Saturday, May 21, 2011

Solutions to some of todays biggest problems ....

Photo by Dave Martin / AP
The  title of my blog is Thoughts on Art, Travel and Life (heavy on the art) and I'm going to expand the focus a bit this time.  This entry is about creative solutions for some very big problems facing us today.  I've been watching all the anguish over the Mississippi River flooding and have a solution.  If you are going to build on a flood plain as active as the one along the Mississippi then why not build your house on a barge - when the river rises so does your house!  I think it could really work just keep a boat nearby so you can get to higher ground.  Also to keep your house from floating away tie it off to something or use pilings like marinas use which allow docks to rise and lower with the tides. I saw some pictures recently of people trying interesting solutions to keep the water away, one person built an impressive dike around their property and it would have worked perfectly except it appeared broken at one end.  I think it would be kinda cool to have a really huge dike around your property...like a solid mountain ring.  You wouldn't see your neighbors but could scramble up and get a great view.  We should really study what Holland does, they are ingenious when it comes to water issues.  When I was there I saw massive dikes holding back the sea - most impressive!  On top of that they let their sheep and cows use the dikes and flood planes for grazing, so livestock is taken care of and no mowing! I had some great conversations with the Dutch re Holland and relationship with water...we could seriously learn a lot from them

Then there's just ALL that water!  I have a solution that could generate thousands of jobs: hauling jobs, construction jobs, water purification jobs, etc - what if there was a way to capture as much water as possible with pipelines, trucks, trains any container we can find.  Heck, make containers to do just that and moveable pipelines to syphon off excess water...even more jobs created!  Move the excess to areas that are facing drought or prone to forest fires, store it in massive reservoirs allowing the earth to filter it naturally or into container farms similar to the sewage treatment plant on Boston Harbor, clean up the water and use it to water lawns, golf courses which are notorious for their water abuse, use it for watering crops or anything that "grey water" could be used for.  Of course there are lots of groups, people and government red tape that would be against it or hamstring it for one reason or another.

After the massive outbreak of spring tornados this year I also got to thinking.  You know how they always say if you are outside and see a tornado coming head for a ditch...so what if you built dirt ramps around your house so the tornado skips up and over, or if you built you house so it drastically slopes - maybe half the house built into a hill.  Of course the best thing would be to have one of those fabulous hobbit houses.  I'd like one but realize they are not for everyone.

While these seem like light-hearted or simplistic solutions I think they, or some version of them, could work with considerable tweeking and wonder why we always just go back to building the same old thing that will get washed or blown away again.  Plus I have to say it really fries my bacon to see all the housing construction materials etc piled up in the trash.  We chopped down a lot of trees for those houses and now we have to chop down many more, seems incredibly foolish.  One thing I do know is that the storms and water problems of this year has hit people who are already working so hard to make life work and my heart goes out to them. Lives and dreams have been lost and it's just so painful.

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