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What would permaculture seasteading look like?

 
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Seasteading is something I know very little about, how would permaculture seasteading work? It seems to me that it's a high input/high maintenance/unnatural system to start with, and I wonder if it could be done well permaculture style.

Looking forward to the conversation!

Edit: Looks like  I need to look at the similar threads!
Old thread on it seasteading, boatsteading, and substeading
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

It seems to me that it's a high input/high maintenance/unnatural system to start with, and I wonder if it could be done well permaculture style.

As with so many things, point of view matters so much. There are indigenous populations I've seen pictures of that live in homes on stilts out on the water. I'm sure those homes require frequent patching jobs, but it's all done with renewable resources and the people aren't trying to do so as well as work 40 hour work-weeks away from home.
I've also read about some of the floating garden systems, some version of which the indigenous Mexicans used to feed large populations using shallow lakes. It seemed more sustainable than the damage done to areas of Europe and the Middle East through their forms of farming.
I think the trade off is sometimes - short life but easy to fix with materials growing happily nearby vs long life but more energy intensive to start with vs current approaches using a lot of energy, money, unsustainable practices etc, but it *still* only lasts 70 years (that latter is a quote about typical current North American housing - and I've heard of some that's not even lasting that long!)

So I guess my short answer is that I think Seasteading - or "Lakesteading" has great potential for a permaculture approach. To me it's sort of the difference between hydroponics vs aquaponics vs a sustainably scaled system where water is the base medium rather than land.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:
I've also read about some of the floating garden systems, some version of which the indigenous Mexicans used to feed large populations using shallow lakes. It seemed more sustainable than the damage done to areas of Europe and the Middle East through their forms of farming.


Chinampas have fascinated me since I first heard of them as a child. Those make sense to me.

I think the trade off is sometimes - short life but easy to fix with materials growing happily nearby vs long life but more energy intensive to start with vs current approaches using a lot of energy, money, unsustainable practices etc, but it *still* only lasts 70 years (that latter is a quote about typical current North American housing - and I've heard of some that's not even lasting that long!)

So I guess my short answer is that I think Seasteading - or "Lakesteading" has great potential for a permaculture approach. To me it's sort of the difference between hydroponics vs aquaponics vs a sustainably scaled system where water is the base medium rather than land.



Cool, that makes sense :)
And don't get me started on housing, I'm  building a home and having wars with codes because I'm doing it "non-standard" so far above their code they don't understand it.  "This has to be 15 pounds per square inch" "It's 250." "What!?" sigh... that would be the houses that don't last.
 
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I can totally sea how seasteading could work close to the shoreline.  Maybe in a protected area or inside a reef.  Being in international waters just seems a bit overly challenging.  

Is the general idea for a deep water seastead that you'd be living primarily off of fish?  Gardening on a raft seems like it would just be prohibitively hard in the waves of the open ocean.  

Then again, gardening on a retired, floating, maneuverable container ship that you loaded with a foot of topsoil could work.  Plenty of surface to catch rainwater with.  It can handle the waves.  Room for all the people you could every hope for.  Maybe room to land a Cessna/helicopter on (or other transportation system to get to the mainland).
 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

And don't get me started on housing, I'm  building a home and having wars with codes because I'm doing it "non-standard" so far above their code they don't understand it.

I soooo... hear you. My spouse did the same on the electrical system in our last house. Our current house was owner built and there are issues  in *all* the electrical bits we've had to interact with, which doesn't give me confidence in what they call "inspections".
This issue will increase when people like us insist on building houses to survive earthquakes (my ecosystem) or tornadoes or hurricanes or floods, rather than just to save the occupants which I'm told is the basis for "building codes".
I would *really* not want to plan a seasteading system for minimal survivability (is survivability a word?) There are places for ephemeral materials that can be quickly replaced - think bamboo - and places where the longest lifespan for a valuable, hard to replace, high energy content materials should be the goal.

I have read a little about artificial reef building - we have some locally using concrete "reef balls" and the huge increase in sea creature numbers and variety that quickly move in to the homes provided.  I will try to read through the link you gave to the older thread when time allows to see what ideas they had for sustainable approaches.

