Мир как инженерный проект: новый видеодоклад Анатолия Юницкого
Our world is a masterpiece of engineering creativity. It has emerged through the work of millions of anonymous engineers. The innovative stroke of thought and technical skill of engineers have created an incredible array of objects, structures, systems and technologies. Mechanisms surround us every day and enable us to live in a world of progress and enjoy its benefits. Just as a poet combines previously known words into a new work of poetry, an engineer assembles the components of previous technical achievements and scientific discoveries into a new work of engineering and achieves a result immeasurably greater than the sum of its components.
However, the management of this world is not in the hands of the engineers who created it, but in the hands of bankers, businessmen, and officials seeking personal enrichment. They mistakenly believe that money will save them when the Earth is on the verge of destruction. Engineering and technological advances play a crucial role in ensuring humanity's dominant positions among other species of living beings on our planet. Thanks to electricity, technology and industrial production, we maintain a modern way of life. The absence of familiar engineering advances — electric power, transportation, communications, building industry, mechanized agriculture — would quickly relegate humanity to a primitive state. After all, without these civilizational engineering achievements, politics, art, science, religion, states, societies, and all other forms of social and spiritual life would be impossible.
Our civilization differs from other terrestrial civilizations by its technocratic social system, which is currently at the industrial stage of development. Its existence is based on science and technology, as well as on the formation of an urbanized environment – the industrial technosphere. In terms of its area and volume, the technosphere occupies the same niche on the planet as the living biosphere. Today this artificial environment exists according to antagonistic anti-biospheric principles. Cancer cells in a living organism operate according to the same principles: they develop rapidly by suppressing and destroying civilized cells.
And only two scenarios are possible here: either the immune system of the organism destroys the cancer, or the cancer defeats the organism and perishes together with it. There is only one cardinal way out of the current situation: it is necessary to provide the industrial technosphere with an ecological niche outside the biosphere. There is no such niche on Earth, but there is one in near space. There are ideal conditions for most technological processes there: weightlessness and vacuum, ultra-high and cryogenic temperatures, unlimited raw materials, energy and space resources.
Therefore, the transfer of industrial production to space not only solves the problem of further development of our technocratic civilization based on engineering achievements, but also opens up completely new horizons for engineering. ENGINEERING SPACE EXPLORATION Geocosmic cargo flow plays a decisive role in the industrial development of outer space. In order to solve the problem of antagonism of technosphere and biosphere, which is unsolvable within the limits of the planet, it is necessary to establish production in space and transportation of sufficient quantity of the obtained products back to the Earth — to the mankind, continuing to live on the native planet, which was cleared from harmful industry and turned into a garden. Geospace transportation should play a key role in this mission.
The rockets widely used in the XXI century are not suitable for geospace transportation. Carrier rockets have low efficiency and are extremely hazardous to the Earth's ecology. If we take into account all flight and pre-flight costs and energy losses, the efficiency factor of a rocket is less than one percent. This is an order of magnitude worse than that of an archaic steam locomotive. It has long been calculated: only 80 launches of heavy rockets like the Space Shuttle per year can completely destroy the ozone layer of our planet. Yes, various alternatives to rockets are being proposed today.
For example, space elevator, space streetcar, electromagnetic accelerator. But only the General Planetary Vehicle (GPV) best meets the requirements for industrial geospace transportation. The GPV is capable of delivering about 10 million tons of cargo and 10 million passengers into orbit in a single flight. During a year this general planetary spacecraft will be able to go out into near space up to 100 times. Implementation of such an engineering solution as GPV GPV will reduce the cost of geocosmic transportation by more than a thousand times – up to a thousand dollars per one ton of cargo and even much lower if the cargo flow from space to the planet exceeds the return cargo flow due to recuperation of its potential and kinetic energy. An ecologically clean self-bearing geospace flying vehicle operating solely on electric power will really make it possible to industrialize the near space.
Actually, all engineering solutions of the GPV are widely known, tested in practice and currently implemented in the industry. The project has been repeatedly investigated and verified by calculation methods. It is technically and economically substantiated. The capabilities and resources of even one country, such as Russia, China or the USA, are sufficient to implement the GPV. The implementation period of the non-rocket space exploration program will be about 20-25 years – taking into account socio-political, research, development, designing, survey, construction and installation works. Such a global geocosmic project will unite all developed countries of the world around itself with common goals and objectives, attract them to the implementation of the program designed to save the earthly human civilization from degradation, extinction and death on the planet Earth limited in size and resources.
