Sustainable Civilization

From the Grass Roots Up

Introduction - 2 - 3

I. Your Homestead And Essential Life Support - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

II. Physical Sustainability Factors and Limitations - 2

III. Neighborhoods and the Web of Life - 2

IV. Sustainability Principles or Guidelines - 2

V. Ecovillage, Sustainable Civilization Minimum planning for continued organized society.

VI. Sustainability Programs, Politics, and Technology - 2 - 3

VII. The City As Ecology - 2

VIII. Sustainability Laws.

IX. Global Civilization.

X. Future.


A. Appropriate Technology - 2 - 3

B. Mess Micro Environment Subsistence System

C. Factoids - 2

D. Medicine Bag - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

E. Estate Planning - Providing for Future Generations - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

F. Bibliography

G. Biography

H. Sustainable Tucson - Tucson, Arizona Ecocity analysis

I. South Tucson – Ecovillage analysis

J. Oak Flower – Neighborhood analysis

K. Our Family Urban Homestead Plan

L. Our Plant Selections

Sustainable Civilization: From the Grass Roots Up

Appropriate Technology Appendix - 2 - 3


Direct conversion of light to electricity. The present silicon crystal panels remain a "high tech" item to produce, are fragile, and essentially impossible to repair in a low-tech environment. Power is ONLY supplied when light shines directly on the panel. Light concentration is likely to overheat the panel, and cause it to "burn out". Estimating a 1/4 acre homestead of around 10,000 sq. ft., at around 1 kw per sq. yd, while in full sun the entire lot receives just over 1,000 kw of power. If covered with 10% efficient solar panels, you'd have 100 kw available during sun hours. (But, no space to grow plants.) Set aside 8,000 sq. ft. for your garden, and using 2,000 sq. ft. for power, with the 10% panels you have available the same 22 kw you do now, but only during sunny days. Remember the sun's changing path, combined with the panel putting out the greatest power when perpendicular to the sunlight, means you will probably want a "tracking" mount.


We found what seems to estimate the sun's path by making a "tool" out of a 3 x 5 card. Fold the card in half so that it's 3" x 2/12". Lay it in front of you, fold to the bottom. Starting from the lower left corner (point A), measure an angle up from the folded bottom equal to your latitude (we're using 32 degrees N) Draw the line, label the line sky axis, label the point where the line reaches the right edge point B, and label the lower triangle E. It may help to staple the sky axis, then fold it back and forth until the upper free ends can both hinge on the sky axis.

Go to the point B, where the sky axis meets the right side of the card. Now, up from the sky axis measure 23 ½ degrees, and draw the line from point B back to the left side of the card. Label this point C.

Turn the card over, fold still at the bottom. Start at the lower right corner (point A on the other side), and draw a line that is 23 ½ degrees up from the sky axis. It should touch the "top" of the card. Label it point D.

Fold the one side of the card where you see line A – D until the smaller triangle is 90 degrees to the folded card. Label the triangle Winter.

Holding triangle E, fold the side of the card where you see line B – C until the quadrilateral is 90 degrees to the folded card. Label the quadrilateral shape Summer.

Hold the card such that the original fold is level to the ground, and triangle E points true south.

As you "hinge" the upper objects left and right along the sky axis, the flat surfaces "winter" and "summer" appear to reasonably approximate keeping a flat collector perpendicular to the sun in the "extremes" of it's seasonal path changes.

True south / north can be found using a pole, vertical nail, etc., where the shadow falls on level ground. Mark the tip of the shadow regularly throughout the day. Where the shadow comes closest to the vertical object, draw a line to the object. That line is approximately true S / N.


Low-tech p/v solar cell, presented to spark thinking. Various online locations (that come and go), and the book How to Build a Solar Cell That Really Works, by Walt Noon, describe making a p/v cell at home, using oxidized copper. While not as "efficient" as silicon, it should be possible to locate copper, and make the cell, even after a crash. The plans use the clear plastic top from a plastic CD jewel case as the window. Any clear substance, and lots of silicone to attach the pieces together and to insulate them from each other should work.

The first step is to make a cuprous oxide plate. Once approach is to cut a piece of copper sheeting, clean the copper sheet thoroughly, sandpaper or wire brush. Heat the cleaned and dried copper sheet on an electric stove burner on the highest setting.

