Silent Consent looks at a dystopian world where easy access to energy and power has become part of our past. Although fiction, its prediction of a polarized world is very plausible. A caste system with a few powerful elites have controlled many of the pre-carbon era civilizations. The many others, who serve as their energy source, often scraped for subsistence. This book proposes a possible scenario, including the resurrection of an extreme caste or slavery system that is used to provide the energy to the fortunate few at the top of the social structure. Remember: Western civilizations began to shun slavery only after cheaper alternatives became available. It could turn back to slavery again should the economics favor its return.
We may not forestall the collapse of the carbon era forever, but we might be able to give ourselves breathing room through environmentally sound technology choices. If they can save us money and time, we are more likely to use them when needed. One simple change could be your choice of paint.
These might not sound like big ideas, but they can do a lot for the environment, your pocketbook, your time budget, and your property values.
In their basic form, Self-cleaning paints mimic the texture of the lotus leaf, which, if you pay attention, does not seem to get dirty. The micro-bumps on the surface, combined with a waxy surface that repels water, allows dirt to roll off at each rainfall. Self-cleaning paints reduce the need to use chemicals and detergents on the side of a house, thus sparing your pocketbook and your time budget over the years. Plus, the Lotus-Effect paint is durable! A bucket of water with blue food coloring will simply roll off the wall. And when it comes time to sell, who wouldn’t want a home that cleans itself—and looks good too. This innovative biomimicry technology, developed by Lotus-Effect® Technology from Sto Corp.
The lotus is not the only organism that achieves self-cleaning. The pansy’s petals do it differently, and they lack the waxy bumps that would make slippery footing for pollinators. The pansy has taller bumps on its surface than do most flowers. The tips of these bumps are tightly spaced, giving the pollinators a good foothold.
Other organisms that have mastered the art of self-cleaning include the cicada and the earthworm. Really, think about it, have you ever seen a dirty earthworm? If dirt stuck to their skin, it would reduce the efficiency of their burrowing motions. Earthworms stay clean by generating a small current that attracts a small water shell around their bodies. Engineers are designing earth-moving equipment that uses this same principle to reduce the cost of operation.
White reflects more light than other colors, and the new ultra-white paints have an even higher reflectivity. This reduces the speed at which the outside of the building heats in the summer sun. The reduced warming, in turn, reduces the BTUs of air conditioning one needs to use. In areas where air conditioning is prevalent, it could reduce our power consumption, leading to financial savings.
If something as simple as paint could make a difference, imagine what else we could do to help our descendants.
For more cool innovations that can improve lives and help the environment, check out AskNature.com.