The issue with oceans are not so different from land - humans have a strong history of over-harvesting until collapse occurs. Using permaculture approaches to steading on water seems essential to me to avoid that usual human tendency.
 
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This is a neat idea.

Although I'm having trouble understanding how it is sustainable.  It might be, I just don't see it yet.

Sustainable to me means that the resources are used slower than they can replenish.  When we factor in transportation, the most sustainable resources are usually the ones that are local.  The ocean provides many resources, but not others.  


I would want to be within sight of the shoreline so I could stay under the protection of my country - even if that means having to obey their rules - and being within sight of shore means it's easier to get help when things go wrong.   It would also make transport of resources and trade with the shore easier while the system becomes self-sustainable.

International waters scare me because there are still a lot of laws - but how those laws are interpreted and enforced is not enforced.  Which means, we have the freedom to do just about anything we want in international waters, but other people have the freedom to do anything they want to us.  Without the protection of the law, you loose personhood.  Being a person is not an automatic part of being part of the human race, it's a legal term and without personhood, we lose all rights and freedoms.  
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:

I would want to be within sight of the shoreline so I could stay under the protection of my country - even if that means having to obey their rules - and being within sight of shore means it's easier to get help when things go wrong.

Personally I agree. I also recognize that some of the severe dead zones are close to shore. Getting carbon out of the ocean would really help the ocean recover from human activities and "farming" kelp would get carbon and nitrogen out and oxygen and critter habitat created, even if all that it is used for is composting to build soil on shore or for the floating community. Think "coppicing" using kelp.
Simply expanding the human population by providing more habitat is not what I'm thinking, but rather using seasteading to actually help heal the ocean just as Restoration Agriculture, Mob Grazing, and Permaculture are finding ways to heal the land and support varied ecosystems.
 
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I came across this a few years back. I was intrigued.

https://nenc.news/bren-smith-fisherman-restorative-ocean-farming/

I think there was a time when his company was offering to train, market and give capital and equipment to aspiring sea farmers.

I also wanna say there was some talk about these systems potentially purifying the pollutants coming out of the Hudson River--seeing as kelp and shellfish do such things. Cant find the study to that.

 
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@Kamaar Taliaferro - Excellent article! Bren Smith makes so many comments relating to what I've said above. For example, "we have all these species that can grow just with nutrients that are in the water, that we have too much of, too much nitrogen, too much carbon, too much phosphorus, and grow with sunlight."
He also recognizes the way to do so safely with this quote, "Mother Nature abhors monoculture. She introduces disease and all sorts of things. So, the great thing about the ocean is we can do polyculture."

When people talk about "fish farming" I normally cringe. As Bren Smith describes, it's feed-lot style all over again with all the diseases and environmental damage associated with it. What Smith is describing is the ocean equivalent of Restoration Agriculture and if we can do enough of it fast enough it will help the oceans recover. My only concern is that with the ocean acidifying we've had issues with shellfish dying in my area - apparently they literally can't properly grow their shells. I have a feeling that was happening where they were growing more as a monoculture, but I don't know if a poly culture will be enough to reverse the issue in a local  spot - I *really* hope so! Either way, humans need to be taking this sort of approach world wide to get the ocean back into balance before we hit the tipping point and it crashes completely.

 
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I’ve been dreaming of seasteading for a very long time. I modified an old sailboat to troll for tuna. If anyone’s in SW Washington and seriously wants to fish commercially for a month or two, let me know. I’m a little late getting started, but there is a lot of season left.

Anyway, I have two seasteading ideas.

A few of us can get together and buy a 100’ landing craft, and a few acres in Southeast Alaska where we can park everything, plant some fruit trees, and have a physical address. There’s a really nice one in Alaska for $3M #2521, or an old  war vet in Ca for $850K.
http://www.sunmachinery.com/landing_crafts_for_sale.html
Southeast Alaska is almost all National Forest, so in theory, you can get a permit to graze livestock and make hay at the river mouths(I know they issue at least some permits), to store in a shipping container on the deck. Fill another container with a hydroponic fodder system and lights. We could even build a shipping container greenhouse and livestock pens. Build an Arc, but plan to spend most nights on shore, camping on public land, with the livestock in electric fence. There’s a lot of hunting and gathering to be done. We could treat the land like it’s ours, and spend time improving it. And, if you’re like me, and still need to work for 30 years or so to pay all this crap off, there’s plenty of space left on the deck for a bulldozer, forestry mulcher, and an excavator, so that we can do some remote property development, and cut fire breaks.

