#14: The Agora: Displaced Population Stabilizer
Today, after years of R and D, I’m honored to present The Agora: the Displaced Population Stabilizer.
Its no secret that the environments of most countries are failing due to climate change, misuse, and overpopulation. People are pushed from their lands by war, poverty, and loss of agricultural land.
The American military, of which I was once a member, 11B, calls these negative impacts “Threat Multipliers,” where one destabilizing factor increases the pressures on other factors, leading to what we see on the news every night.
The Agora, with its synthesis of dense energy, water, and food production is specifically designed to be a “Threat Divider”. It is one of many potential pressure release valves that can be employed to avert wars by stabilizing populations on their home lands despite the changing climate.
A natural wetland has the highest bio-uptake of nutrients and gas conversion, cubic meter to square meter, of any environment on earth. A PermaCycler, which is an easy to harvest self selecting wetland built to last a century, is even more efficient and infinitely adaptable.
Much like breathing into a paperbag will swap O2 for CO2 in the bag (and make you pass out if you keep breathing), CO2 exhaled by aerobic wetlands is the number one nutrient for crops (Redfield Ratio again). Where does the aerobic (with O2/ the TEA) wetland get its O2 which it uses to exhale waste carbon? An enclosed greenhouse, grow room, or hoop house which exhales O2 (photosynthesis).
The PermaCycler wetland “breathes in” while the grow space “breathes out” and repeat, endlessly. Sunlight powers the biotic gas exchange and CO2 fixation/degradation while the solar electric runs the pumps, amendment dosers, and simple monitors and heats water.
Once wetland and atmosphere are connected, keep grow space CO2 at +1.5% and PermaCycler dissolved oxygen (DO) above 8 mg/L. The pair has completed a feedback loop and tripled crop growth using a water pump and 1-2 kw of the 80+kw available in an Agora’s combined PV array.
I’ve gone over this in Blog #5, but it bears repeating. Don’t forget, the PermaCyclers are also aquaponic tanks. That food and growth further increases the yield. It is those aquatic species that yield nitrate for the plants. Another loop connected.
While the original investment in an Agora is high, it can permanently maintain 5-10+ people per acre with food, shelter, work, electricity, water treatment, and education while healing the land. This makes the amortized cost very very low, and we expect that it will cost less than a dollar per day per person over 25 years. Not only that, once the community has stabilized, it will become a net economic producer, thus offering ROI on fostering displaced communities. How quick can the Agora’s community turn around the capital will depend on democratic processes and small business promotion. Remember, stabilize the population and they will thrive. Build the commons, respect the individual.
Current best rates of people to acres using biointensive agriculture is all over the place and climate dependent, but I’ve seen it claimed a family of four can feed themselves on one acre of land if they are primarily vegetarian, eating eggs and occasional meat. I’m a fan of goats, sheep, chicken, ducks, and anything in the water.
The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, based on their statistics of all combined methods of farming, say 2 adults can feed themselves on an acre if that is all they do. So, a biointensive aquaponics system with linked PermaCycler/grow space will be able to not only achieve five people per acre, but will far surpass it.
Heavy metals and other pollutants which make soil too toxic to use can be rehabilitated by the PermaCycler as it draws in ground or river water and captures the pollutants in the wetlands, slowly leaching pollutants from the soil and returning compost tea which further degrades certain pollutants. Remember, we started in mining, removing metals and pollutants is how we made a name for ourselves. (PermaCycler = MRU). The longer an Agora functions near impacted soils and groundwater, the better the land/water will become and the pollutants are slowly drawn out and captured.
I’ll leave the different Agora embodiments (AgoraBath, AgoraGrow, AgoraHome, AgoraHealth, AgoraWork, AgoraGov, and AgoraLearn) and their modular build out for their own blogs. Each Agora embodiment has the base components above (water/electric) and each is designed to work together to provide all of the services necessary for a vibrant, productive community capable of permanently supporting thousands of people over hundreds of acres.
Thank you for your consideration on this most urgent issue,