As the copper heats and oxidizes it is eventually coated with a black black coating of cupric oxide, which is removed to reveal the useful cuprous oxide layer underneath.

Cuprous oxide is a semiconductor, though not as efficient as the silicone used in commercial p/v cells. .

You won't power bulbs or charge large batteries with this type of panel, but it is a minute amount of power, that can be continued to be used for a long time while the sun shines.


Solar/steam micro hydro for power. Consider a large tank of water capable of withstanding modest pressure, not necessarily much about typical city water pressure. Could solar concentration then be used to generate steam in an insulated bladder, to push water thru a micro hydro generator into another water tank?

How about freon "steam"? Could you essentially take the concept of an electric motor and the compressor in a refrigerator, and instead use a small "steam" engine connected to a generator?


Steel Farm project (2007), windmills near Kingman, 15 planned, $1.5 million each, each generates 1 megawatt, so construction cost of $1.50 per watt, or $1,500 per kilowatt. If each kilowatt is sold at $.15, ignoring interest the construction cost is recovered in 10,000 hours of productive operation. (say 420 days of operation)

Vertical axis windmill. Even numbers of opposed arms, each holding flexible material sails. On the power side, the wide billows the sail open, pulling a cable to help hold the opposing sail closed as it moves to windward during rotation. A british design for a vertical axis windmill with two outside blades like unto an airplane wing, with a central vane almost like a football profile. The design supposedly allows both the suction side and the pressure side to use the wind.


Mother Earth Issue # 48 demonstrates use a structure's existing south-facing wall for the back of a solar heat collector. This design does not include heat storage, unless your structure wall is something such as concrete. Add vents at the top and bottom (with doors to close off during the night of course) and a modest blower, and you've got heat.

A grid framework on the south wall, to hold such glazing material as you select.

Clay/ceramics. What could be more “appropriate”, dig clay, add water, form, bake in a solar oven for high temperature parts.

Solar heating ENROI. Say a square foot of glass requires around 18,000 BTU to manufacture. Is it worth making, or should you burn the fuel to heat your home? Every hour that pane of glass is in the sun in your heat collector, it gathers around 340 BTU's. It "pays" for itself in 52 hours of solar exposure.

Other solar devices. Israeli research has developed a relatively simple means which uses a parabolic mirror to concentrate sunlight onto a fiber optic cable, which then leads to a light scalpel, useable as a laser scalpel. Sunlight can be used to directly “pump up” a laser to firing power. It can heat dangerous compounds past the temperature where they separate into harmless atoms or compounds. Light can readily be manipulated by lenses or mirrors. Given a crashing infrastructure, my feeling is that shiny material is going to be easier to obtain than precision formulated and ground lenses. Take the simple fact that light reflects off a flat mirror at the same angle it strikes the mirror. Now envision many tiny mirrors rather than one large one. If the angle of adjacent mirrors are adjusted right, the light can all be reflected onto a single spot, or spread to provide diffuse illumination from a single bright beam. In sixth grade, once my daughter got the concept, she was able to use cardboard and mylar gift wrap to make an 8” wide parabolic curve, which concentrated on black plastic ½” irrigation hose melted the hose, but not before it proved that in minutes it raised the temperature of water flowing in the hose to past 114 degrees F. Her combination active / passive model took first place in a statewide “solar home” competition.


A person can generate four times more power (1/4 horsepower (hp) – 180 watt) by pedaling than by hand-cranking. At the rate of 1/4hp, continuous pedaling can be done for only short periods, about 10 minutes. However, pedaling at half this power (1/8 hp – 90 watt) can be sustained for around 60 minutes.

In history the treadle is the most common tool to use leg power, and still in use such as sewing machines. But the maximum output is less than 15 percent of what your could do using pedal operated cranks.

The main use of pedal power today is still for bicycling. There is a vital difference between pedaling a stationary device and pedaling a bicycle at the same power output. On a bicycle a lot of energy goes to overcome wind resistance. Because of the wind as long as hydrated the bicyclist is less subject to overheating, than when on a stationary device. In planning for a stationary human power supply, allow for some power to operate a fan.


Humans can produce more power--or the same amount of power for a longer time--if they pedal at a certain rate that varies from person to person. In general aim for 50 to 70 rpm, call it an average of 60 rpm. In devices such as a sewing machines the person provides speed changes without changing the gear ratio. For applications where the load varies, gears may be necessary to keep the human on their best “power curve” and keep the load moving.

