The Venus Project, 14°

Red Keane 60°

I recently learned of an incredible project and I’d like to know what Celsias thinks of it. Here is a basic introduction taken from: http://www.thevenusproject.com/

The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any social system that has gone before. Although this description is highly condensed, it is based upon years of study and experimental research by many, many people from many scientific disciplines.

The Venus Project proposes a fresh approach--one that is dedicated to human and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future, one that is appropriate to the times in which we live, and both practical and feasible for a positive future for all the world's people.

The Venus Project calls for a straightforward approach to the redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, environmental degradation and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.

One of the basic premises of The Venus Project is that we work towards having all of the Earth's resources as the common heritage of all the world's people. Anything less will simply result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in the present system.

All the information is available on: http://www.thevenusproject.com/

8 replies

C Robb W. 444°

Interesting idea Red. I like the ethos behind the project quite alot. I tend to be wary of projects and intitiatives that rely on advanced technology to solve our problems, it always seems to be just around the corner and in the meantime all we have to do is drive a little less, recycle, and eat less meat.

The one thing I totally agree with is that our culture needs to be totally redesigned. I just happen to believe we need to do it now with available technology that can radically change the way we live our lives. I expect there will be an intersection of the two approaches. In the meantime we need to do quite alot more than the minimum in our personal lives.

Written in November 2008

Charles M. 110°

Idealism is a lot more difficult than making a real life here on this planet.

I don't at all think that "high tech" building is sustainable at all.

I lived for many years in rural South Africa and a lot of houses there are owner built wattle and daub structures that a family can construct themselves out of found materials (thatch grass, wattle saplings and mud) . They can maintain these buildings with no manufactured chemicals or extra inputs. If they stop living there the buildings will just slowly rot into the ground and will be completely biodegraded within 20 years or so. That's probably very consistent with most native cultures until 200 years or so ago. Basically this is a fully sustainable model.

What do we do with our existing cities and buildings? Repairing and upgrading existing buildings is a lot better, in general, than replacing.

For exaple, I live in a 50 year old house that was relocated (ie. the whole house was picked up and trucked to a new site). Sure, it might not be an eco house, but we've made improvements by improving the insulation etc. We could demolish the house and build a from-the-ground-up "eco house", but that uses far more resources (ie has far bigger environmental impact) than reusing and repairing an existing dwelling.

The idea of a common resource heritage is also very broken. Considering the world's resources as a global asset is idealistic. It does not consider the impact of transport and the fact that the rich will plunder the resources of the poor.

Seems to me these people are not trying to fix what's broken in any practical way, but are just ignoring the problems and dreaming about a society that does not have any problems to start with.

Written in November 2008

Red Keane 60°

Hi, thanks for commenting.

There are a lot of things I like about the Venus Project.

I liked the idea of smart buildings and smart cities that were built from the inside out already able to recycle near 100% of the waste produced by the people living there. Any environmental concerns were included in the design process rather than an afterthought.

I like the notion of a world where wind, tidal, wave, solar and geothermal energy sources are used in conjunction with each other to eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

I also like the idea that we collaborated more to positively solve problems all over the planet.

In truth I haven’t really searched that much yet, but so far this is the only future model that combines the principals we are striving for to slow our consumption of the planet. I’m sure there are others. In saying all that, I agree with Charles M.

“The idea of a common resource heritage is also very broken.”

There are a lot of things about the Venus Project that are broken. In theory there might be some credence to ideas like common resource heritage but realistically I don’t see that happening. I think some of the social aspects of the Venus Project would be hard to swallow.

I doubt the near future will look or behave like Jacque Fresco’s future but I think we will have many of the same goals and ideals. A sustainable world without war, over consumption and pollution sounds good to me. Maybe the Venus Project is just a glimpse of that future.

Written in November 2008

Hi, Red.
I've seen Zaitgeist II yesterday with featuring of The Venus Project.
I'd like to talk about it a bit more. The idea is good, issues are there too. But How can I, an ordinary man, do a step towards this future?
I'm f**ing against wars, poverty, social discriminations and other diseases of modern world. I have a wife, a child and parents. And don't want them to live in a threaten manner like
* "do your job better or you'll be fired - we have a lot of people hanging around waiting your position",
* "don't go here and there - terrorists are aware of you",
* "money rise? what? you have enough to eat and dress - shut up", ...

