Robert Bradbury wrote:
> I prefer the "grow your own island"
> approach ...
I am continuing to think about ways to do this. Lately, I have been considering
dumping some mountain tops through underground tunnels that come up under the
ocean. It has some advantage because you can run the thing off the difference in
gravitational energy, and do not have as big a cooling problem as my last
suggestion. Of course, you have to pick a mountain that people will allow to be
moved, but this may be offset by the nice flat land you can give them where the
mountain was. For a small island, you may only need a small part of a mountain (or
just hollow out a part) given that you can restructure the material to have just as
much strength at a much lower density.
I remember thinking about this stuff back in the early seventies, long before the
promise of MNT. I was considering what it would take to build a robot harbor
dredger. This machine would swim into a harbor and dredge up a load of silt from
the bottom and then swim out and dump it in deep water. My design allowed the
machine to recharge its batteries from the gravitational energy of lowering the
silt. This way it could work 24-7 and would have to surface only to replace worn
parts. After working on this a while, I realized that a fleet of these could be
used to build a deep water island out of parts of the undersea shelf. The surface
part of the island would go slowly, because the robots would need to dump most of
the load in deep water to get the energy to put a small part of the load on the
surface, but it could be done. All of the above is not very practical (i.e. would
cost too much) unless you can "grow" the robots. (Anyone know how much we could get
paid to dredge a deep channel up the Mississippi? The Gulf is a nice place to put
One of the problems with MNT is that it makes too much possible. When it gets here,
I fear I will find myself in the position of the proverbial centipede who could not
decide which foot to move first.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:13 MDT