Second idea, is that I want to build a large buoy, to anchor in federal waters. I have a used, 32,000 gallon steel fuel tank, to serve as the top section(had been planning to cut a door in the end and bury it in a hillside as a root cellar). I have access to a shop that builds large pressure vessels and tanks, so the $15k of chain to anchor it, would be my biggest expense. The buoy will serve as a:
1. Fish Aggregation Device(FAD). I should be able to sail to the buoy from shore, tie up, and fish with some success. It will act as a stationary clump of kelp, miles offshore.
2. Dive platform. Divers will be able to enter/exit the buoy at the surface, 12’ down, and 56’ down.
3. Sportsman’s AirBnB. Pretty self explanatory. Motor out or get a ride. Fish and/or dive. Accommodations for 4-8. Buoy to be outfitted like an offshore boat, with PV, wind generator, radios, full bathroom, kitchen, life raft, wet room...
4. Offshore mooring buoy. Most boats can’t carry enough chain/rope to anchor in 350’ of water(2,400’ @ the minimum scope of 7:1). Same idea as above, but you stay on your own boat.
5. Guard shack/workshop, for offshore aquaculture. Generator, welders, drill press, feed storage, to support fish pens, and ropes of mussels.
6. Permit placeholder. The federal government has started allowing offshore aquaculture, and it’s expected to become a multi-billion dollar industry, and because of temperatures, depth, and distance from shore, there isn’t much prime real estate. Someday, the permits will likely become “limited entry”, at which time you will be able to sell your permit/mooring buoy.

There are a number of things going on in aquaculture at the moment. 1, SeaWorld, through some other name, has worked out hatchery raising White Seabass, California Yellowtail, and California Halibut, because they were the simplest legally, not residing in Oregon and Washington, thus requiring no interstate cooperation. 2, the feds opened up federal waters to fish farming several years ago. 3, fish pens have been developed, that a seem to be surviving the open ocean.

https://catalinasearanch.com/
https://www.innovasea.com/
 
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This might be more in the province of science fiction, but I have read of 2 different people who made floating islands out of plastic....basically masses of floating plastic trash tangled together with waste fish nets etc.  I believe one of these people in Mexico got the thing big enough to make compost on and grow trees on it!!  (I believe a hurricane eventually destroyed it)   At first glance this seems to be a fantastic problem into solution/opportunity fantasy since there is a lot of plastic floating in the ocean already, and if it could be accumulated together into islands that might be less harmful than dispersed as it is.  The people on the island would be motivated to have a system to accrete more plastic since it would be incresing their "land" area. Any organic garbage, scrap wood, seaweed, etc could be gathered and composted into topsoil.  Moreover, there are at least 2 insects (mealworms and wax moth larvae) that can eat and digest some plastics, and fungi that can break down petrochemicals and produce edible mushrooms....these could become part of the base of a plastic island ecosystem!    The political and economic implications of such a venture are almost mind-boggling...if it were in international waters, would it constitute an independent country?  A "permatopia" with it's own rules and government?   What happens to private property when an ambitious person with a boat and a boom could go out and gather more and make their own?  Wow.  Perhaps I should write a fantasy novel!
 
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Like Permaculture, the definition of 'seasteading' has many different practices.

For example, an oyster farmer who also grows seaweed and catches fish attracted by the racks and weed could be called one.

As said elsewhere, my property borders a saltwater wetland adjacent to a major river, so, I can do the traditional Permaculture farm thing, hunt wild game birds on the wetland, and a short walk with a net and line produces prawns, mud/blue swimmer crab, and fish.

Thankfully the property is situated above the highest flood levels and away from significant ocean borne events: tsunami, storm surges - thanks Grandad for the forethought!