A single chain going over two sprockets is very efficient--over 95 percent, even for unlubricated, worn, or dirty chains. The crank length is the distance between the center of the pedal-spindle and the crank axis; that is, it is the radius of the circle defined by each pedal as it turns. The normal crank on an adult's bicycle is 165 to 170 millimeters (mm) long. However, people remain able to produce near maximum power output at any crank length from between 165 and 180 mm, so long as they have a period to practice pedalling at the new length.


Evidence from tests suggests that elliptical chainwheels with a relatively small degree of elongation--that is, with a ratio of major to minor axis of the chainwheel ellipse of no more than 1.1:1--do allow most a human to produce a little more power.


There are three common pedaling positions:

The first is the upright position used by the majority of cyclists around the world. In this position, the seat, or saddle, is located slightly behind where it would be if it were a seat, or vertically above the crank axis; the hand grips are placed so that the rider leans forward just slightly when pedaling. Tests have shown that subjects using this position are able to produce the most pedalling power when the top of the saddle is fixed at a distance 1.1 times the leg length to the pedal spindle at the pedal's lowest point.

The second position is the position used by riders of racing bicycles with dropped handlebars, when they are holding the upper parts of the bars. Their back is then at a forward lean of about 40 degrees from the vertical. Their saddle height requirements are similar to those of cyclists in the first position. (The position of the racing bicyclist who is trying to achieve maximum speed is not suitable for power production on a stationary device. Even racing bicyclists sometimes experience great pain after a long time in this position, and the position is unnecessary on a stationary device because there is no wind resistance to overcome.

The third position is the position used in modern semi-recumbent bicycles. In this seating position, the pedaling forces are countered by the lower back pushing into the seat (which is similar in construction to a lawn chair made of tubes and canvas). The arms and hands do not need to remain on the handlebars to perform this function, the way they usually do in the first two positions. They can remain relaxed, and free to guide the work that the pedaler is powering. The upper body too can remain relaxed, and the chest is in a position that makes breathing easier than when the pedaler bends forward. The major disadvantage of this position is that, since the pedaler's legs move forward from the body, it may be hard to position large, deep equipment like a lathe or saw so that it is in reach without being in the way. In almost all other respects, the semi-recumbent position is highly desirable, though not essential.


The principal use of pedal power around the world is for the transportation of people and goods. A bicycle used by itself can carry a rider, plus 50 to 100 kilograms of goods in a front and-or rear carrier on the cross-bar, or on the rider's head.

Gas (and diesel) guzzlers will become rare. Non fossil fuel sources do not bode well for providing large quantities of cheap fuel. Solar electric breakthroughs promise to allow greatly increased hydrogen production, as does fusion if ever safely and fully developed.

Absent breakthroughs, the primary biofuels appear to be plant oils (diesel), and alcohol. Alcohol can be used by virtually every internal combustion engine with relatively minor modifications, as well as in developing "fuel cells". Some studies claim the plant "comfrey" may be the ideal fuel alcohol soil crop, with algae having potential for large scale production. Alcohol is a MUCH easier fuel to work with than hydrogen.

Pedal power, referred to as bicycles, but more properly human powered vehicles, can meet a great deal of local transportation needs. In terms of weight carried, speed and distance, per power used, a bicycle is the most efficient vehicle available. A typical adult on an upright bicycle should be able to maintain a sustained level road speed of 10 to 12 mph. The same person on a recumbent should achieve a higher sustained speed due to lower air resistance and the ability to provide a more efficient braced "push" on the pedals without also straining back, neck, arm, etc. muscles as is required on an upright bicycle.

Bike design, at least as "artwork", goes back further than you may think. Sketchbooks of Leonardo de Vinci, from around 1490, show what can clearly be interpreted as a pedal driven bike, similar to the layout of a traditional upright bike. There is no indication though that it was ever built, and in his day, a bike chain would have been a great challenge to make and maintain. Kirkpatrick MacMillan did, in 1830, have a functioning treadle driven design, no chain, but also no gears.

In a low-tech environment, the bicycle chain is possibly the most difficult part to make, followed by the bearings. (A bike chain can be 98% efficient at transmitting your pedal energy.)

