Saturday, 14 January 2017

Solar powered green communities for refugees

The problem of displaced populations

The basic objective is to give victims of IS, jihad fascism and corrupt governments a source of hope by building a series of green communities on the shores of deserts.  These could also house climate change refugees.Moreover, they could form a knowledge economy with R&D laboratories, making it a desirable destination not only for the desperate but for researchers and innovators  in any country.  As large ecoprojects they could stimulate world economic growth without damaging the environment or contributing to global warming.
Tens of thousands of people are being driven to benevolent regimes with problems for both the migrants and the host countries which could lead to conflict and social instability. It has been estimated by the United Nations that there are around 60 million displaced persons in the world as a whole. Since last publishing this post I have seen a figure of 65 million.  With chaos prevailing in the Middle East and Levant and climate change displacing those living in low lying coastal and river cities this figure could grow rapidly.

Immediate measures

These victims of human sin and folly have to go somewhere now, while super communities are just an idea. It could take 5-10 years to turn the idea into reality. The very first step is to start putting money and expertise into the present refugee camps. Equally important, if not more so, is the provision of hope, because without this no human being can survive spiritually, i.e. at all.

The realization that a well funded international operation was underway to provide a pleasant environment with plenty of accommodation, fresh water at the turn of a tap, power at the throw of a switch, sanitation, education, employment, culture, entertainment and places of worship would remove the sense of despair and desperation presently felt by many victims.

But what about the pressing problem of mounting queues at borders and understandably desperate measures resulting in death, injury and the break up of migrant families? 

To reduce these queues the border controls of the destination countries and of those which the refugees have to traverse must be made  sufficiently  tight to discourage most would-be immigrants from even trying to beat them.The emphasis in the short term needs to be on improving the refugee centres and providing victims of oppression, violence, corruption, economic incompetence and climate change with the hope of a better life in the kind of community being proposed here. Exceptions are no doubt possible but it would be wicked folly to pretend that indiscriminately allowing in large floods of immigrants to a nation or city would not  cause great practical  and social problems, such as
  • Infrastructure overload (water, drainage, power, roads, railways, airports, seaports)
  •  Strained welfare systems (demands on health service, support of the poor, disabled, elderly and unemployed)
  • Growth in bureaucracy needed for extra translation, allowance for cultural differences and expanded security controls
  • Strain on police and secret service needed to prevent terrorism and crime
  • Restriction of employment opportunities for the indigenous  population
  • Unwanted and oppressive cultural change
  • Hostility  by locals if the influx is  sufficient to raise these problems above a critical level.
This is not to say that a certain amount of immigration cannot be mutually beneficial but allowing huge numbers into a country indiscriminately can be bad for both the native people and the immigrants.

A free society

In the west we take for granted the 4 freedoms listed by the US President Roosevelt in 1941
  • Freedom of speech and worship
  • Freedom from want and fear
It would be made clear to the refugees that these are important to westerners and that only a society built on these values is stable and prosperous in the longer term. These freedoms can only be available when they are not abused and in a society that has trust running through it by default. No democracy can survive and thrive without trust being the norm throughout parliament, business, banking, welfare services, the military, the police, the security services, the  civil institutions, the church and every conceivable aspect of society.

Anyone wanting to join the community would have to swear an oath of citizenship which reflected these ideals. This means accepting their sanctity and this can only derive from God’s presence in humanity, so anyone who seriously wants to live in this kind of society must believe that humanity has been sanctified by Christ.  Many victims of Islamic, Hindu and Atheist suppression, as well as many not being particularly oppressed, are now turning to Christ and would be sure to be attracted by a community in which Christ, love and truth are held sacred and in which public prayer is not only not suppressed, but common, reverent and joyful. 

Freedom of speech  is not a problem in a Christian society and indeed it goes with freedom of choice. Free will is important. One cannot become a child of God without freely accepting the living God into one’s soul and that means submission to Christ. Other religions could be present but measures would have to be taken to prevent them stifling the Christian beliefs on which freedom and democracy are founded. There could even be Mosques and temples for minorities ((e.g. for Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists), and they would be guaranteed freedom from harassment and protection under the law. Presumably these believers would be present in a Christian society mainly  through family connections or conversions but economic immigration into the community by non-Christians would be discouraged and all members of the community would have to swear not to act against the 4 freedoms of Roosevelt listed above,

Once  such a community was made to work on a Christian foundation others could be set up under, say, Islamic principles. It would not be a democracy as understood in Christian societies but operate under Sharia Law. While the values characterizing such a society would be anathema to many westerners they should be satisfying to Muslims. Although freedom would be difficult at least the inhabitants would have secure lives. So why deny them the chance? Hindus, Buddhists , Jews and Sheiks might be more likely to incorporate the 4 freedoms into their super communities because their religions are less prescriptive. This needs a lot of thought but this is how I see it at this time.

Power and fresh water

The power would come from mirrors focusing solar energy onto boilers which would generate steam to drive electricity generating turbines. The energy produced during daylight hours would be used to

  • power the city
  • power electric vehicles
  • power agriculture (irrigation system and farm technology)
  • purify seawater
  • pump seawater
  • produce molten salt from the seawater
  • power the sewage and waste disposal system

The molten salt would serve to produce steam for the turbo-generators at night. Any surplus electricity could be fed into a national or transnational energy grid.

See, e.g., the
Ivanpah solar power facility for an example of this kind of technology.

Fresh water would be a by-product of the solar power generation and would enable the city to be located in a desert which was either near the sea or above a salt water aquifer. 

Your comments to me by email to would be more than welcome.

What are the criteria for the siting of such a city? 