So, it's a hybrid or complimentary land use setup similar to Permies who do aquaculture or hydroponics without direct control e.g. Permie community where neighbours grow different, tradable commodities.
 
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Sadly, it would look like at an attempted attack on a countries sovereignty. In the past, nations have not taken kindly to people establishing free communities in or near their borders. I have dreamed of an ocean faring community for a long time myself, but I may just have to settle for an inland lake floating community.

https://time.com/5572947/seasteading-ocean-builders-thailand-home-elwartowski/
 
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It definitely seems very futuristic, to me...
 
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There is such a bounty in the ocean. It's the only place i am convinced i could live a full winter on my own with no food source, just what can be scavenged. Citrus ripens in winter, oysters are edible in winter. Those 2 in peak harvest is huge. Geographically speaking of the Texas Coast line. Fish would be non trophy fish. The stuff people throw back in. Plenty of them year around. Also, rabbits are everywhere.

Well, fresh water would be critical. Rainwater collection.
 
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If I did the math right, California’s fires put up more CO2, than the emissions of the entire country, for a year. Then you read how many tons of CO2 an acre of forest sequesters in a year, and the answer becomes pretty clear, that you can and must, solve CO2 emissions with forestry. I say we I ncinerate trash, rather than bury it, and turn plastic back into petroleum. I don’t want my neighbor burning down my house, or covering my trees in his trash soot, so I think we keep having the trash collected and handled by the county or state. All people and governments who can afford to, should give that ocean-trash-boom nerd, all the money he needs to clean up the gyres, because hopefully we will never be so poor of resources, that it’s cost effective to harvest those nutrients.

I already mentioned it, but I’m pretty serious about anchoring a large pylon buoy, and getting a landing craft to develop land in SE Alaska. There’s very little food grown in Alaska, and almost all of it is grown near Anchorage. Southeast Alaska is an archipelago, with poor road access, and no farms. The state wants some food security, so getting land leases should be pretty simple, but there are also thousands of ocean-front homesteaders, who are all potential customers for a firebreak, an edible hedgerow, or some earthworks. I’m going to buy a 74’ military surplus landing craft in two years, unless I can sell too many people on the idea, to fit on that boat. If there are enough of us to form a big, floating community of hunting, gathering, permaculture gardeners, we’ll just have to get a bigger boat. If we wanted to be comfortable and be sure that we’d succeed, I think we’d need:

154’ Landing Craft/Container Ship
Kite
10kw Solar/PV
3-5kw Wind Generators
40’ Container Greenhouse
20’ Container Hydroponic Fodder
40’ Container of Hay
40’ Container Animal Pens
5th Wheel Trailers for Additional Private Accommodations
Excavator
Bulldozer
Forestry Mulcher
—————————————-
I don’t know what percentage of it we could finance, but it’d cost about $150,000/person(including kids) x 30.

Here’s a somewhat related article about a guy who fertilized the ocean with iron. They spread 100 tons of iron, and saw a 100,000 ton increase in salmon yield that year, while sequestering large amounts of CO2

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fertilizing-ocean-with-iron-to-save-salmon-and-earn-money/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/04/28/iron-fertilisation-of-the-oceans-produces-fish-and-sequesters-carbon-dioxide-so-why-do-environmentalists-oppose-it/
B8241209-DA8C-4E0D-AAF7-3E9A929CF41B.png
[Thumbnail for B8241209-DA8C-4E0D-AAF7-3E9A929CF41B.png]
154’ Landing Craft
 
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I posted the following in another thread. I think it's relevant.

Chris Kott wrote:I have, since I first started learning about permaculture, been captivated by the idea of growing artificial floating islands. I see that there is literal flotsam being used for building, which is awesome, if it isn't going to progressively drop plastic into the environment.

I did say grow, didn't I? That's precisely what I mean, though. I would take two or three hulls and join them to form a stable configuration, and use them as a base for the production of electricity, probably from solar. I would use whatever conductive framework I could scavenge, form it to shape, and then run electricity through it to accrete Biorock.

