco-homes. Note: The Eco-home design will be detailed in Ecolism 4.
It is not like any other Eco-city created throughout history; it has a new Eco-socio-economic system for shared governance between the councilors/administrators, businesses and residents. As repeatedly mentioned in the Ecolism books, the principal design components are sustainability, self-sufficiency, environmental friendliness and providing an economical Eco- lifestyle, where the Eco-society lives in harmony and peace, with the fundamental human rights being for each couple to own an Eco-home, work and pay for it.
The Eco-city’s perimeters are made of three concentric rings to surround the three sectors. Each circular boundary has a fence, ten gates and a river running inside it, followed by a ring road that connects to the main crossroads through many roundabouts (traffic circles through which to access the streets for the houses and to travel across the three sectors).
The Eco-city protects itself from unwelcome intruders and surrounds its perimeters with barriers of conifer trees and bushes, walls, rivers, cameras, motion detectors and so forth. Alongside each fence, there are gates to accept or reject visitors. Although monitoring technologies do not need walls and can detect what is behind them, it is a bonus to have a reliable and physical separation as well. The security guards can use any technology that triggers alarms to alert them about a threat, which is currently available in most countries to protect their borders.
The Eco-fences have sensors to detect anyone digging tunnels under them. Also, some ultrasonic and electromagnetic pest-repelling devices can be installed to drive away rodents, insects and other vermin. There are unique trees that absorb and may prevent airborne viruses or any technology that can prevent or burn viruses would be a good thing to implement.
The First Eco-Fence
The first Eco-fence is the outer border of the Eco-city, surrounding its sustenance zones to prevent intruders and control the access of eligible visitors via its gates.
The shape of the first perimeter fence will depend on the available land. The ten gates should be at an equal distance from each other and at each corner of its irregular decagon shape. Primarily, the fence should be good enough to protect the industries and facilities of the Eco-city. It should allow controlled access to the businesses, agriculture, industries and other services of the Eco-sustenance sectors without accessing the Eco-city’s residence area, which is surrounded by another perimeter and gates.
The Second Eco-Fence
The second Eco-fence separates the Eco-city’s residence sector from the Eco-sustenance sector. It also has ten gates at each corner of its regular-shaped decagon. The primary purpose of the gates is to give easy access to its residents and the Eco- sustenance sectors, also to prevent unwelcome visitors or intruders.
The Third Eco-Fence
The third Eco-fence surrounds the Eco-council sector and has a similar layout to the Eco-city’s residence sector, but smaller and its primary purpose is to protect, control and restrict the traffic to the Eco-council sector and the committees of representatives.
The first set of gates allows access to the Eco-sustenance sector from outside the Eco-city, the second to the Eco-city’s residence sector in the middle and the third to the Eco-council sector at the center. Each gate is a checkpoint to verify identities and allow approved visitors into a sector. Moreover, the outer set of gates must have detectors for weapons, explosives, chemicals and forbidden materials.
Each gate has computer systems running a facial-recognition software application to scan each person entering the Eco-city and it connects to the national database to verify the identity of wanted criminals. The security personnel give a photo ID pass to each visitor and possibly a wrist tracking band to track the person’s location. A specialist security team control the gates and have powers to investigate and vet anybody.
The human-made Eco-city-rivers around the Eco-city have multipurpose functions. They are used for farming fish to feed the Ecolists and they collect rainwater that is pumped to the water-treatment plants and then distributed as needed.
The Eco-city’s streets and roads have specially designed channels on their sides to collect the water and pour it into the nearest Eco-river’s access point. Optionally, each Eco-river’s bank might have a resting channel for settling the dirt and sand out of the water as an initial filtration phase, after which the water is pumped into the Eco-river.
The Eco-rivers must be kept hygienic and not polluted by any fuel from boat engines, dirt or the forbidden plastic bags, which is to make it easier to filter, treat and distribute to the residential, agricultural, industrial and other areas, depending on the purity level needed.
The Eco-river must have specialist equipment to aerate and oxygenate the water for healthier fish. Water-fountain pumps can be installed to create beautiful fountains that aerate the water and have colored lights to create beautiful scenes.
The Eco-city can also use systems to prevent ice from forming on the surface and cultivate aquatic plants for supplemental ﬁltration. There are some types of water plants that absorb ammonium, nitrates and phosphates and help to assimilate other undesirable substances. This natural process improves the water quality while shading the river from light, especially if algae grows and covers all the surface.
The outer side of the Eco-city’s river bank that reaches the fence is a feeding ground for the livestock. The cattle produce milk and their meat feeds the Eco-city’s residents; chickens and their eggs are also additional food. The animals will have housing structures to protect them from a harsh winter and to store their food supplies. The animals’ shelter is attached to the fence to improve its security.
