TED Conversations

Joshua Bare

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I'd like to build the first fully sustainable, large living community with a ZERO carbon footprint.

I'd like to build a fully sustainable community for like minded individuals and their children, which would have a neutral carbon footprint.

Everyone in the community would work for the same company - the parent company of the community. I am thinking solar panels since they are, and will always be, in demand.

We would have an education system that's geared towards "life sciences" where the children would learn to grow their own vegetables and help out in the farm, all while learning the staples - geared towards a college education.

We would have a farm. We'd grow all of our own food, and keep free-range livestock for meat. We'll brew our own beer and make our own wine.

The community would be profitable, successful in every way imaginable, and could be easily copied around the globe. Thus reducing greenhouse gases and helping to maintain the world's food supply.

I could also see this on tv, like the Science Channel, taping us and our progress. They could even try two communities and make it competitive.

I would need an investor with deep pockets to make this idea a reality. Here's to hoping for a better tomorrow!

Thanks for reading,

Josh B.


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    Apr 3 2011: Hey Philiip,

    I think it would be impossible to utilize a closed system in order to measure carbon at the size and scale I am thinking about. The goal would be zero, but I wouldn't want to be hyper-focused on it. The real goal is self-sustainability.

    My hope would be that the community is so successful that people take notice of it. And one thing that humans are good at is mimicking. I would want it copied and utilized across the globe eventually.

    Lead by example and others will be soon to follow.
    • P C

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      Apr 5 2011: There are economic reasons why we our society does not use micro-economies such as what you describe, primarily because they're extremely inefficient. Economic specialization offers many more advantages than disadvantages. Of course the trade-off with that is that we are not as resilient and may become so specialized that we lost sight of how to become resilient if we need to be. How many people could make their own toaster from scratch (see TED video)?

      I'm interested in space AND the environment. I'd like to see more research on closed ecosystems and hopefully one day we'll have a significant amount of research dollars dedicated to it. But keep in mind that even though ecological/technological homeostasis may be possible, it'll probably be done using our society's current structures.

      One book that gives a pretty good illustration of a radically green society is called "Ecotopia" by Ernest Callenbach. In it, he offers a vision similar to the one portrayed at the end of the Mannahatta Project TED video. You may also want to check out the Arcosanti Project near Phoenix.

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