A WORLD WITHOUT ENGINEERING POWER The number of people living on Earth has already exceeded eight billion. Urbanization is accelerating. Urban agglomerations are merging into megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants. There are already 33 such megacities in the world, including 6 cities with a population of more than 20 million people. A new type of human being is emerging – a "man-techno-consumer", in fact, a "man of asphalt and smartphone", who has an atrophied connection with the Living Nature that gave birth to him and raised him.
The way of life of mankind in the XXI century, causing degradation and destruction of the environment, is the root of all past and future global upheavals. The wars and economic problems of the XX century arose because of the overcrowding of people and the unquenchable desire of the world's elites to possess and consume as much as possible. This leads to the aggravation of the struggle for limited planetary resources and spheres of influence. The essence of the development of our civilization is the establishment of an order that can exist in parallel or in addition to the natural order.
Three scenarios are possible in the future: The first scenario involves the global suppression of the Living Nature of the planet and its replacement with artificial life forms created by engineers. The second scenario is a rejection of the civilizational or technological path of development and a return to primitive savagery, accompanied by the triumph of the rest of living nature. The third scenario implies achieving a balance between wildlife, engineering technologies and industry. However, this is possible only on condition of spatial delimitation of the technosphere and biosphere, which currently occupy the same spatial niche on the planet.
It is necessary to give up the continuation of existence in the format of a civilization that replaces all living things with dead ones. Our technocratic civilization, created by thousands of generations of engineers, starting from the first man-made fire, must become truly engineering. Then the world will be ruled not by technology, not by money, not by the greed for profit, but by the living and the main beginning in man – Mind. VALUE-BASED ASSESSMENT OF ENGINEERING The world is controlled by technology, which is invented and maintained by humans.
But today this technology is killing all living things, including those who serve it. Who can change the situation? Only those who know how to manage, design and optimize technology. Only the engineers who have created human civilization, the one we know and are part of, can save our world. At the same time, engineers seem to live in a world of their own, separated from reality.
They are driven by ideas around which enthusiasts rally. It happens that engineers, initially unnoticed and poor, are at the origins of entire industries. But almost always, engineers fade into the shadows.
The state and power at all times sought to put these unique people at their service to ensure advantages in the competitive race for supremacy among other powers. Without going into the essence of research and the depth of engineering studies, those in power were mainly interested in the practical significance of discoveries and inventions. The situation when an engineer, who is a technological creator, is considered only as a servicing staff of power elites, can lead to serious consequences both for engineers and for the society as a whole. In this case, the responsibility for decisions and actions, such as the creation of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons or deadly viruses and pandemics, is shifted to an uncertain and opaque sphere, with devastating civilizational impact. For example, a weapon invented by an engineer can be used both to defend the homeland and to kill innocent people. A moral dilemma arises.
In the movie "Terminator 2" there is the following scene. An ordinary American engineer has a good employment, lives in a rich house, with his wife and child. He is surrounded with a beautiful household. He has a good education and career. He gets a big salary. But without knowing it, he's developing a chip for a machine that will destroy mankind. He's asleep.
What could awaken him? Only disaster. And this global calamity is relentless. It is the same situation we have today: and if we do not wake up now, it will come to the point of irreparability. Engineering is the embodiment of reason and rationality. If engineering takes a center stage in the society, equating its importance with values such as equality, democracy, sovereignty and quality of life, these values will become not just guidelines but a reality.
Today, engineering is already an integral part of our life, integrating all aspects of it. In fact, engineers are already having a significant impact on the world. They hold key resources and tools. And people are becoming increasingly aware of this.
They realize that the time has come to change this situation and establish the dictatorship of engineering. The power of engineers should not be exercised directly and owned by any group of people. The power will become a universal goal-setting which is formed by engineering rules that require concreteness and efficiency. Engineers will continue to serve their machines so that the machines will serve all humans without harming Living Nature. The rest of the machines will serve the engineers by providing for their needs and the ability to implement their designs. This is the only way to achieve harmony between machines and humans by breaking the system that has been established historically.