The other, inner, side of the river bank is for the light entertainment of the elderly and others. People may enjoy promenading, feeding the ducks and sitting in cafés, drinking tea and eating locally made healthy sweets. They can also socialize with each other and play stimulating mental games to improve their memory and minds. The inner side of the river bank joins a promenade structured with lanes for cycling, pedestrians and scooters. The promenade encircles the outermost main ring road of the Eco-city’s residence and has wind turbines, fruit trees and berry bushes that also act as a wall preventing vehicles from crashing into the boardwalk.
The Eco-City-River for the Sustenance Sector
The Eco-sustenance sector has a river that is smaller in width but longer. It runs inside the outer perimeter of the first Eco- fence and serves the Eco-sustenance areas. It also collects the rainwater from the sustenance area and stores it to supply the agricultural land and other zones. The river can have fish to feed the industrial workers and the river bank could also have cattle roaming free, grazing on the grass to save cutting it and allowing the residents to benefit from the cattle’s meat and milk.
The Eco-City’s Main River for Residents
The Eco-city’s river inside the second fence is the widest one, proportionally designed for the Eco-city’s size and population and its purpose is to serve the Eco-city’s residents by providing water and fish supplies.
Also, it collects the rainwater from the Eco-city to store it and act as its reservoir. The Eco-city’s river will also display beautiful scenes with the floating Eco-fountains and water-lily flowers and will be kept clean to produce drinking water for the Eco-city. The cattle roam free on its banks, as do birds and domesticated animals.
The Eco-City-River for the Center
The Eco-council-sector river inside the third Eco-fence is a small, narrow stream that will help with the necessities of fish and water for the Eco-council and its administration buildings outside the fence.
Behind each fence and river is an Eco-ring-road surrounding each of the three sectors and the central administration.
The outermost is the Eco-sustenance-ring-road, which encompasses the Eco-sustenance sections and is the longest. It connects to the main roads across the sustenance zones and the cross-sectional streets of the industries, businesses, agriculture and other services for the Eco-city.
The middle one is the Eco-residence-ring-road, which surrounds the residential areas and is the widest. It connects to the main roads across the Eco-city and its inner streets. It has the promenade on its outer side, as mentioned earlier.
The next innermost is the Eco-admin-ring-road, which surrounds the Eco-administration outside the Eco-council’s fence and has parking spaces on both of its sides. It must be wide enough for all the Eco-administration visitors.
The central is the Eco-council-ring-road, inside the Eco- council’s fence and it is the smallest and interconnects the streets leading to each Eco-council.
This Eco-city has ten main crossroads, starting from the Eco- city’s perimeter of the sustenance sections, crosses the second boundary surrounding the residence area and continues to the third perimeter of the administration center. Outside the Eco- city’s perimeter and opposite each of its ten gates, there are parking areas for vehicles. The Eco-city does not allow cars to enter for security reasons and fossil-fuel-powered cars cause pollution. The Eco-transport provides park and ride, electric transport buses for visitors and trucks or trailers for deliveries.
Each bus has a driver and an inspector to take photos of the passengers and transmits them to the gate for facial-recognition inspection to check if any person had a criminal record or is not allowed to enter certain sections of the Eco-city. It is done this way to save inspection time at the gate and reduce traffic congestion at the point of entry.
The traffic passes through any of the ten outer gates to a specific destination. Once the first checkpoint has authorized access, the drivers navigate the roundabouts that divert the electric vehicles to the desired destination. The drivers either access the Eco-sustenance section or continue to the gates of the Eco-city’s residential area for another checkpoint.
Each of the ten main roads starts at each of the decagon’s corners and cross to the opposite one. Each road has five lanes (car-width tracks) going into the Eco-city and five lanes to return. The vehicle tracks are marked for speeds of 100mph, 80mph, 60mph, 40mph and 20mph, consecutively.
The center of the two-way road is one lane wide and covered by berry bushes, so that there is no wasted space and it helps to supply the Eco-city with the most nutritious and anti-oxidant berry fruits. Between the berry bushes, there are giant wind turbines to generate electricity for the Eco-city. The street lights are fixed on the posts of the wind turbines and activated by motion detectors to save on consuming electricity.
Each side of the main roads has a wide multifunction pavement. On the left-hand side of the pavement, there are also condensed berry bushes, fruit trees and designer wind turbines shaped like flowers, sculptures or trees that are pleasant to the eye. The berry bushes and fruit trees supply fruits and the designer wind turbines supply electricity.
The berry bushes between each side of the main roads and the pavements are necessary to function as a natural fence to safeguard the pedestrians and cyclists from any accidental car collisions or a car losing control in remaining on the road’s lanes.
The multifunction pavement has a utilities’ tunnel for water, fiber-optic cable and electricity supplies, designed in a way that does not cause any interruption for the traffic or the pedestrians. Alongside it, there is one track for scooters, another for cyclists and the third one is for pedestrians. The right-hand side of the pavement joins the sides of the houses and ends at the beginning of each inner street. The crossings between the pavements and the inner streets are either underground or have pedestrian traffic lights.