While most bikes are made from cut and welded tubing (i.e. steel, aluminum, or titanium) they have also been made of wood, fiberglass, laminated sheet of metal, etc.

Mother Earth News Issue 81 had plans for a recumbent trike made from recycled parts. See the article for details.

The relatively recent "rediscovered" recumbent bicycles (dating at least back to 1933) are more efficient than the traditional, high seat bicycles. A bicycle of this type enclosed in a streamlined fairing has been pedaled at sustained speeds of over 65 mph - try THAT on your mountain bike... If you do your “shopping”, you can probably find a recumbent (new) for a price easily comparable to any “department store” traditional bicycle. (2003 I bought one new for $300, 2004 for just over $100) Even low power augmentation (i.e. electric motor) can make modest commutes continue to be practical individual endeavors.

Personal powered vehicles. The cost and complexity of batteries, fuel cells, etc. may keep personal vehicles from returning to anything approaching the widespread ownership and use of today's industrial nations, or at least from resembling a 20th century automobile.

In 2006 federal law classified bicycles with a electric motor of 750 watt or less, and not capable of traveling under power more than 20 mph, as NOT a motor vehicle.

In May 2006 the State of Arizona added to this definition, within the state, a bicycle with a fuel powered motor of 48 cc or less. Should you chose gas or electric? The issue of noise and pollution produced by a typical two-stroke gasoline engine (i.e. lawnmower) vs four-stroke (i.e. car engine) is potentially significant. The two-stroke gasoline engine generally puts out 10 times (more of some) as many pollutants per amount of fuel burned. The operation of these engines, in general, initiates and forcefully imposes upon others the fouled air and excess noise.

The two-stoke system is used because it provides the lightest fuel burning engine for the power produced, but paradoxically the two-stroke is significantly LESS fuel efficient than a four-stroke engine. The fuel in-efficiency of these engines leads to the pollution problem. But the pollution from these engines is not limited to transportation.

These engines are extensively used on lawnmowers, weed whackers, portable blowers, etc. I've read the California Air Resources Board has calculated that 2% of the smog generated by all engines originates from lawn mowers.

I don't have a gas mower, so I'm guessing, say a mower runs an hour per gallon of gas? As fuel prices rise and more people look for (the temporary assistance) of cheaper transportation, 100 mpg may sound attractive. But if the two-stroke "bike" gets 100 mpg, the pollution released in that distance (and one hour of mowing) is at least equal to burning 10 gallons in your car.

May 2006 Arizona law specifically exempted these gas bikes from emissions inspections. Not only would I suggest they SHOULD be required to meet emissions standards, I would suggest that ALL engines be required to meet equal standards. Pollution of our air, is pollution of our air, whether it comes from the tailpipe of a car, bus, truck, moped, or lawn mower.

A gallon of gas is somewhat equal to 36,700 watt/hour of electricity. The gasoline bike is said to get 120 mpg. At the legal top speed of 20 mph, it must burn gasoline equal to 305 watt/hour of electricity. With gasoline at $2.92 per gallon the two stroke bike costs just under 3/10 cent per mile. It's "advantage" is it can run for five hours.

So how does an electric bike compare with the gas model? The electric bike must have an engine less than 750 watt. It takes 3 minutes (for either bike) to travel a mile, so the electric bike uses 1/20 times 750 watt = 37.5 watt/hours to go a mile. Grid electricity costs 8 cents per 1,000 watt/hour. In running a mile, the electric bike needs 3.75% of a kilowatt hour, or about 3/10 of one cent of electricity.

Certainly for pollution avoidance, and cost per mile, my bet is that the electric bike. It can charged at home, i.e. from a solar panel. The electric bike "disadvantage" for the moment, with present batteries, is lack of range, and of course replacement of the batteries. The carrying capacity of a bicycle can be greatly increased by attaching a trailer to it. One model of trailer has seats for two adults, and allows the bicycle to be easily converted into a rickshaw.

A rickshaw is usually made from the front or rear-portion of a standard bicycle, connected to a load-carrying platform over a two-wheel axle. Rickshaws can carry an extraordinary quantity of people and goods. In Bangladesh, they are responsible for transporting several times the total freight and passengers carried by all railroads, trucks, and buses combined.

