hydroelectricity

7 reasons why solarpunk is the most important speculative fiction movement in the last 20 years
  1. It’s hopeful. Solarpunk doesn’t require an apocalypse. It’s a world in which humans haven’t destroyed ourselves and our environment, where we’ve pulled back just in time to stop the slow destruction of our planet. We’ve learned to use science wisely, for the betterment of ourselves and our planet. We’re no longer overlords. We’re caretakers. We’re gardeners.
  2. Scientists are heroes again. And not just physicists and astronomers. Knowledge of biology and earth sciences matter, they’re the building blocks for a future on Earth. Scientific literacy isn’t just for academics – it’s part of daily life. People know how the things they use work, and if they don’t, they can access that information. 
  3. It’s diverse. Solarpunk is rooted in using the environment, so it looks different in different places. Alternative energy is best when specific to place (I imagine geothermal, wind, tidal, and hydroelectric energy sources are still used in certain places) so no overarching government system is needed. Communities can organize themselves, taking their own location and needs and history into account. Brazilian, Inuit, Egyptian, Pacific Northwest, and New Zealand solarpunk can all look very different, but be unified in resourceful, intentional, low impact living.
  4. Individuality still matters. In a post-scarcity society, ingenuity and self-expression are not sacrificed on the altar of survival. With solar power there’s no reason not to go off grid, if that’s what you want to do. Communities can self-organize. You can find a community that suits you, or go live by yourself if that floats your boat.
  5. There’s room for spirituality and science to coexist. Solarpunk is rooted in a deep understanding and reverence for natural processes. There’s room for spirituality there, be it pagan, Buddhist, Sufi, Transcendentalism – anything. There’s so much to explore, from nature worship to organized monotheistic religions, and how they interact with solarpunk.
  6. It’s beautiful. The most common solarpunk aesthetic is art nouveau, but again there’s room for diversity, incorporating art styles from multiple cultures in respectful, non-appropriative ways. The most important aspect of solarpunk aesthetic is the melding of art and utility. The idea of intentional living is strong in art nouveau, but it’s not the only art movement with that philosophy.
  7. We can make it happen. Now. Earthships. Permaculture. Aquaponics. Algae lighting. Compostable products that turn into fields of flowers. Buy Nothing organizations. Tiny, beautiful, efficient homes. Solar power cells you can see through. That’s all happening now. Solarpunk is within our grasp, at least on a personal level. I’m not saying there aren’t still big, ugly infrastructures devoted to unethical consumption, but we can start to tear them down. We can build a solarpunk world with stories and small changes. And small changes lead to big changes. That’s the real beauty of solarpunk. It’s not a post-apocalyptic power fantasy. It’s not a wistful daydream, or an elite future only for physicists. It’s something we can work towards right now. It’s tangible.
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The Chinese city of Shicheng was flooded in 1959, then forgotten. With its recent rediscovery, divers can explore a 600-year-old city that is both underwater – and unseen for decades.

Unlike the mythical Atlantis, Shicheng – which means Lion City in Mandarin – was purposely flooded in 1959 to make way for the Xin’an Dam and its adjoining hydroelectric station. Nearly 300,000 people were relocated for the project, some of whom had families that had lived in the city for centuries.

The city was “rediscovered” in 2001 when the Chinese government organized an expedition to see what might remain of the lost metropolis. Interest and exploration increased further in 2011, when the Chinese National Geography published some never-before-seen photographs and illustrations hypothesising what the small city, which measured about half a square kilometre, might have looked like in its heyday. (Source)

“When I was 9 years old I built a turbine in a mountain stream on my father’s land and connected it up with bolts to all sorts of machinery. I told my uncle, ‘Some day I’m going to America and I will run a big wheel at Niagara Falls.’ I had read about Niagara Falls and it fascinated me. My uncle didn’t take it seriously. ‘You’ll never see Niagara Falls,’ he told me.“

“But I did come to America, and I did put a big wheel in Niagara Falls.

–Nikola Tesla

“Tesla, 76, Reports His Talents At Peak.” New York Times, July 10, 1932.

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Ethiopian tribes transform trash into body ornaments

The lower valley of the Omo Valley is just one of the sets most important paleontological sites in Africa declared a World Heritage Site in 1980. The Omo Valley is home to many tribes, however, the French photographer Eric Lafforgue the author of this impressive photographic record spent more time with Bana, Dassanech, and Mursi.

Unfortunately, modern civilization lurks dangerously slow, Omo Valley and the advance of Western technology is not far behind. With the completion of a hydroelectric dam downstream, many tribes lost their ancestral lands and will be forced to resettle in modern environments, the landscape will be completely overhauled and will become very difficult resignifying all.

The Itaipu Dam: Wonder of the Modern World

In the 1960s, both Brazil and Paraguay were looking for a modern, renewable energy source. Both were young dictatorships, looking to show off their power and their country’s economic growth. The two countries agreed to dam the Parana River which runs along their shared border, build a power plant next to the dam, and then share the electricity created. To built the dam, engineers had to change the course of the river itself. Over 50 million tons of rock were moved. Over 39,000 people worked on the project. Construction was completed in 1982, and the dam first began generating electricity in 1984.