The inner streets of the Eco-sustenance sections can be designed by the industries and businesses to suit their buildings and borders, crossing the ten main roads coming from outside the Eco-city.
The internal streets of the Eco-city’s residence sector are between each row of Eco-homes that are back to back, separated by their gardens and facing one lane of the internal street that joins the main roads in both directions.
The inner streets also have pavements for pedestrians, cycles and scooters; utility tunnels; and water drainage that joins the ones in the main road going to the rivers. At each end of an internal street, where it meets the main road, there is a bus stop for taking passengers to the center or the Eco-city’s perimeter and also steps to the underground for the train stations.
The inner streets of the Eco-council sector conform with the general layout of the Eco-city and separate the Eco-councils from each other, but join them to the Eco-assembly-center.
The Eco-transport system must use electric vehicles, as described later in the Eco-research-and-innovation section under the Eco-sustenance sector. The underground trains run under the main roads from the center to the Eco-sustenance areas, for the residents to quickly arrive at work and return home, with less- frequent stops.
The buses and slow vehicles will run in the 40 and 20mph slow lanes, take passengers from the Eco-city residence area to the center or its perimeter and sometimes to the train stops. A bus transport service will be provided in the Eco- sustenance sections for people to get to their work from the train stops. The Eco-sustenance area’s buses will only allow the Eco- city’s employees, who have their IDs and personal Eco-card, to ride them between their place of work and train or bus stops.
The Eco-city will have autonomous Eco-cars for the Eco- councilors, businesses, some visitors and those who can afford them, for private transport. All electric Eco-vehicles (bicycles, tricycles, scooters and others.) can be used inside the Eco-city. Each Eco-vehicle will be tagged, tracked and not be allowed to leave the Eco-city. Therefore, there will be no need to lock it when parked at a location.
The Eco-City’s Sectors
As mentioned earlier in the Eco-infrastructure layout, the Eco-city has three sectors or divisions: Eco-sustenance, Eco- residence and the Eco-council with its central administration. In the following sections, there are more details about the infrastructure of each sector, starting from the center, followed by the residence zone and ending in the Eco- sustenance zones.
The Eco-City’s Council Sector
The Eco-city’s center naturally houses the Eco-council, businesses and public-representatives committees. The efficient Eco-socio-economic system’s logic is to accommodate people closer to their work if working from home is not practical. Therefore, the Eco-councilors, representatives, specialist advisors and secretaries will live inside the Eco-city’s center and the Eco-homes are identical to the ones in the rest of the Eco-city to follow the Eco-equality principle.
The Eco-City’s Administration Sector
The Eco-city’s administration or civil services are an expansion of the Eco-council, is located outside the Eco-city-center in the Eco-administration area and runs all its required functions. Its location and buildings are outside the Eco-council zone’s fence, surrounded by the Eco-admin-ring-road. Each administration has its own building or part of it and can be expanded by building more floors or sharing with others.
The Eco-city’s administration departments deal directly with the Ecolists for all their requirements, including education, health, employment and anything that is related to their wellbeing and welfare Consequently, the Eco-administration deals with agriculture, industries, businesses and other organizations.
The flow of people coming to the Eco-council or its administration will have scheduled appointments to meet somebody and will leave as soon as the meeting is over to reduce any congestion or queueing.
The Eco-city’s system reduces congestion from people coming to the center by minimizing the need for physical meetings and replacing them with virtual ones using video- conferencing technology as much as possible, which records all conversations for transparency and accountability.
The Eco-city is open for business 24/7 and the flow of people can be spread out through shift work to reduce congestion and not suffer from congestion charges.
The Eco-city may customize a video-conferencing system, such as Skype for business or Web-ex or MS Lync to communicate with the residents. Each resident may own an Eco-mobile-phone, (aka an Eco-cell-phone in the USA) or an Eco-tablet that connects through a fast 5G Eco-bandwidth that runs on a specific frequency or the equivalent Eco-city’s Wi-Fi connection to the Eco-data-center, which enables any person to communicate at any time from any location.
The Eco-City’s Residence Sector
The housing areas start inside the Eco-residence-ring-road of the Eco-city and end outside the Eco-admin-ring-road in the center.
The first outer ring of the Eco-homes, around the residential area, should be specially designed bungalows suitable for the elderly and physically challenged to give them a more comfortable life. The main reason for choosing this location is to provide them with quicker access to the riverbank where they can walk to remain active and enjoy being with each other, doing things of common interest.
The second outer ring is for schools, universities, vocational centers, mini-hospitals or medical clinics, restaurants, cafés, leisure facilities and fitness centers. These facilities should be distributed equally across the ten sections of the Eco-city. Using the front-line services should be free or subsidized by the Eco- welfare system for the poor, unemployed and those not earning enough to afford them. The rest of the rings and segments will be the bulk of the private Eco-homes, reaching the outer side of the Eco-admin-ring-road.