How should a world where the value of engineering is recognized be structured? What will happen, for example, to banks and corporations? Obviously, they will remain, but their role will change. They will subordinate themselves to societal needs and goals. Politicians and bankers will begin to simply fulfill their functions as specialists of other professions.
This reformatting of our technocratic civilization, created by engineers, should happen evolutionarily, without shocks and revolutions. Dozens of programs aimed at transforming major economic sectors such as agriculture, power engineering, residential and industrial infrastructure, as well as transportation, can set new algorithms for political and economic interaction. These programs can be implemented by engineers through communities and computer products. Humanity has similar experience. For example, electronic services such as Google or Facebook, which have already changed reality in a short period of time. However, the main problem with these services is that they serve the values of the capitalist system and were created for enrichment and consumption.
New products should be creative and linked to global engineering projects. Recognition of engineering as one of the highest values can also start from one specific country. For example, one of the states voluntarily, with the support of its citizens, begins to consistently implement a comprehensive program on intelligent engineering redevelopment of transport infrastructure, urbanism, power engineering and agriculture to the already existing biospheric technologies. All of them are developed and tested by Unitsky's international group of companies, which today employs more than a thousand engineers. With the use of biospheric technologies, this state in a historically short period of time will increase its economy by many times and become a world leader in the creation and implementation of highly efficient and environmentally friendly civilizational products.
Nothing is impossible from an engineering point of view, as long as it fits within the boundaries of physical laws. There are more than enough resources on Earth for the prosperity of ten billion people. It is only necessary to evaluate them intelligently, in an engineering way, and use them competently. ENGINEERING REARRANGEMENT Engineers could start the changes by reorganizing 4 key sectors: transportation, urbanism, power engineering and agriculture.
The main task should be to ensure environmental, raw material, food, power, transportation, infrastructure, demographic, moral and social security. The projects should have the necessary potential and be feasible and efficient, aimed at profound rearrangement of civilization and its introduction into the era of "Technosphere 2.0". What can the new engineering civilization become and on what technologies can it be based? Transport Transport in the XXI century has become one of the main sources of environmental pollution on the planet.
At the same time, travel speeds remain limited due to the technical imperfection of widespread transportation systems. The land on the planet was "rolled down" under asphalt and "buried" under sleepers, the total area of which exceeded the territory of Great Britain by 5 times. The soils adjacent to the roads, on the territory 10 times larger, are degraded. They are polluted with waste from burned fuel, tire and asphalt wear, industrial emissions from oil refineries and chemical plants, and de-icing salts with many carcinogens. The roadsides have turned into graveyards of old cars, tires and other garbage. Optimizing the global transportation industry is a critical challenge that can only be met with innovative engineering solutions.
Engineers need not so much to improve outdated traditional transport, but to create the ideal transport and infrastructure industry – in terms of environmental friendliness, energy efficiency and safety. The first and foremost requirement for optimal transport is the ability to service large numbers of passengers and freight quickly, comfortably, safely and profitably, while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. This is exactly the result that can be achieved through engineering optimization. The main components of uST's ideal elevated transportation system will be a prestressed string-rail overpass and unmanned steel-wheeled rail electric vehicles called the uPods. The uPod has high aerodynamic efficiency, is equipped with an anti-derailment system and an intelligent system of safety, control, power supply and communication. When creating a network of elevated prestressed routes, their string-rail track structure will be located on the "second level".
Therefore, the point volume of excavation works will be reduced by two orders of magnitude compared to laying similar roads in an earth embankment. The savings on the uST road network with a length of about 20 million kilometers, which will be built on the planet in the XXI century, will amount to more than a trillion tons of soil – it will not have to be brought from quarries tens of kilometers away, as well as there will be no need to dig the quarries themselves. Consequently, the natural landscape and biogeocenosis will not be significantly damaged and there will be no need for land reclamation both in the construction zone and in the soil and sand pits. There will be no need for quarries for mining ore and stone, as the savings of metal, concrete and asphalt concrete on the second-level road network will amount to hundreds of billions of tons compared to traditional transport solutions.
At speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, uPods are capable of providing a comfortable and safe transportation of passengers and cargo in cities and suburbs, in places with a complicated terrain and extreme climatic conditions. The uST passenger rolling stock can service up to fifty thousand people per hour, and the cargo rolling stock can haul up to one hundred million tons of cargo per year. Transport control is ensured by an automated system, which excludes the human factor, reduces accident risks to a minimum, and allows for uninterrupted round-the-clock operation of transport and infrastructure complexes under any natural and climatic conditions available on the planet – from the tropics to the Arctic. Residential and industrial infrastructure Nowadays, the layout of cities and their logistics, as well as buildings and structures do not meet the requirements for safe, sustainable and comfortable living.
The alternative to megacities of the XXI century will be linear cities harmoniously blended into the environment of any natural and climatic zone on the planet. The linear city will be designed in the form of pedestrian clusters connected to each other by the urban "air metro" – uST string-rail transport. A transport and communication corridor will pass through the linear city or parallel to it – high-speed air routes (speed up to 500 kilometers per hour) and hyper-speed routes (speed of more than 1000 kilometers per hour), placed in tunnels. Linear cities will occupy the land conventionally, as gardens will grow on the roofs of all buildings and structures (in greenhouses and orangeries). As a result, natural biogeocenoses and biospheric ecosystems will be created – even in place of deserts and permafrost.
The cluster with the area of 1-2 square kilometers is planned to be made as a pedestrian settlement of urban type. It will comfortably accommodate from 2-3 thousand to 7-10 thousand residents. With minor changes the cluster can be built on the sea shelf or in the open sea. The residential area will be divided into neighborhoods separated with a forest and park strip.
It will include common areas for cluster residents and guests: leisure and sports areas, public buildings and facilities, medical centers, stores, cafes, workshops, a kindergarten, a school and others. A dominant building with a passenger station on one of the floors (or on the roof) can be placed in the center of the cluster – within walking distance. A string-rail track structure will run along the center of the forest-park strip at a height of more than 10 meters, which will be at least 10 times less-costly than the traditional subway metro at the same performance. The residential buildings will be united into a single architectural and functional system – a multifamily "horizontal skyscraper" (i.e. a high-rise building "lying on its side").
The size of the "skyscraper", including its length, can vary in a fairly wide range – from 100 meters to one kilometer. Each house with a living area of 100-200 or more square meters is designed for an average family of five people. Such houses can be both single-storey and multi-storey buildings.
Each cluster is a self-sufficient urban-type settlement, although in terms of the arrangement of living, it is more likely to belong to rural settlements. It will be provided with everything necessary for its own production – food, water, energy, transportation, as well as various services. This guarantees food, energy, environmental, transportation, infrastructure, demographic, social and other security of the linear city even under the conditions of pandemics and lockdowns, other natural and man-made disasters.
Optimization of urban planning and development, as well as buildings, structures and infrastructure will provide a reduction in the cost of housing and living in the linear city by 2-3 times compared to a traditional urban development. At the same time, the quality of the living environment and the standard of living of citizens will be improved. Relict solar bioenergetics The energy stored in brown coal and oil shale is relict solar energy received from the sun by living organisms that lived on the planet 100-450 million years ago. Consequently, oil shale and brown coal can be used not so much for generation of electric and thermal energy as for obtaining relict living humus – the basis of fertility of any soil.
Such biohumus will have the same chemical composition as an ancient tree, which took from the relict soil everything necessary for life: macro-, micro- and ultramicroelements – practically the entire Mendeleev table. It is possible to burn combustible minerals not completely, but, for example, only two thirds. Then the combustion waste – ash, slag, sludge, dust, flue gases – should be mixed with unburned one third of oil shale or brown coal, with the addition of any raw materials of organic origin – grass, manure, household organic waste, including sewage drain.
The resulting multi-component mixture, which contains both organic and mineral raw materials, is finally processed into living fertile humus in bioreactors with the help of specially selected aerobic and anaerobic soil microorganisms taken from the world cluster of fertile soils, created in Belarus on the territory of the Unitsky agricultural enterprise. The obtained relict biohumus can be applied to the soil from 2 %. Even desert sand will become fertile with this content. That is, it is possible to create highly fertile soil around power plants. Gardens can be planted on it. Thus, grapes, apples and other agricultural products will become a by-product of relict solar bioelectric power plants.
