Re: Understanding nanotech

Doug Jones (
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 06:18:48 -0700

Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> Well, my questions to Robert Freitas regarding the "hypsithermal
> limit" (heat tolerance of the planet), have drawn a response.
> [Yes, I am an angel from god... :-)]
> And the conclusions are not much different. He basically says
> that from the conservative to the optimistic sides we are limited
> to 100-1000 KW/person. That is pretty much what I had said
> with my 400 KW. If you want more, you have to borrow or buy
> from someone else (if you are going to be ethical at any rate).

To maintain the "natural" heat balance of the earth, could you not maintain the _average_ albedo of the area used for sunlight collection? Make photovoltaic panels that reflect any wavelengths not used, and intersperse them with white reflective panels to cool the total insolation. This could make large amounts of power available without adding to the planet's heat load.

Delivering mansions from orbit would carry a 3MJ/kg heat penalty for the atmosphere entry and deceleration from 7750 m/s, unless spinning skyhooks were used very effectively. Probably more like 6MJ/kg for material delivered from escape via aerobraking. Hmmm, skyhooks would actually make that energy available *in space* in low entropy form, but total momentum control would be tricky- both orbital and spin.

By moving out to sea,

Finished products could then be delivered to the homesite.

Of course, the total area used by any entity must be limited, or else a tragedy of the commons hits when a major fraction of the oceans is obscured.

Doug Jones, Freelance Rocket Plumber