The foundations of the Eco-homes should be durable enough for future expansion and provisioned to build another two floors on top of each Eco-home. Therefore, the infrastructure should be scalable enough to expand and accommodate the future population capacity.
The Eco-City’s Sustenance Sector
The Eco-sustenance sector surrounds the Eco-city’s residence area and consists of many segments intended to suit the space needed by each Eco-sustenance zone. Each business or service might occupy a physical space in the Eco-sustenance sector, but the zone covered by its services may include the entire Eco-city.
The industrial buildings might have a basement and two or more floors on top initially and can expand horizontally or vertically to occupy more areas. The warehouse section, for example, might need a small segment, while the agriculture section might require more land outside the Eco-city. Hence, its zone includes the streets’ trees and the Eco-homes’ gardens. The Eco-city could build foundations for business buildings that are robust enough for more than 30 floors high and the businesses might construct their structures but retain the pre-planned virtual design of each shared building.
The energy and water plants might fit in one segment, but the entire Eco-city is the zone for each. The Eco-ICT-data-center is in two parts, occupies two locations and supplies services to the whole Eco-city, its businesses and the world.
Destroying our environment destroys us.
Figure 3 Climate change
The sharp rise in ppm of CO2, CH4 and N2O since the 20th century
You do not have to be a scientist to observe the effects of climate change. Just watch the number and intensity of heat waves across the world increasing year by year. Watch the oceans rising and taking more of the lands. Look at the glaciers melting faster than they should. Gaze at the droughts drying up the rivers and green lands.
I used to stare at the sun and enjoy getting a suntan for hours at the beach 50 years ago; now I feel like cancer starts to eat my skin after few minutes of exposing my body to the sun. What has humanity done to the ozone layer to weaken it and allow the sun’s rays to cause damage to our planet? We have become like firefighters entering a fire without protective clothing. Eventually, the fire burns the firefighters alive.
The scientists might argue about the history of climate change, but 99% agree that the temperature has been sharply rising since 1950 due to human activities accelerating the production of greenhouse gases, which has increased the rise in global temperatures.
The largest producers of harmful gases are China, the USA and the EU, due to their industries and vehicles. They are destroying the planet slowly for profits, while there are other ways to maintain the ecosystems and make profits.
We do not have to be scientists to understand the graphs or observe the rise in sea levels, tides and the waves’ height during extreme weather. Many countries worldwide are enhancing their seawall defenses to stop high waves from hitting coastal habitation.
Globally, we see severe floods and droughts, the melting of the glaciers, tornadoes, tsunamis, a high ultraviolet (UV) index that can cause cancer and hotter summers because of climate change and the rise in temperature that has resulted from human activities polluting the earth, most notably since 1950.
The rise of CO2 started when humans learned about agriculture and livestock, and then the industrial revolution exponentially increased pollution to the point of no return. Trillions of trees were cut without being replaced, billions of vehicles were manufactured using fossil fuels, billions of barrels of oil were produced and the list goes on regarding chemicals, plastics and others. Hence, you see in the graph above the sharp rise in CO2, N2O and HC4.
Thinking logically, we can conclude that the 7.7 billion people on this planet are accelerating the production of the greenhouse gases contributing to the sharp rise in global temperatures, by merely inhaling oxygen and exhaling CO2, not to mention what else they do to the environment.
The highest contributors are CO2 and N2O from burning fossil fuels for cars and industries. The other contributing factor to CO2 production is from forestry and the misuse of wastelands. An additional contributor is the methane (CH4) produced by the excessive numbers of livestock needed to feed the massive population on this planet.
The air we inhale naturally consists of 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, 0.04% carbon dioxide, other gases and pollutants. We inhale about 21% oxygen and exhale 16% of it. However, we inhale 0.04% carbon dioxide and exhale 4% of it to clean our blood. So, the 7.7 billion people on this planet are a CO2 production factory.
The creation of Eco-cities and Eco-lifestyles are the beginning of reducing greenhouse gases from human activities. Every combustion engine must be replaced by an electric motor to stop us from using gas and petrol. Also, we must stop using aerosol sprays and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemicals and pollutants regularly used in most houses or some industries.
There are many natural sources of renewable energy that do not pollute our environment or upset the natural balance of the earth. However, politicians are influenced by businesses who care about short-term profits at the expense of slowly destroying the planet’s environment and effecting devastating climate change.
The following are some of the renewable energy sources that are suitable for one million houses at a lesser cost than a nuclear power plant: downdraft energy towers, terrestrial solar-energy satellites, solar-energy plants, wind-turbine farms, geothermal energy, hydro energy, tidal lagoons and wave power. As we make technological and scientific progress, the future innovations will improve existing ones and compete with nuclear and fossil fuel.