Today, the Itaipu Dam is the largest operating hydroelectric power plant in the world. It runs for 4.8 miles, and is 738 feet high. That’s big. That’s so big that the steel used in the dam could built the Eiffel Tower – 380 times. At it’s peak capacity, Itaipu Dam can generate enough energy in a day to power the world for two days.

“Water-power is by far our most valuable resource. On this humanity must build its hopes for the future. With its full development and a perfect system of wireless transmission of the energy to any distance man will be able to solve all the problems of material existence. Distance, which is the chief impediment to human progress, will be completely annihilated in thought, word and action. Humanity will be united, wars will be made impossible and peace will reign supreme.”

–Nikola Tesla

“The Wonder World to Be Created By Electricity.” Manufacturer’s Record, September 9, 1915.
The signs as benders

Fire Benders

Aries

- First fire bending sign. Your bending is dynamic but can be temperamental. Your are pure, active, interested in everything and adventurous, like a small fire that has just began to ignite and is surrounded by kindling. This is where your childlike qualities and enthusiasm originate making you a playful but temperamental fire bender. 

Leo

- Middle fire bending sign. Like the sun, your bending is stable, radiant and helps to keep things under control. Your bending is steady, dependable, grand and makes its presence known. Your bending can do good but be careful not to turn a small flame into a raging fireball. 

Sagittarius

-  Final fire bending sign. A Sagittarius leans towards the Philosophical, bottom part of their flame that is mystical and out of reach. You are idealistic, creative and the most gentle fire bender. Your fire bending is very dynamic and you will be the first to discover new things with it.

Water Benders

Cancer

- First water bending sign. Your bending represents water in its most basic form. You are genuine, concerned with others, nurturing and the most helpful water bender. When unleashed however, like a river spilling over its banks your bending can be aggressive when the need to defend yourself or someone you love arises. 

Scorpio

- Middle water bending sign. Your bending has a lot of potential. if not properly controlled it can continuously wreak havoc on everything in its path. You are full of energy, intensity and are similar to a raging river. You need control, your bending needs a lot of self control, all of your energy has to be harnessed to be effective (like putting a hydroelectric dam on a raging river). If controlled your bending could be used to provide power to cities or protect farmers from floods.

Pisces

- The final water bending sign. Your bending resembles a small creek, overly flexible and to adaptable. Your bending is very charming, inspirational and mystical like beautiful creeks you see in paintings. You are a calm bender often creating small creeks for calming noises to put you to sleep and mystify you. You are the most spiritual of all the benders.

Earth Benders

Taurus

- The first earth bending sign. Your bending is the most stable and the strongest but you also have a very stubborn nature and your unwillingness to change can hinder your learning. You want harmony and happiness, and you often use earth bending to create it in your surroundings. You create a solid foundation and help others with their own. Your bending is dependable, nurturing and wise.

Virgo

- The middle earth bending sign. Your bending is represented by the middle of the earth. Stuck in the middle and indecisive. You live in your own world on a earthly-mental plane. You observe and think with quick analytical precision making your bending flexible, helpful and stable. Your bending is the least physical.

Capricorn

- The lower earth bending sign. Your bending is the earth in its most basic and pure form. You have many sides and take interest in everything from materialistic possessions to solid to being a powerful status symbol. You are mysterious and deep. You can become depressed easily, bending yourself a little room to hide in, whenever your concentration in not on the more serious aspects of life. Go for a hike to release your stress and anxiety, you clear your head better while mountain climbing, so create your own mountains and get climbing!

Air Benders

Gemini

- The first air bending sign. Your bending is the most flightly, like the wind that forms a dust devil, picking up debris, swirling with it and then letting it go, off to explore another region. When you are forced to slow down, it is not for long and you do not know what to do, marked by your indecisiveness. You often use your bending for communication you want to know everyone and everything, like a wind that blows forever, so do you.

Libra

- The second air bending sign. Your bending is most like the air of your breath. Bringing harmony, life and balance to the world. You want your bending to be peaceful and want to use it to help the lives of everyone you touch, just like air. You want to form relationships of balance, I give you air, you give me life. This is why relationships are so important to you,

Aquarius

- The last and highest air element. Your bending is a powerful force which can make the world go round. It has the power to change areas, and it does. You are the sign of change and originality. You seek understanding and are not afraid to use your bending to knock down any barriers which may be in your way. If not kept under control your bending can become unpredictable and erratic. You are the most advanced thinker of the benders and are concerned with advancing civilization and the future of man kind with the power of air bending.

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Tortum waterfall - highest waterfall in Turkey. Most of the flow from these falls have been diverted to a hydroelectric project so these falls only flow a couple times each year when water levels get high enough.

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How to Move an Ancient Egyptian Temple — The Relocation of the Abu Simbel Temples.