In this way, the island would grow. The overall shape and configuration would resemble an iceberg, with ninety percent of its mass under the water line. I would cover the sub-surface biorock with coral seedlings, as biorock is known to nurture coral in conditions otherwise inhospitable to them. Thus, I would have the base of a floating open-ocean mariculture, an island atop a floating coral reef.

To this I would add mycobooms around the periphery, which I would seed with salt marsh and mangrove swamp species as they grew. I would encourage the growth of biomass for harvest and composting, vermiculture and other methods of rapidly building soil.

Ideally, the first island would be placed adjacent to a garbage gyre, from which garbage could be separated, useful bits repurposed, and all else combusted under the highest temperatures safely attainable in a high-heat incinerator. I am thinking that encapsulation inside voids in the biorock might be used advantageously for buoyancy might be explored, but in reality, I doubt that plastic garbage is going to offer more buoyancy than a void space filled with air.

A maximum practical size would need to be determined, but after that, I think that we would end up with a first island whose primary purpose after proof-of-concept and embodied call-to-action would be to build and grow the seeds for more islands, who might have other, more specific mission statements, perhaps ones that alter their specific forms to fit those functions.

For instance, a scoop-shaped arm or cove in the peripheral mangrove/salt marsh barrier designed specifically to more effectively gather garbage out of gyres in a passive fashion would be advantageous either where garbage that can be recycled or repurposed to an economic benefit is present, or in situations where the removal of the garbage and its incineration, probably to generate energy to accelerate the growth of the island, where they might benefit from some form of carbon credits. They might also act to intercept toxic algal blooms, to convert that biomass to soil through on-island soil-building.

One iteration might include methods to mechanically oxygenate the ocean up-current of dead zones, or to engage in careful seeding of oxygen-rich areas devoid of life or nutrients with the absent nutrients and minerals. This function might stack with that of food production in a sea-floor connected maricultural enterprise designed to produce a surplus of food, not just for human consumption, but down to the smallest trophic level, to offer support to the wildlife most-affected by industrial depredations.

There might even be mobile island configurations that travel, perhaps in fleets, to set up and power biorock reef, seawall, and subsurface hurricane controls.

The limits are those of the human mind and imagination.

And the best part, the part that theoretically should work exactly this way, based on the information available, is that generating large quantities of biorock should act, at least locally and down-current of the biorock, to reverse ocean acidification. Also, in areas that are overly mineralised, it should act to remove those minerals, including from brines at concentrations dangerous to life, sequestering them as part of its structure.

I would love to see more discussion and action on seasteading. Having permies on the waves is the only real oversight I can think of, and giant, intensive, and environmentally beneficial maricultural operations would be a great way to not only replace the practice of raping the oceans with the current state of the art of commercial fishing, but to house and employ people, so that they are fulfilled in purpose and substance.

-CK



Biorock

Also this:

Chris Kott wrote:If we wanted to go further with a safe, replicable sea-sourced way of achieving energy independence, I would probably think about a solar incinerator for plastics.

I think I would use mirrors, possibly constructed from salvaged and reclaimed chip/crisp bags, you know the ones with the shiny interior, to direct light gathered over a large area to a single fresnel lens, that would heat a sealed retort within a refractory furnace.

The island itself could be its own sun tracker, changing its orientation to follow the sun. The array could, then, be massive, literally the size of the whole island, a distributed series of mirrors directing sunlight to pyrolise plastics at high-temperature in a sealed retort, with a cogeneration setup after the incineration stage, such that volatiles would be used as fuel. The pyrolysis chamber could be switched out for biochar generation, or even cremation. Lower-temperature processes, like kiln-drying bamboo and other biomass for non-biochar-related uses, could operate concurrently. With a high-temperature mirror and lens assembly, one could even create a Solar Death Ray for island defense that Archimedes would giggle over.

And it would also be possible to use that same array to direct light to photovoltaic arrays, with bonus points if they are made to operate at high-heat, or be cooled, with the heat energy captured and put to use somehow. At the end of the day, we need electricity to run through the biorock and forms to continue to succor embattled corals, and to continue to grow the island.

-CK



and this:

Chris Kott wrote: This idea is really growing on me, actually. I wish there were a place where those of us so-inclined could just do this, perhaps with some financial support. I mean, why couldn't sun-tracking, growing islands parked on artificial, mobile coral reefs be a thing?