In the Eco-city, all the Eco-homes, business premises, industrial buildings, agriculture lands and the roads should have highly efficient solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity from renewable sources. Moreover, instead of feeding the power back to the grid, it is stored in new, advanced, molten- salt, thermal energy, giant storage tanks and batteries for use during the day or night.
The new advances in renewable-energy technologies are making it cheaper than nuclear power plants and fossil fuels, especially when it is in mass production and is locally manufactured. However, a power grid and generators as backups must be available for IT and the industries for continuous 24/7 availability.
The Eco-Sustenance Zones
The Eco-city’s sustenance zones are primarily to serve the Eco-city, but can also sell products and services to the rest of the world.
Initially, some industries, businesses and agriculture will have about four million people to serve. They are not well-off customers capable of spending a significant amount of money on luxuries, but their necessities are still substantial enough to kick-start the relevant industries or businesses and cover their overhead costs with the allowed tax-free profits of 5% to guarantee the return on their investments.
The Eco-city will equip the industries with almost free facilities and a good-value-for-money workforce available 24/7, which will reduce their overhead and help them to become more competitive in selling their products to the rest of the world.
The designs and types of the Eco-sustenance sectors will depend on the Eco-city’s requirements; once these are met, businesses can sell outside the Eco-city. The Eco-industries and businesses will always follow the Eco-principles, code of conduct and ethics, especially abiding by the Eco-environment principle of 0% human-made pollution.
The main roads and streets in the Eco-sustenance areas should have wind turbines, fruit trees and berry bushes on their sides like the rest of the Eco-city. Also, each industry or type of agriculture should have a giant 9MW wind turbine with electricity storage to become electrically self-sufficient.
The business buildings should have motorized, sun-tracking solar panels on their roofs and wind turbines to generate electricity and store it in batteries.
The Eco-sustenance’s sectors roads and streets must also have utility tunnels for the fiber-optic cables connected to the Eco-ICT-data-centers, electric wires, drains and other facilities. It should be at the side of its pavements for easy access and cause no disruption to the traffic or require the digging up of the road for maintenance.
The following chapters describe a concept design and facilities as guidelines to be adopted for the Eco-city.
The industries and businesses may design their own buildings, but must follow the Eco-city’s principles and its Eco-socio-economic system to address the climate-change challenges, as discussed throughout the Ecolism books.
The Eco-Energy Zone
If we protect our environment, nature will protect us.
The Eco-energy zone might need an entire segment in the Eco- sustenance area, but its zone will extend to any solar-, wind- and geothermal-energy installations in the Eco-city.
The Eco-city will produce its Eco-energy from renewable sources and there is no need for the excessive cost of nuclear power plants, coal, petrol products or shale gas.
The Eco-renewable-energy plants are the best way to reduce the human-made CO2 and N2O emissions to 0%. Building Eco-cities is the best solution for cutting the greenhouse-gas effect and moving people from their current polluted cities to cleaner ones is the best option. The revolutionary change in how we should build cities and convert them into Eco-environmental ones will clean up our planet and make us more civilized.
We should always recycle our waste and reuse our tools, carrier bags, utensils and all consumables to recycle our polluted industrial cities and transform them into cleaner Eco ones.
Energy Cost Comparison
The cost of energy varies among countries depending on which technology they use and from which power source it comes. It also ranges from one year to another as the technological advances progress. In China and Korea, it is a third of the cost of energy in the UK and the EU and in the USA, it is 25% cheaper than in the EU. Although oil and gas may compete with all other energy sources, it is very detrimental to the environment and continuously produces more CO2 and N2O than any other energy sources.
However, pretty soon, renewable energy will be cheaper than energy from fossil fuels, such as crude oil, coal and natural gas and nuclear energy. The oil producers know these facts and therefore they are trying to reduce petroleum prices to compete with the cheaper, renewable energy sources, but politicians always make things more expensive to please their lobbyists.
Let us take an example of building a nuclear power station in a few countries. The cost of building a nuclear power plant in the UK is about £90/MWh; the Chinese can construct it for £24/MWh and Norway will supply electricity in the year 2020 that will cost £18/MWh. In the USA, it is more expensive than in China and Korea, but it is 25% less than in the UK and the EU. The cost comparison for various sources of energy is very conflicting and depends on the technologies used, tax levies, capital costs and many other factors.
The electricity cost from nuclear sources is cheaper than gas and coal, but when the petroleum prices dropped it was no longer the case and, in time, renewable energy sources will be cheaper, safer and better for the planet; the others will be things of the past.
No matter what the economic argument presents, the trend is going towards renewable energy sources that are free from harmful environmental pollution. Renewable energy from natural and cleaner sources avoid the risk of nuclear radiation and the prohibitive cost of investing in it. The excessive cost of getting rid of nuclear waste is neither economical nor environmentally friendly.
It is wiser and more civilized to pay a higher price for renewable energy to protect the environment and ensure the longer existence of this planet.