However, the potential productivity of these rickshaws is greatly reduced by the fact that virtually most have few gear options, and the INEFFICIENT upright pedaling position.

OXFAM, an international development and relief organization, has done considerable work on a three-wheeled pedal operated vehicle capable of carrying payloads of over 150 kilograms. Called an "Oxtrike," the vehicle uses a three-speed gearbox in its transmission and a mild steel sheet frame. The frame can be manufactured on a small scale, using foot-powered cutters, hand operated folding machines, and welding or riveting. It can be fitted with passenger seats or a cargo box.

Your ordinary bike is not strong enough for payloads beyond one person, nor are your brakes good enough.

Broadly speaking, applications of pedal power is practical when the power level required is below a quarter of a horsepower (that is, below about 200 watts). This works for mobile or stationary uses, including to generate electricity.


Bicycles can be adapted to provide power, but a specifically designed unit would be more efficient. They can be designed for one or multiple person pedaling.

MAKING FUEL Fuels. Portable devices need a portable supply of energy. Self propelled devices, in particular those for flight, need a lightweight, concentrated source. The simplest "fuel" to manufacture is Hydrogen, which allows a variable power source to be converted into on-demand electricity, heat, or propulsion. At atmospheric pressure, the energy content of hydrogen is 3watt hour per liter (290 BTU per cu. ft) Typical electrolysis of water is at best 30 - 35% efficient, at 25C (77F). Some advanced cells with platinum electrodes are as efficient as 73%. There is no upper limit to current input, but production improvements for voltage increase is about 2 volts, with any excess going into the water as heat. Supposedly, home-made electrolyser's can be 50% efficient, i.e. a watt-hour of electricity can produce 1/2 watt hour of hydrogen. The amount of power needed decreases with rising cell temperature, which bodes well for simple heating of the water with reflected light. Strictly using temperature, water will split at 2,730C (4946F), the undeveloped means being the ability to separate the gases and collect them. But power needs increase with increased pressure, so there is a need to AVOID reaching the boiling point (unless the steam can then be split easier). A means to focus ONLY Ultraviolet (8% in sunlight) light, which is a frequency which water directly absorbs, and that in high concentrations can split water directly, has potential for efficiency increases. Some catalysts pose hope for minimizing the electric current needed. Special strains of algae, other plants, bacteria, etc. can of course split water and other compounds into hydrogen or hydrogen containing fuels.


Ascending order Crop kg oil/ha litres oil/ha lbs oil/acre USgal/acre corn (maize) 145 172 129 18 cashew nut 148 176 132 19 oats 183 217 163 23 lupine 195 232 175 25 kenaf 230 273 205 29 calendula 256 305 229 33 cotton 273 325 244 35 hemp 305 363 272 39 soybean 375 446 335 48 coffee 386 459 345 49 linseed (flax) 402 478 359 51 hazelnuts 405 482 362 51 euphorbia 440 524 393 56 pumpkin seed 449 534 401 57 coriander 450 536 402 57 mustard seed 481 572 430 61 camelina 490 583 438 62 sesame 585 696 522 74 safflower 655 779 585 83 rice 696 828 622 88 tung oil tree 790 940 705 100 sunflowers 800 952 714 102 cocoa (cacao) 863 1026 771 110 peanuts 890 1059 795 113 opium poppy 978 1163 873 124 rapeseed 1000 1190 893 127 olives 1019 1212 910 129 castor beans 1188 1413 1061 151 pecan nuts 1505 1791 1344 191 jojoba 1528 1818 1365 194 jatropha 1590 1892 1420 202 macadamia nuts 1887 2246 1685 240 brazil nuts 2010 2392 1795 255 avocado 2217 2638 1980 282 coconut 2260 2689 2018 287 oil palm 5000 5950 4465 635


In the concentrations available from natural processes, alcohol is oral sensory depressant. Once distilled in greater concentration it is also a disinfectant and fuel. In general within the U.S. if you distill alcohol you must pay a liquor tax on it, otherwise you are guilty of tax evasion.

A still is a means to utilize the fact that alcohol boils at 173 degrees F and water boils at 212. A natural alcohol solutions at a rolling boil is above that needed to vaporize alcohol, but with observation when the alcohol is gone the flow from the still will become a trickle of water, and you’re batch is done.