I hope someday there would be only one interest in work - self-satisfaction and not the money.
But hope is not enough.
Should I move to some island and build eco house there? I won't many a big progress world-wide doing this.
Should I move to Tibet and become a monk? Same result.
Should I give all my money to Jacque and move into his research center? Sounds like a sect, isn't it.

What's the first step?

Written in March 2009

C Robb W. 444°

Here's my take on it. Create your own Venus Project.

Now that the corporate world has bankrupted the nation, some conspiracy types would say intentionally, it is down to us to make that move personally. I know I've covered this ground before on Celsias but I feel it bears repeating.

Create your own energy independence! Make your life as energy efficient as possible and then build your own PV system and or solar thermal water system. It will cost less than the 50" plasma TV, the new car, another computer, and the game console, all of which would have wasted energy rather than produced it. What is the better investment?

Research it, design it, scrounge the parts or buy the parts you can't scrounge, build it, use it. It is really quite easy to do. We use 12V battery systems all the time, the batteries are plentiful, 96% recyclable, and cheap. Ever put a battery charger on your car? Was it scary or some deep mystery that only a scientist could understand? No, of course not. Solar PV is not much more difficult than that. Yes there are safety issues, as with any electrical system, but with proper knowledge and a well designed system you can start down the road to energy independence. Just build a system to power a Laptop, desktop computers use too much energy, and then grow it to power something else.

As far as solar hot water goes, have you ever felt the water coming out of a hose that has been left in the sun? Imagine how much hotter it would be if that hose were behind glazing and insulated. That is how a solar thermal system works. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is not rocket science! Once again, be careful, the water can get extremely hot and hot water is explosive if contained, research it thoroughly.

Solar energy falls on every square inch of the planet at one time or another, where it falls it can be captured. I'm all for research into new ways to harness the clean, free, power of the sun but we should not lose track of the fact that we have the technology to do it now. Had we spent the money we wasted on the war in Iraq on deploying renewable energy and energy efficiency technology the US would now be energy independent. Imagine what we could do with the money poured into the black hole called AIG.

If we must be consumers to keep this economy out of the morgue we owe it to ourselves and future generations to only consume that which increases sustainability, if it doesn't do that, let it go.

Ya da ya da ya da......

Written in March 2009

Red Keane 60°

Hello, apologies for extended delay in replying. I think our good friend C Rob W is a man we can all learn from, be the change that you want to see in the world. I am no expert but trying to change the world is impossible in my view, but changing MY world is possible.

The problems of the world are very large when you look at the big picture so to speak, I try to think of change in terms of myself to begin with otherwise the challenge is too large for me. Then expand the circle to involve different aspects of my life so the changes I have made for the better become a part of my life and not a temporary thing. Then expand the circle even further to involve other people if they are willing to listen and be open.

That’s not a perfect philosophy, it doesn’t always work. I fail quite often. But that’s no reason not to try to be better. The idea of the Venus project for me was to improve life for everyone. To gain knowledge and further ourselves in all fields. Science, agriculture, astronomy, medicine and so on. To make life better for everyone regardless of race colour or creed. Stop killing and stepping on each other and work together in the pursuit of knowledge and being better. But I can’t speak for everyone that is certainly what I want.

Truth be told I have no idea how we are going to get to that place. We have the potential to wipe ourselves clean from that face of this earth and become a forgotten people. We could discuss our flaws for an eternity but the real question is, are we going to change? So I say start small but make sure you start.

Written in April 2009

I really agree with C. Robb W. ... the idea of an enclosed utopian
community is perhaps beautiful but overly ideological; and indeed, it may miss the point. For the benefit of the environment, shouldn't the changes we make in our world be changes that we can make *quickly* worldwide, in all types of communities? We can learn from the design ideas behind the Venus project, but the implementation approach seems incomplete at best.

Written in June 2009

Greg C.

not sure about that one

Written in September 2009

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