The renewable energy sources will become cheaper than nuclear energy if the latest technologies are implemented and mass produced and will have much lower overhead costs. It becomes more achievable when building one million Eco- homes for an Eco-city and everything is locally manufactured by cheaper workers.
In the Eco-city, we should create renewable-energy factories to employ thousands of the locals instead of paying the Chinese, Koreans or the French to build a nuclear power plant.
However, as the nuclear energy cost goes down if constructed by the Chinese and Koreans, the efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells and wind turbines is going up. So, the cost of renewable energy becomes lower than nuclear and fossil-fuel energy.
The technologies are explained later in the Eco-energy zone section. However, it is pure mathematics: the efficiency of solar-energy production is increasing from 15% to 45% and the advanced multijunction technology makes it nearly 98% efficient, which makes it very competitive to nuclear and fossil- fuel energy.
In simple terms, instead of paying off the cost of investing in renewable energy in 18 years, it will be paid off in less than six years. It will also provide us with free electricity for at least 25 years maintenance-free. The cost to the consumer will be as low as $0.04 (US) for each KW/h, which is much cheaper than what electricity companies charge.
The technical description of the renewable-energy technologies might not be appealing to some readers, but it is necessary to enrich people’s knowledge and prove that nuclear and fossil-fuel power stations are not needed and can be replaced by renewable energy sources at a more competitive cost.
Figure 4 Cost comparison of electricity sources in KW/h4
The renewable energy is getting cheaper than nuclear and fossil-fuel
The petroleum and electricity companies might not like the idea of replacing nuclear/fossil-fuel energy with renewables and will use their influence on politicians to delay the use of renewable energy to keep the status quo of their business. The ethical suggestion to them is to change their line of business and invest in renewable energy. However, we live in a world of greed and short-term profits, not ethics.
Eco-Electricity from a Water Tower
The tower is a tall, hollow cylinder equipped with water pumps at its bottom that deliver water to the top of the tower’s injection system, which sprays the water back down.
The sprayed water evaporates and gets heated by the solar energy of the sun, then falls at a speed of 50 mph to the bottom and spins the turbine generators to produce electricity. This technology works best in a hot, dry climate.
However, in a humid environment, the updraft tower heats the air in glass enclosures at ground level and sends it up to be sprayed down to drive the turbines at the base. This system can be designed to produce electricity 24 hours a day, all year round and is much cheaper than any other source of energy. The Eco-city has a river and so water supply is not a problem and the pumped water is reusable.
Figure 5 Water Tower Comparison
Electricity cost’s comparison with wind and solar energy
Eco-Electricity from Solar Energy
The sun’s hourly radiation of free energy exceeds the consumption of the 7.5 billion humans in a year. Still, with all that technology at our disposal, less than 1% of the energy used worldwide comes from solar power.
The desert receives solar energy on each square kilometer that is equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of fossil fuel. Moreover, if we multiply the solar energy received by the area of all deserts worldwide, the results would be that the solar power produced in one hour over the deserts would provide hundreds of times more than the whole world uses in a year. In simple terms, the deserts could produce much more solar energy that could be produced by petroleum.
Solar technology varies from the basic, mono-crystalline photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are 15% efficient, to the multijunction concentrators, which are 44% efficient. There is also the theoretical 95%+ efficient pentacene-based PV cells, which are now very expensive, but mass production will make them much cheaper and able to compete with the traditional sources of energy.
Another type of solar power is the heliostat, which is a reflector mirror concentrating the sun to boil oil, generating steam and drive turbines to produce electricity more cost-effectively. Hence, there is no need for the gas-fired power stations that pollute the environment.
Producing electricity during the day needs storage batteries so it may be used at night, instead of feeding the power grid and repurchasing it when needed. Moreover, there is no reason to create added taxes like the ‘green tax levy’ in the UK to subsidize the electricity companies for loss of income from supplying less power.
Most of the solar panels are stationary. However, by adding stepper motors controlled by a computer program, the solar panels will rotate and track the sun to increase their electricity output by 32%. There are diverse types and they are more-efficient systems that require less land and investment to generate higher output, especially when using a sun-tracking heliostat tower structure that uses mirrors as light collectors reflecting the beam to a solar tower.
There are many applications for the heliostat, depending on its design and this ranges from producing light, electricity, heat and a fiery furnace that reaches 3,500°C to melting glass, iron or other materials. So, there is a way to replace the burning of fossil fuels to generate high temperatures and avoid polluting the environment.
A small heliostat could be designed as a solar-power-tower system, fit on the rooftop of a commercial building instead of occupying hundreds of acres and generate electricity to heat or cool a building. A large heliostat can supply electricity to a community, village, city or power plants.
To utilize the electricity day and night, efficient thermal- energy-storage technology, such as molten-salt storage, molten silicon technology or an equivalent, will be required.