You need a sealed means to heat your mixture to a controlled temperature, cool and collect the alcohol vapors. A low volume low tech home still goes something like:

Stainless steel pressure cooker. Connect the pressure vent to about 10 feet of 3/8” copper tubing. If you are planning on coiling the tubing buy it already coiled in a box, otherwise bend it an inch or so at a time, an old story is to fill it with sand to minimize kinks.

You need to cool the alcohol to condensation within the 10 feet or so of tubing, which is why it is usually coiled and immersed in a vat of water.

The equipment can consist of a food dryer like mine, a Corona grain mill and a pressure cooker (unless you have a Kenmore water purifier from Sears). You will also need ten feet of 3/8 inch copper tubing, bought at most hardware stores for 50 cents a foot. The rest is just odds and ends you may have or can get at little cost.


Sprouting turns most of the starch into sugars and diastase. The sugars are readily converted into alcohol by yeast while the diastase turns starch into more sugar. Immerse 2 pound of whole, non-hybrid corn in a clean vat of warm water for 24 hours, then drain. Flood with warm water once every 24 hours until you have plenty of sprouts of about ½ inch.

NOTE: You probably cannot buy non-hybrid corn at your local feed store. With hybrid only about 10% will sprout, leaving 90% a rotten mess. Rotted starch doesn't convert to alcohol. You may need to grow it yourself.

The fermenting container needs to hold almost three gallons, and be air-tight once filled. Look at three gallon “clear” water bottles. Drill and seal into a hole in the cap a thin hose to allow CO2 to escape (otherwise “boom”). Put the hose in a jar of water to monitor the bubbles. When the bubbles stop the fermenting is done.

Mash the sprouted grain. Boil two gallons of water and add the mash slowly. Cooking kills bacteria and helps break the starch molecules. After thirty or forty minutes, take the pot off the heat and put it in a dishpan of cold water to cool it down. It shouldn't have any lumps in it since that would cause uneven fermentation. If you have stirred it properly, there should not be any lumps. In case there are, break them up.

Weigh out 1/2 pound of sugar and put it in a measuring pitcher. Then add hot water until it reaches the quart mark. The sugar should cool it to a temperature safe for the yeast. If it feels warm but not hot, dump a package of active dry yeast (not fast-rising or acting yeast) into the sugar and warm water. Stir it with a fork until it dissolves. Then put a plate over the pitcher and let it alone for about an hour. It will be covered with froth. Stir it again.

Pour the mash into the container

If the mash is no longer hot, pour in the yeast and sugar and give the container a few sloshes.

Put the container in 85 or 90 degrees. The warmer it is within the safe limits, the faster it will work.

With the cap on firmly and the tube in the jar, the bubbles should appear in an hour or so. After a few days, they will slow down and finally stop. You do not need to filer the mash. You can fill the container and shake to make it easier to pour. The cooked mash isn't too inclined to stick. But it is a good idea to add water to completely fill the container when it is ready to distill and then to shake it well before pouring some into the still. Thus diluted the mash is pretty much in suspension so it won't stick or burn. Fill the pot only two-thirds full and keep the heat at Medium. When it heats up, the alcohol will come over in a fairly fast trickle. When the alcohol is all out you'll notice a decrease, indicating it is only water.


Electricity is the flow of electrical force, NOT necessarily movement of electrons. Electrons do move, but an electron does not race along the powerline from the generator, to your home, and back to the generator 60 times per second.

A conductor is a material that readily allows electricity to flow along it, typically the metals, Au, Ag, Cu, Al. We must realize though that while general science and technology (2006) can utilize electricity, we do not clearly know what it "is".

An insulator is a material that generally does not allow electricity to flow along it, such as glass, plastic, rubber.

A circuit is a complete path for electricity to flow and return to the generating source.

Voltage is considered as a measure of the electromotive force, an analogy is water pressure in a hose.