We could have dedicated plastic-straining and incinerator islands, which would operate and grow in the same permaculturally-aligned manner as all the others, save that they would actively remove plastics from the water column and either turn it into energy to power island expansion, or use that energy to recycle the more durable plastics into a more longer-wearing and useful purpose, the exhaust from which could be funneled into mangrove and salt marsh starter barge greenhouses, to help accelerate their establishment and sequester the CO2; we could have oxygenating and biomass-generating islands, that simply pop more kelp frames into the water, or perhaps seed sea grasslands in appropriate spots, for carbon sequestration, marine habitat, and for soil generation on-island; some could be specifically engineered to nurture phytoplankton populations, thereby succorring everything up the food-web from them, from krill to blue whales; some could be engineered to produce open-ocean, island-anchored vertical maricultural operations, to provide food for humans and likewise nurture failing fisheries into recovery.

Hell, we could have sun-tracking solar thermal array-packing islands parked off hostile waters, doing sentry duty and removing hostiles, be they nationals of whatever stripe, or pirates. Those same arrays, in times of peace, could be directed to land-based generation stations, to provide power to recovering areas, until they get their own collectors up-and-running (which might be an item produced by the recycling islands). Coastal areas experiencing drought could be aided by having large artificial forest islands parked offshore and upwind, such that the forests increase the humidity of the arid areas downwind of them.

And building self-growing, almost self-replicating islands on this scale would not only give us far more productive land and food protein generating capacity per square foot of occupied planet surface, it would shade out the oceans to prevent further ocean warming, much as a closed-canopy riparian area can shade out the shallows of a watercourse, preventing an increase in heat that decreases oxygen carrying capacity.

We would end up with not simply floating villages, but floating micro-continents.

-CK



Yes, somewhat relevant.

-CK
 
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Chris  Kott wrote: Coastal areas experiencing drought could be aided by having large artificial forest islands parked offshore and upwind, such that the forests increase the humidity of the arid areas downwind of them.


I think that's one of the most interesting ideas in there. I wonder exactly how effective it would be. I know, "It Depends!" on a lot of factors, but that one idea might be enough to get someone funding from a coastal area that wants to see if it would help. Fascinating concept, that I'd love to see experimented with.  
 
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I'm curious how artificial islands would handle tsunami or hurricane events?  If an island is more of a boat, it can be moved out of the path, or at least point it in the optimal direction.  Once the island gets up to island size, maybe it would be safe but I'm wondering how it would fare in those situations.  I'm sure bigger is better but when is it big enough to survive?
 
Chris Kott
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Really? I mean yes, mangrove and salt marsh rafts occupying offshore areas would be really awesome for a variety of reasons, but I think that no single part of the system stands out from the whole for its potential to create real measurable change.

Let's put it this way: we take two cargo hulks and attach them at the bows, and create forms of salvaged wire in the shape of a conch shell the size of an iceberg. We run solar and wind-generated electricity through the wire frame until it's ready for more wire form, and it just keeps growing as a platform for sea life and an island both.

The very act of causing the electrochemical deposition of sea minerals and carbon should act to combat ocean acidification, at least downcurrent of it. Then we seed the underwater portion of the conch shell-shaped biorock berg, which would be around 90% of its mass, with corals appropriate for the water temperatures in which the island will live.

So far, we're tackling ocean acidification and coral bleaching simply by growing the island, creating a sea-life nursery. But wait. We're not done yet.

Then we build barges and seed them with a mangrove swamp guild, each with a halo of swamp marsh. Each barge would have a windmill and perhaps some solar panelling, and would be surrounded by and incorporated into a latticework frame of wire formwork for more biorock, the growth of which would be fed by said renewables.

I would probably have a barge with attached repurposed fish netting that would be strung from that to the main island, so it could be propelled into denser parts of garbage gyres, to collect plastic. That plastic could be turned into fuel for a high-heat incineration process that would generate electricity for island needs and to feed back into the growth of more biorock.

And then we revisit the use of frames of some sort, probably biorock, onto which kelp is encouraged to grow, oxygenating the ocean and generating biomass that would form the basis for soil generation on-island.