If solar thermal power with energy storage based on molten salt is stipulated the site must be near the  sea or underground salt water and in a place where strong sunlight is the norm. Large amounts of fresh water would be needed to keep the city green and well fed with irrigated crops. Being close to the sea would provide both salt and freshwater after desalination without long distance pumping. Combined with the need for sunlight this narrows down the location to equatorial or sub-equatorial. 

Also Africa has large reserves of underground fresh water for which solar power could be used for pumping without purification. See, e.g.

To avoid having to disrupt settled communities it would have to be built in an area of low population density and to minimize the cost of the land it would use terrain of little agricultural value. This strongly suggests a desert location.

It would have to be near a large seaport so that materials could be brought in from around the world. Being near an airport would also be desirable. These ports could of course be built from scratch but this would add to the capital cost and to the time scale. Pre-existing roads and railways would be an advantage but providing the ports were close these would not be too much of a problem to build.
Probably the biggest location problem would be political. The site would have to be within the borders of a country led by a person or persons not hostile to its objective of providing a place for those fleeing extreme Islamic regimes or corrupt regimes with strong tribal cultures and run on democratic principles with  the four freedoms listed above. There would also have to be internationally funded security forces.

One possible location that seems to me, with very limited information and understanding of the geography, cultures and socio-political systems involved, is on the coast of Tunisia. It has had a chequered history since the Arab Spring, its population is 99% Sunni Islam (same as IS but I suspect the latter is not welcome there) and before the IS attack on UK tourists a few years ago it was a successful tourist centre for westerners. It might be pleased to have the opportunity to host an international project of this kind. Tunisia has an airport at Houmt Souq on Jerba Island in the Gulf of Gabes with rail links to the south and southwest. It also has a seaport so the super communities could be located in the desert terrain nearby, even on the mainland coast, and have good transport links for both people and trade.

Image result for australia
Since the last publication of this post it has occurred to me that Australia has a large northern coastline bounding subequatorial desert. There is also a great deal of advanced infrastructure and transport links. Moreover, the chances of security being a problem are probably less than in N. Africa, the Middle East, Arabia or the Levant.
This are just  suggestions to stimulate discussion so please contact me at if you have ideas or information on this. I hope you feel impelled to act in some way because millions of families and individuals are desperately in need of help.

First steps

How do you get a project like this started and pushed through to the unstoppable phase?  You need to locate, enlist and lead individuals committed to the realization of such a city and having access to finance, resources and relevant contacts, perhaps with experience of crowd funding. People with knowledge, skill and experience in areas such as the following would have to be brought rapidly into play, in many cases aided by software, including AI and expert systems:
  • project control 
  • urban planning and environmental design
  • transportation and design of integrated air, road and rail networks
  • IT and communication infrastructure
  • civil engineering, architecture, urban ergonomics
  •  power engineering, solar thermal technology
  • sewage system design, and water purification
  • permaculture, agriculture and irrigation
  • security against hostile attacks, e.g. from ‘Islamic’ State
This is to give an impression of the range of activities and skills which will have to be initiated and used as quickly as possible because lives are being lost or ruined as countries in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia experience the real force of evil in and on society.

The types of organization I envisage being involved are: Private individuals (e.g., wealthy philanthropists), large international charities, Churches, think tanks and government departments devoted to international development, universities and private corporations. 

 Apart from the people it is designed to help there could be numerous spin offs:
  • Improving individual, corporate and political relations
  • Technology and expertise gained by the implementation itself
  • Trade opportunities for the countries and companies involved
  • A new tourist destination for the future
  • A centre of R&D expertise for scientists and engineers worldwide
  • inspiration for other green projects around the world
Above all it needs a few committed leaders having the ability, with God’s will, to make it happen.

Immediate action needed: build  new refugee camps and expand the present ones NOW.

People are being uprooted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq who can only be described as under satanic influence, convinced that evil is good and bad is evil, a tendency which is beginning to emerge in the western world as values once held sacred are systematically undermined from within.

Whether you think you believe in the Christian God or you are a modern, decent Muslim  or you believe in some other idea of God, or you are wholly indifferent to the question of God, or if you think there is no God or that you are your own God,  you can’t afford to ignore the plight of these brutally displaced families, even for reasons of self interest or the well being of your children. In the long term the supercity will hopefully deal with the problem of long term migration to Europe and other parts of Christendom (sorry, the West)  brought about not only by aggressive Islamic expansion  but  by tribalism in African nominally Christian countries and the climate change caused mainly by the West, China, India and Japan.

Refugee camps with sound prefabricated houses, electricity,  sanitation and medical facilities are  needed immediately. There is excellent building and infrastructure technology available  as a result of aid undertakings around the world. The Salvation Army and other charities have enormous experience and competence and would be well able to work in cooperation  with the armed forces using their expertise in logistics and providing security for those building the refugee camps and those living in tents while waiting.

Once there are some key decision makers rounding up support and organizing resources I feel sure that money would flow into this international emergency project, which over time would morph into a supercity project.

This is an emergency and one can’t afford to skate around the truth, which is that Christian migrants will be easier to house than Moslems, not because all Moslems are problematic but because it is difficult to tell which ones subscribe to the concept of a democracy. 

If you are someone with expertise, leadership ability, access to resources and relevant contacts, please act NOW to save not only these victims of evil but to help prevent the social disintegration and street violence that could easily become endemic to the comparatively secure,  comfortable,  free and blessed world which westerners  have inhabited in recent decades.

My aim is to find the necessary initiators and put them together with a sense of commitment. I do not want any money or recognition or acknowledgement. Seeing the idea adopted in some way would be its own reward.  Or maybe some individual somewhere will feel called to initiate a project along these lines independently in which case there is no need even to contact me.

If you or your employer want to get involved in some way please send me an e-mail saying how you think you may contribute or even take a lead and I will do my best to start the ball rolling.

John Sears