Current is a measure of the amount of electricity flowing in a circuit, an analogy is the water volume flowing in a hose. DOWN THE ROAD Scientific experiments appear to confirm that in some manner, time slows at greater speeds. Whatever time actually is, tests show that chemical and even nuclear reactions proceed "slower" when the interacting objects are traveling at greater speeds. Science then tells us that since it takes more energy to cause a high speed particle to change direction, than a low speed one, that the particle has increased in mass. Supposedly, as the particle approached light speed, it would become infinitely massive, which is partially borne out by the increasing energy to cause change. However, mass has gravity. If a particle truely became infinitely massive, would it not become a mini-black hole, and at least suck-in the lab? If time slows for the particle, such that "instant" nuclear decay can take seconds, think instead that a seconds long push from a particle accelerator would only be "experienced" by the particle for a single instant. OVER UNITY DEVICES There are numerous claims of non-moving part wire and metal devices outputting far more power than put in. If any of these devices prove to be real, and capable of being constructed from simple parts from your neighborhood electronics store (or junk parts), we would have an incredible leap in available power. Don’t hold your breath though. Coler is attributed two such devices, one called a “Magnetstromapparat” [Magnet Power Apparatus] the other “Stromzeuger”, from which he claimed that with an input of a few watts from a dry battery an output of 6 kilowatts could be obtained indefinitely.

The device consists of six permanent magnets wound in a special way so that the circuit includes the magnet itself as well as the winding. These six magnet-coils are arranged in a hexagon and connected as shown in the diagram, in a circuit which includes two small condensers, a switch, and a pair of solenoidal coils, one sliding inside the other. The story is to bring the device into operation, the switch is left open, the magnets are moved slightly apart, and the sliding coil set into various positions, with a wait of several minutes between adjustments. The magnets are then separated still further, and the coils moved again. This process is repeated until at a critical separation of the magnets an indication appears on the voltmeter. The switch is now closed, and the procedure continued more slowly. The tension then builds up gradually to a maximum, and should then remain indefinitely. The greatest tension obtained was stated to be 12 volts.

The device consists of an arrangement of magnets, flat coils, and copper plates, with a primary circuit energized by a small dry battery. The claim is the output from the secondary was used to light a bank of lamps and was claimed to be many time the original input, and to continue indefinitely.

FUSION In late 2006, Dr. Robert W. Bussard, formerly of the Atomic Energy Commission, announced online that his modest company had achieved controlled, sustained fusion, by the use of electrostatic fields, in a device that is simple, compared to the fusion experiments using magnetic "bottles". Dr. Bussard points out that the concept is not only relatively simple, it is not new. He refers to a paper on the topic published in 1924. He proposes an approach where the fusion process generates NO NEUTRONS or radiation, it does generate electrons and protons, that might be captured and converted in a shell to electricity at potential efficiency of 98%. Demonstration models of his device CAN be built at home, and they WILL produce fusion. His presentation and patents seem to indicate that a device, capable of powering a modern city, could be built with the resources of that city. His presentation also lends credence to other hydrogen claims, such as the atomic hydrogen torch. There are numerous claims that if hydrogen is passed thru a spark gap, then burned, it burns a great deal hotter than hydrogen so treated, well beyond any energy that could have been added by the electricity. It appears possible in theory that some hydrogen in the torch flame may be fusing and adding a great deal of heat. ELECTROSTATICS Much of present human technology is based on electro-magnetic devices. High school physics sets out the theory of electron shells, and the explanation of electron exchange for the interaction of elements. Electrical charge (think electrostatics) holds the electron "in orbit" of the proton, and molecules together. As Bussard’s presentation hints at, there is a great deal about electro-statics that we do NOT know. Sub atomic particles are sometimes said to "tunnel", that is they will be observed to essentially disappear from one location and reappear elsewhere, without having traveled in any known matter the space in between. A deeper thought though is whether the "particles" have any real position or motion, as we generally think of such.

Both the "strong" and "weak" nuclear forces are stronger than the electrical force, (say 100x) but their range is essentially limited to the scale of an atomic nucleus, while the range of the electrostatic force is NOT limited. There appears therefore to be a limit on how many protons can be held. If the diameter of the nucleus exceeds the strong force effective range, the attraction aspect of protons that are too distant "disappears" while the electrostatic repulsion of the "distant" protons remains.


Combining a free electron and a free proton to form basic hydrogen (which happens naturally if they encounter each other) releases 51.06 ev, roughly 9 times the energy of "burning" hydrogen (combining hydrogen and oxygen), which releases 5.6 ev.

Combining two protons and two tlectrons releases 28 MILLION ev.

A vacuum appears to present factors as though it contained 2 BILLION TONS of mass per each cubic centimeter.

Appropriate Technology Appendix - 2 - 3

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