Eco-Electricity from Space Solar Satellite
Clouds can be a problem for solar energy, reducing the sunlight and the night hides the sunlight away, but what if we placed a terrestrial solar-energy satellite equivalent to the size of the International Space Station (ISS) above the clouds or built solar stations on the moon? Then we can produce electricity from renewable sources 24 hours a day, which is freed from changing weather conditions and we can abolish the use of fossil fuels and nuclear power plants for good.
The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has tested two prototypes of what it calls a ‘sandwich’ module. One side receives solar energy into PV panels and the electronic circuitry in the middle converts the electric current produced from the PV cells to a microwave frequency.
The other side of the sandwich’s antenna beams a 2.45 GHz microwave frequency to a particular receiver station only, which asks for it from a specific location on the ground.
So far, the terrestrial solar-energy satellite is the cheapest source of energy and has enormous potential for the future. If the electricity companies invest in this future technology instead of nuclear power plants, then they will make even more money out of it and become Eco-friendly.
One solar satellite station can give electricity to one million houses for 24 hours a day and costs $1 billion; it is much cheaper than any nuclear power plant or fossil fuels and much safer for the environment. The Shimizu Corporation in Japan announced plans to build a solar strip across 11,000 miles of the moon and to transfer energy through microwaves and laser light to earth. The future is bright for energy from the sun and there is no need for non- renewable, polluting energy sources.
Figure 6 Solar Power Satellite.
It can light up 1 million homes at a $1 billion cost
Eco-Electricity from Wind Turbines
Wind turbines were initially called windmills and it is an old concept that started before Christ’s era to grind grains and pump water. The first practical wind wheel was invented by the Greek engineer Heron of Alexandria in the first century AD, which used a wind-driven wheel to power a machine. Using wind turbines to generate electricity started in Denmark and Scotland in the 19th century and it was limited to producing a few kilowatts.
More recently, in the 21st century, the giant wind turbines are capable of producing megawatts instead of kilowatts and are used in many countries. The Danish built the Vestas V164 in 2016, which is a giant wind turbine that is 220 meters high and 164 meters in diameter and generates more than 9MW of power, which enough to supply electricity for more than 3,000 houses or many industrial factories.
So, why don’t we use the wind energy to supply our farms and industries with electricity? Of course, sometimes the wind stops and we have to use additional alternatives that rely on the sun, geothermal energy, tidal waves or other renewable-energy technologies.
There have been many advances in wind-turbine technology in both conventional and unconventional systems. A company called Sheer Wind in the USA claims to have a new wind-power- generation technology that is up to 600% more efficient than traditional wind turbines.
This wind turbine uses Invelox technology, which is a wind injection system and can generate power from winds as gentle as 1 to 2mph. It does it by capturing passing breezes from any wind direction at the top of its 50-foot tower. The wind is funneled down towards the bottom, through an increasingly narrow space and when the air is compressed, it speeds up a series of small turbine generators to convert the wind into electrical energy.
In time, chimneys on top of houses and vents on top of buildings could be replaced by some kind of an Invelox technology to generate a much more efficient conversion of wind energy to electricity than the traditional wind turbines.
The Invelox technology can be used in the Eco-city, as well as the giant 9MW wind turbines for the industries and the farmers can erect it in the fields to benefit from free electricity without occupying much of their lands. The giant 9MW wind turbines could also be installed at the Eco-city’s perimeters or in the Eco-sustenance areas, in addition to installing other systems like water towers. These systems work on low wind speeds, to supply electricity to the industries, street lights, electric trains, buses and other vehicles.
If wind turbines are not pleasant to the eyes, we can easily erect silent, designer wind turbines on each roof and on the sides of each street.
Figure 7 Archimedes Turbine Figure 8 Helix Turbine
Designer wind turbines are silent, efficient, cost-effective and beautiful like sculptures
Eco-Electricity from Geothermal Energy
The magma of the earth’s core produces more energy than all the nuclear power plants on the entire planet.
The magma continually produces heat from the natural decay of radioactive materials such as uranium and potassium. This heat naturally flows to the surface by conduction at a rate of 44.2 terawatts (TW) / hour and is restocked by radioactive decay at a rate of 30TW/hour, which is more than double the world’s entire energy consumption.
As of 2015, the global geothermal-power capacity amounts to 12.8 gigawatts (GW) and only 6.5% of the total global potential has been used so far, but more projects are on their way to reach 17GW by the year 2020.
In the UK and in some areas in the USA, the mean annual ground temperature at 15 meters deep is from 9°C to 13°C and hence is colder than the air in summer and warmer in winter. So, if we can live underground or in a basement without the need to heat or cool our living space, we do not need to spend money on electricity.
The simplest, shallow geothermal energy is gained by digging 5 to 10 meters into the earth, where the temperature is consistently between 10°C and 16°C in some areas and there is no need to generate electricity. Shallow geothermal energy can be used for warming the house floors and to keep the gardens’ raised soil beds at a steady temperature all year around. The French built underground cellars to keep their wine at a constant temperature all year round without having to invest in an expensive air-conditioning system.
