A Solution to the Environmental Crisis

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Offline Salamander

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A Solution to the Environmental Crisis
« on: 20/11/2008 11:27:08 »
One solution to the environmental crisis may be simple downsizing. Modern electronic gear is smaller, lighter, faster, and uses less energy—size does matter. If we follow through with this paradigm, we can save the planet. Here's how.

Instead of preferring big and, especially, tall people, we should prefer those who are more energy efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint. That's right, the little people. In a world of dwarfs, buildings can easily be half the height they are now, less food needs to be produced, and less material will be needed for clothing. In short, we can cut our energy consumption in half simply by cutting the physical size of everyone in half.

We know that energy usage is inversely proportional to size, as is strength. Look at how little energy an ant uses and how strong it is; it can lift several times it's own body weight. If we could jump as high as a flea with respect to body size, we'll all be leaping over buildings in a single bound. But we don't need to go that far to achieve substantial energy savings.

As humans get smaller, smaller buildings, cars, tools, and everything else will be needed. And, the savings in raw materials are not linear, but exponential. For example, a building designed for people with a mean height of one meter will not only be one-half the height of a building designed for people with a mean height of two meters, it can also be one-half as wide and one-half as deep. That's one-eight the material, not including the fact that structural members can themselves be reduced in size because they would then be holding up one-half the weight. Thus, this simple adaptation can result in one-sixteenth the amount of building material being used.

There are similar savings for water and land usage, waste treatment, and so on. Even farm and domestic animals can be smaller. Why has no one thought of this before? Act responsibly and marry a dwarf.