In the 13th century BC the mighty pharaoh Ramses II ordered the construction of two large temples in southern Egypt to commemorate the Battle of Kadesh, to honor his queen Nefertari, and to impress his Nubian enemies to the south.  Carved directly into the sandstone hillsides, the large facade of the temples feature four colossus statues of Ramses himself, each standing 67 feet in height.  The facade itself stands an incredible 100 feet high and 119 feet wide.  Inside of the temples are a network of rooms and hallways with many priceless hieroglyphic carvings detailing Egyptian history, religion, and folklore.

By the 1960’s the Abu Simbel Temples were a national treasure for the new Egyptian nation.  However, Egypt’s industrial modernization would threaten the temples in a way that no pharaoh could have ever predicted.  Near Abu Simbel was the construction of a 364 foot hydroelectric dam known as the Aswan dam.  A key objective of the Egyptian government, the dam would provide electricity for the developing nation and kick start a new agricultural plan which would create a massive irrigation project.  However, Abu Simbel was literally in deep trouble, for construction of the damn would leave the ancient temples submerged at the bottom of the Lake Nasser Reservoir.

To save Abu Simbel, a team of archeologists, historians, engineers, architects, and construction workers were recruited by UNESCO to conduct one of the most ambitious rescue operations of an ancient structure.  The plan was to relocate the ancient temples above the flood plain of Lake Nasser.  Incredibly, the team cut the temple facade and structure into individual blocks weighing 20-30 tons.  Each block was numbered then recorded to keep track of where they would go when reassembled.  The blocks were lifted out of their original foundation using massive cranes, then transported to another site where they could be catalogued and stored for later.  From 1964-1965 over 10,000 stone blocks were cut, lifted, and transported away from the site. 

The new home for the temples was located 200 meters inland and at a height  65 meters higher than the original Abu Simbel site.  To recreate the look of a temple carved from a sandstone hill, artificial hills were created using concrete which simulated sandstone.  Once the new Abu Simbel site was ready, each block was meticulously fitted back into position, reconstructing the ancient temples anew.  In fact the reconstruction is so precise that it would impress ancient Egyptian engineers, on the façade of the temples there are no visible seams where the blocks meet.  Only a few joins can be found from within the temple complex.  The project was completed in 1968 and cost $40 million, over $250 million dollars today.  The cost was well worth it as the Abu Simbel complex is considered one of the great treasures of Egypt and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Over 500,000 tourists visit the temples every year.

Turbine No. 3. 1927. Stenberg Brothers.

28 3/8 x 42 ¼ in./72 x 107.2 cm

The Stenberg Brothers’ riveting Constructivist photomontage illustrates “Turbine No. 3,” a film within the classic Soviet trope of industrial drama. Inspired by the Socialist Realist novel Cement by Fyodor Gladkov (see the Sternberg Bros.’ “Thirty Days”, No. 85), directors Belyaev and Moskvin valorize Soviet builders in a crisis. They’ve got to save an uncompleted hydroelectric station from a glacier. Just when the crisis appears to be over, an engineer, bedridden in hospital, is studying the plant’s blueprints and finds a catastrophic fault in Turbine No. 3. He leaps from his sickbed and rushes to the industrial site to prevent a terrible tragedy. Inset photos include shots of workers donning protective gear, the long march out to the site, and a sailor kissing his beloved goodbye.

celtictexan replied to your link “Trudeau ‘very pleased’ Trump approved Keystone XL pipeline”

All you dumb fucks bashing him on this one thing need to quit driving and heating your homes or using any electric power generated by carbon anything. Put your money where your big stupid brainwashed mouths are.

I live in British Columbia where 92% of our electricity comes from Hydroelectricity (not an oil based energy source). My apartment is heated by electricity, not by natural gas.

I also don’t own or drive a car. I walk or use public transit. I do put my money where my mouth is.

Try harder next time.

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The Future Of Energy Isn’t Fossil Fuels Or Renewables, It’s Nuclear Fusion

“Nuclear fusion as a power source has never been given the necessary funding to develop it to fruition, but it’s the one physically possible solution to our energy needs with no obvious downsides. If we can get the idea that “nuclear” means “potential for disaster” out of our heads, people from all across the political spectrum just might be able to come together and solve our energy and environmental needs in one single blow. If you think the government should be investing in science with national and global payoffs, you can’t do better than the ROI that would come from successful fusion research. The physics works out beautifully; we now just need the investment and the engineering breakthroughs.”

Climate science is a hotly debated area, with many disputing the robustness and ethical motivations of the scientists in the field. But even if you throw everything we know about carbon dioxide, global warming, and climate change away, there’s still an energy crisis coming in the long term. The fact is, fossil fuels will someday, hundreds of years from now, run out if we extract and burn them all. Meanwhile, solar, wind, hydroelectric and other renewables will forever be inconsistent, and the infrastructure needed for using both generates large amounts of pollutants. But there is one power option that could satisfy everybody, while eliminating both pollution and the risks of running out of fuel or power inconsistency: nuclear fusion. While nuclear fission does have substantial downsides, there’s no risk of a meltdown with fusion.

All we need to do is reach the breakeven point, and we have four different approaches currently in progress. Come get the science today!