Also, all the solar energy used to grow biomass, from corals, to phytoplankton, to algae to sea weeds and grasses, would all go to fixing carbon in the form of biomass, and not heating the oceans, as the islands would be in the way.

I think that the idea of having the whole island be a sun trap that could track the sun is also kind of compelling, especially where such microclimatic manipulations could extend growing seasons.

I guess that it might be kind of awesome, though, being able to further couple intensive seasteading permaculture with land-based healing and rejuvenation. What if we were generating so much kelp biomass that we started accelerating soil generation on land? What if we could manipulate weather patterns to our liking, like putting a giant vapourizer in a dry room to bolster the health of young plants?

And I haven't even gotten to the part where we solve the problem of feeding 12 billion people on this planet before we even hit 9, and with systems that clean and rejuvenate the planet.

There's a lot to dig into here.

-CK
 
Chris Kott
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There are a couple of options.

I don't know how large is large enough to withstand category 5 hurricanes, but I would be in favour of moving any size island out of the way. If the islands are designed to handle that action, it would be cheaper than trying to replace damaged surface infrastructure.

With 90% of the conch berg's mass under the surface, it should be possible to design a shelter-in-place alternative, which is the second option, or a really good backup. What if the initial paired bows of the island were formed as a directional point to take the brunt of locomotion or hurricanes? It could be designed as a cliff face, complete with spots for nesting sea birds. A sea anchor could keep the cliff side pointed into the wind, and the built-up cliff would take the bite out of the storm for the rest of the island. In stationary, sunny-weather operation, the cliffs would face poleward-ish, with the suntrap-island tracking the sun.

Oh, and I think that as long as those coming to operate these conch bergs could be taught, they would be a great boon to displaced people the world over. Imagine, no climate refugees, or indeed, refugees of any sort. Those in need of a homeland could be supplied with island-growing startup kits that countries could sponsor through the UN for things like carbon credits or whatever the conceptual equivalent might be, and an ocean range for normal-weather or migratory operation. Island nations who are, as we speak, watching their homes swallowed by the ocean, and communities behind levees like those in Louisiana, and those soonest to be flooded, like Miami, Florida, could all transition to buoyant communities that rise and fall with the tide, whose livings could be made with glass-bottomed boat and snorkelling tours of sunken communities lost to the waves. So tourist dollars, and nobody dies because of climate change.

-CK
 
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@Chris Kott: That biorock link was very interesting - thanks. It made me wonder if there were any chemicals in fresh water that could respond to similar treatment. Does anyone know whether fresh water is higher in carbon than it used to be? I'm near salt water now, and I've read of the buffering effect of oceans, but I'm a bit loose with my definitions - seasteading would be great, but I'd accept lakesteading just fine if it helps the planet!
 
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There is a company recently formed, Sierra Energy, which offers installation of a gasifier/incinerator that processes garbage at 4000F in a self-sustaining reaction with steam and enriched oxygen, and produces electricity or diesel or ammonia at choice! Fascinating website to read through (sierraenergy.com)
 
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Alder Burns wrote:There is a company recently formed, Sierra Energy, which offers installation of a gasifier/incinerator that processes garbage at 4000F in a self-sustaining reaction with steam and enriched oxygen, and produces electricity or diesel or ammonia at choice! Fascinating website to read through (sierraenergy.com)



This sounds promising. I even if the diesel option were taken and burned to generate more electricity to feed the accumulation of biorock, it would be a net benefit to carbon capture and sequestration. The other interesting thing to look at would be if 4000 degrees is hot enough to incinerate tires, and if the system would work with them. There are literally tonnes of tires around the world, and some dumped offshore in many famous failed artificial reef projects. If they were suitable energy feedstock, the steel banding could either be recycled, or more likely repurposed as formwork for viable replacements to the failed tire-based artificial reef projects. We could literally replace tonnes of sunken tires with tonnes of biorock seeded with baby coral species.