However, for the substantial conversion of geothermal energy, digging deeper for a hotter temperature becomes necessary to convert pumped water or steam to electricity by using it to propel turbines that drive motors. The cost of power production depends on the geothermal activity of the geographical locations. In volcanic areas such as Iceland, New Zealand, North Italy and other such countries, it is easier and less expensive to use geothermal energy. In Iceland, most electricity and heating supplies are from a geothermal renewable energy source and not from fossil fuel.
Technically, there are three basic designs for geothermal power plants that pull hot water and steam from the ground. The depth required for generating cost-effective electricity depends on the geology and energy requirements.
The most straightforward design is dry steam that goes directly through the turbine to rotate a motor, then into a condenser to convert it into water. The second method is to de-pressurize the hot water or ‘flash’ it into steam, which can then drive the turbine. The third approach is called a binary cycle system. The hot water is passed through a heat exchanger, where it heats an isobutene liquid in a closed loop. The isobutene liquid boils at a temperature lower than water and converts into steam to run the turbine.
The geothermal gradient has an average value of 26°C per kilometer, so the deeper we dig, the higher the temperature we get till we reach the core of the earth at seven million °C. However, in practical terms, for some areas, to reach 76°C a depth of 1.8 kilometers would have to be dug to produce 23MW of heat and 24.1MW of electricity.
Commercial companies inject pressurized, toxic fluids to fracture the rocks to extract shale gases and that might cause seismic activity in the form of unpredictable earthquakes. The process releases harmful gases and if they are not captured and re-injected into the earth, they become harmful to the living beings on this planet.
The control standards for deep geothermal energy should put the greenhouse effect before profits and commercialism, where long-term safety comes first at any cost and not the other way around. Rooted geothermal-energy plants and shale-gas extraction are not recommended to be built in the Eco-city’s housing areas to avoid the possible geological disturbance of the earth’s surface and earthquakes in extreme cases. Therefore, the geothermal power plants should be constructed outside the Eco-city or in the energy sustenance area if proven to be safe.
The advantages of geothermal power are the use of smaller areas of land and 20 liters of freshwater per MW/h versus over 1,000 liters per MW/h for nuclear, coal or oil power stations and has almost no harmful impact on the environment.
Figure 9 Geothermal Energy.
The core of the earth can generate electricity for the whole planet
Tidal Lagoons and Sea-Wave Power
We should take advantage of the sea that surrounds countries such as the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan and many other countries. It is about time we stopped using nuclear power plants and fossil fuels and instead use the sea’s tidal waves as the most significant power station on the planet.
The combined energy production in the UK from gas, steam, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and others is about 396GW per annum. In the USA, it is about 4.5TW and China has the largest production at 5.5TW, while the global potential to generate electricity from tidal waves is much more than humankind needs and consumes. However, geographical location influences the production capacity. Some locations can generate more electricity than others, depending on the tidal rise and fall and the strength of the waves.
The estimated electricity generated from the coastline of the USA could be 2,100 TW/h from tidal waves and many feasibility studies are showing it is possible to produce hundreds of megawatts in each project or bay. However, they have not tapped into this abundant energy source of the sea and, although a few small projects have fed the national electricity grid, it is still a drop in the ocean.
Several technologies can utilize the tides and waves to generate electricity. There are a few projects around the world producing hundreds of megawatts, but it is a small percentage and must be used to its full potential.
The question is, why do electricity companies do not invest enough in renewable energies? Perhaps, in more enlightened times of humankind and when ethics rise above the greed for money, they will go Eco to produce electricity from renewable sources.
When renewable energy is mass produced in much more efficient ways, it becomes cheaper, greener, a longer-lasting investment and more ethical. All that it takes is for the politicians to encourage companies to go in this direction and for people to use renewables only.
Interestingly, in June 2015, the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK granted planning permission to construct the first tidal-lagoon power plant in the world and planning for six more. Each tidal lagoon would have a capacity of 320MW. I hope this technology will become the future for replacing nuclear and fossil-fuel sources of electricity, once the influence of the traditional electricity companies diminishes and politicians become more ethical.
The tidal lagoon is at Swansea Bay in South Wales in the UK. The bay has the advantage of tides rising from 7 to 9 meters high. It is 11 kilometers long and is used for recreation, preserving marine life and farming fish to eat.
The electricity is generated from 26 low-head belt turbines under a 550-meter-long concrete-housing structure. Each turbine is 6 meters high and 18 meters long and is capable of generating 16MW/h, which is double the 8MW/h capacity of the largest Danish wind turbine. As the tide rises, the wicket gates close to create a sea-water level difference and when the gates open the water flows forwards and backwards to rotate the turbine clockwise and anti-clockwise four times a day. The low-head belt turbine drives a motor to generate electricity.