Excess heat from power plants can be provided to greenhouses and, in hot countries, converted into cold to cool greenhouses. Carbon dioxide will not be released into the atmosphere – it will be directed to greenhouses and orangeries, where the carbon will be utilized by plants into food carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins. The plants in these greenhouses will not only absorb atmospheric CO2 and produce food, but will additionally produce the oxygen needed to breathe for people living nearby.
Not only coals (oil shale), but also their combustion products can be used as raw materials for chemical products in bioelectric power plants. Such technologies have long been developed in the XXI century. At the same time, the lower the energy value of used coals and oil shale, i.e. the higher their ash content, the more efficient and productive they will be in terms of production of fertile humus and a wide variety of chemical elements, products and substances at bioelectric power plants.
It means that relict solar bioelectric power plants working on brown coal and oil shale will meet the future needs of the Earth's mankind for millennia ahead – their total reserves on the Earth exceed 500 trillion tons. Using relict solar bioenergetics technology, it is possible to produce more than 1.5 tons of humus from a ton of brown coal. A ton of humus will allow to grow about a ton of organic food. Therefore, the annual extraction of about 10 billion tons of brown coal and oil shale, which is approximately equal to their production at present, will not only provide energy for about 10 billion people, but will also make it possible to feed them with healthy and nutritious food. Moreover, it will make it possible to stop desertification of the planet and annually raise the productivity of desert soils to the level of black soil on the territory of more than 30 million hectares, which exceeds the area of most European countries. If we invest one trillion US dollars every year in the development of global relict and food solar bioenergetics, about the same amount as is currently spent on oil production and refining, it will provide energy for the entire humanity.
Moreover, such investments will make it possible to green up more than 300 thousand square kilometers of land annually, which, for example, corresponds to the area of Vietnam. Biospheric power engineering will increase the total biomass of plants on the planet, because they will occupy the territories of deserts. This will not only allow to utilize anthropogenic CO2 and ensure additional production of organic food for people and animals, but will also increase the production of oxygen in the biosphere. Rules of life of the engineering world The real progress of technogenic civilization should consist not so much in the development of industrial achievements as in the progress of humanity in people. It is time to build a civilization consisting not so much of intelligent techno-consumers as of socially intelligent people. For this purpose, humanity should learn to create social inventions along with technical ones.
The technogenic civilization should be replaced lwith the engineering civilization. If people move from the economic coordinate system – from the consumer society – to the social coordinate system stimulating the development of their human qualities and intelligence, our civilization, having realized itself as an engineering civilization, will develop much faster, more confidently and steadily. The criterion of efficiency and level of civility of the society, as well as that of an individual person, will be not profit, but public benefit. This will make techno-consuming humanity engineering and socio-technocratic. Labor will become not a means of human survival in society, but the main element of creation and creativity. Such a course of development can lead the world community during the XXI century to harmony and prosperity in all spheres of life.
Without reducing the world population and without deindustrialization of the world economy. We need to start such a civilizational reboot with concrete steps: with the construction of the first projects on a fundamentally new planetary eco-infrastructure. These are "second-level" transportation, linear eco-cities and relict solar eco-bioelectric power plants. Proximity to the ground in a linear city will allow man to return to his roots – to the Living Nature, of which he is a part and from which he has become disconnected, believing in the idol of scientific and technological progress. In addition, it is important to have a way of life that ensures the bodily and spiritual contact of man with the nature that gave birth to him. All this is achievable with the arrangement of settlement in linear cities, where it will become possible: to walk barefooted every day on the healing morning dew and greet the sunrise with roosters; not to fear for the lives of your children playing on the grass rather than on the pavement; to eat only natural organic food; to breathe a clean, invigorating air freely; to drink life-giving spring water; to communicate with the Living Nature; to have a favorite business in your own home or near it, in your own or neighboring cluster, so there will be no need to spend hours of precious leisure time every day on uncomfortable, unsafe transport to be paid for to get to work and return home.
Thus, each resident will be able to get his main life profession in the linear city – a happy person, creating in himself the greatest human values: health, longevity and wealth of soul. In the XXI century, mankind puts its hope on thinking, which will be guided by moral rules, and on engineering, which should save civilization from extinction lor return to primitive barbarism. Because it is Engineers who have created our civilizational World. And only Engineers can support and preserve this World. Engineers all over the world, unite!