Refuse-derived clothing

Two Italian fashion designers have developed a technique to make a silk-like fabric from citrus waste, called Orange Fiber. The orange juice industry produce a very large amount of waste in the form of peels. The use of citrus peels as a resource for the production of textiles, is interesting as it increase the value of citrus fruits and hence potentially increasing the income of citrus farmers.

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Sewage and Algae

In the previous post I did not discuss particular technologies to purify waste water and to turn it into clean water. One way to remove minerals from waste water are algae.

As orbital space settlements will get most of the energy from solar power, there is little use for biofuel. However, algae have a lot of other useful applications. Continue reading Sewage and Algae

Sewers and Taxes

Sewers are the summit of human civilization and taxation is the price of civilization. So we are supposed to pay sewer tax, right? No, not really. In this post I will explain how space settlements could fund a sewage and waste water treatment system without having to collect sewer charges. Continue reading Sewers and Taxes

Farming in 2050

Intensive animal farming, also known as factory farming, is controversial for two reasons. First of all, it has a huge negative impact upon our environment – cattle is, for instance, one of the major sources of methane (a greenhouse gas stronger than carbon dioxide) emission. Second but not least, is the suffering imposed on animals kept as livestock. Though animal slaughter is an unpleasant aspect of livestock farming, the way we keep animals is probably far more cruel than merely killing a sentient being.

In this essay I want to explore a not-too-far future in which technology has reconciled our demand for animal products and animal welfare. Of course, I know that certain animal welfare activists will argue that we should become all vegans in order to put an end to animal suffering. However, I do not believe such strategy will be successful. Too many people like meat and other animal products, while current plant-based alternatives cannot (yet) satisfy this demand.

What are the main animal products we humans consumer? Meat, dairy, eggs and leather. I will discuss each product one by one. Thereafter I will argue that we can return to small scale farms that both respect animal welfare and play an important social function.

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The agricultural section of a Bernal Sphere (source: NASA)

Encryption clause

Article II-10, paragraph 3 of our draft constitution:

A well protected privacy, being necessary to the security of a free Society, the right of the people to use strong encryption in correspondence shall not be infringed.

The purpose of this clause is to enshrine the right to use of strong encryption and to make laws mandating backdoors in encryption software unconstitutional.

Lead and choline

A democratic republic can only survive and flourish if its citizens are well-educated. However, such an educated society can only exist if the overall majority of its citizens has the individual cognitive ability to handle proper education. In other words a democratic republic is only possible as its citizens have a certain degree of general intelligence. Continue reading Lead and choline

For the establishment of secular, liberal, humanist and republican space settlements