Incidentally, we could use the model of some natural islands set atop coral reefs as a model to grow subcontinents from the sea floor, or to grow coral reef substructures, living coral on structurally-significant biorock supports, for such things as harbour infrastructure and sea walls. We could grow, first seawalls, and then essentially grow infill on inundated island nations, new coral reefs raising the level of shore line on those islands and creating new habitat for corals and all that thrive amongst them, and downcurrent of them.

We would be growing adaptations to sea-level rise with measures that would actively, over time, combat the acidification of the oceans by sequestering carbon within the structures themselves.

And theoretically, if an island got too big to grow any more, it could be set, in an area of appropriate depth, to grow biorock buoys, complete with wind or solar or wave-power generation to continue to feed it, that could be seeded with corals and programmed (I don't know specifically how that would be done, maybe with a tiny drone with an amount of conductive filament onboard, that would be extended downwards until the coral-seeded biorock spike of a buoy could power reef regeneration on the sea floor).

Even if segments were accreted around pieces of conductive framework and then dropped to the ocean floor, it would be sequestering carbon on the geological scale.

But I like the function-stacking possibilities here. One of the original ideas behind this was that energy and building resources could be derived from the ocean in a process largely independent of land. That sounds to me like the building blocks of an industry designed to take excess carbon and nutrients out of places in the ocean where these are toxic and turn them into land-based resources, like mineral-rich composts, edible kelp and seaweed, fish, and shellfish.

If we used any of this to simply farm biomass off-shore, perhaps in places experiencing regular flooding in low-lying areas now, we would be sequestering carbon and excess nutrients out of the oceans and oxygenating them, even if they were processed for biofuels, and as long as permacultural best-practices were followed, the ocean byproducts would likely be healthier phytoplankton, to nurture the ocean food web back to health.

Jay Angler wrote:@Chris Kott: That biorock link was very interesting - thanks. It made me wonder if there were any chemicals in fresh water that could respond to similar treatment. Does anyone know whether fresh water is higher in carbon than it used to be? I'm near salt water now, and I've read of the buffering effect of oceans, but I'm a bit loose with my definitions - seasteading would be great, but I'd accept lakesteading just fine if it helps the planet!



I don't know. That's a great question. It's not just carbon. But the process is similar to that used by molluscs to form their shells, and those occur in freshwater as well; it might be worth an experiment. And again, it's not like it takes a lot of energy; a low-level current, safe for swimmers and aquatic life, is what is required.

Another experiment I would need to design would involve varying levels of current and surface area of formwork, to see what variables might be manipulated to create differences in the outcomes. I already figure that biorock grown on the sea floor will have a much denser structure than that formed nearer the surface, so a telerobotic thermal power station taking advantage of sea floor thermal vents and volcanoes might be a good idea for creating structurally superior structural elements for construction on land or sea.

-CK
 
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One of the permaculture principles is the productivity of the edge.  here is an example of sustainable managing the coastal edge.
 
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Seasteading how is it different from 'regular' homesteading/arctic-steading/desert-steading.
There is no doubt that it is different from temperature/tropical homesteading. But it is also very similar.

Lets looks at the biggest homesteading 'expenses' from a money/time/resources angle:
1) Housing, a seasteading person can build a home/boat
2) Electricity, Solar power and also a 'propeller+motor-generator" in the water during wind-sail power can create energy.
3) Water, rain water+reverse osmosis
4) Sewer, can be composted and used to fertilize the area
5) HVAC, water-sourced heat pump, natural ventilation, waste heat rcovery/etc
6) Transportation, the boat-house for open ocean crusing + small boat in town trips.
7) Food, meat/seafood/fish is seems like a easy reach, and sea vegetables too.
8) Food, very few regular land homestead, produce all their grains/sugar/oil/meat or even fruits, but I am sure a few do, so not much of a difference for me.
9) Clothing, one could still buy cloth and make clothing but most homesteaders just buy quality clothing. so not a big difference
10) Social, I do see this as a major obstacle, but if it close enough to the coast/city/clubs/stores/church, it's okay or if it is a group of 50+ people.
11) Money/Housing Supplies/Electronics, these imports will most likely require job/sale of good or services. Telecommuting/Online jobs exist, but this will be a challenge for sure but a simpler lifestyle will help
 
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