Veikko J. Pyhtilä, February 2, 2019
The title is playfully exaggerated, yes spiritual and mental values are more important to me, even though material values are essential in this time.
Efforts have been made to ensure that the products are not too long-lived to maintain sales and thus continue to generate income. But this is a wrong principle. If the products and materials are long lasting, you won’t need as much money as you do today, maybe just for first time purchase. People do not need as much income, and thus no work, production that consumes energy and raw materials and the environment. There is also less transportation and trade. Clothes, shoes, socks, crockery, housing, means of transport, computer, etc., once acquired in adolescence, would last a lifetime and could also be used by a generation.
For example, the dishes could be dirt and germ repellent, without the need for washing dishes. At the end of the meal, by tilting the beaker, the food, drink, and microbes from the person’s mouth would all flow from the sliding nano-surface to the mouth. This way, the dishwasher would consume no water or detergents and the dishes would be dry and ready for use the next time. And even if the container were to fall to the floor, it would not break or knock. And even if someone throws a cell phone at a stone, its glass won’t break. Even if the car crashes, it will not crash, but will be flexible and save lives. Also treads, seat surfaces, engine, bearings and springs, etc. would withstand. Clothes would be dirt and germ repellent, so waving would clean them.
Building materials and furniture would be resistant to dirt and germs and would last at least 1000 years. This would keep the windows clean, with no algae or dirt on the walls. There would be no mould-houses anymore. Surfaces should not need to be painted and kept clean, with a dry cloth at most. The wind could clean the exterior of the building. The snow would spill and spin from the roof to the ground as it rained, so there would be no risk of snow and ice falling on people causing accidents. The surfaces could be solar cells where the snow would not stay and at the same time absorb energy.
Storage of energy from the sun in the summer, for example as hydrogen (H) and in winter it would be burned into water (H2O). It would also be possible to live in a bottle where both matter and energy circulate. Rapidly growing synthetic cells would bind carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and release oxygen (O). The air would also be cleaned anyway so there would be no need for ventilation. Synthetic or naturally modified cells could also produce food and materials from waste. Water could also be recycled. Such a bottle could reside on other planets and space stations as well. Energy and matter are indestructible, they only deform, substances forms compounds or decays.
Man could make handmade clothes, objects, works of art, etc. from durable materials. You might not need robots that consume energy and need raw materials to make them. Artificial cells could produce durable and hygienic nanomaterials. Or maybe 3D printing robots would make the products needed locally.
Recycling would have been done to the last. All waste would be reused. Much has already been done in this direction around the world. What is already known and knowledgeable should be introduced and further developed. Many implementations are still expensive and may not be complete in laboratories. We know from history that today there is much that has previously been regarded as utopia and, on the other hand, some plausible future scenarios have not yet materialized. Everything must be ascertained and made sure that they do not create new environmental and health problems and that they are economically, socially, ethically and methodologically possible. But development is moving forward at an enormous pace. There is already a great deal of information and knowledge in the world, as public and business secrets, but their exploitation, implementation and deployment are lame. There are obstacles that need to be overcome. Materials and biotechnology are very large and can address many of the challenges of sustainable development.
I challenge individuals and communities to acquire knowledge, to research, to brainstorm, to develop better and more durable goods, and to create something new by combining old and new! Astounding ideas can become new areas for research and development.
Veikko J. Pyhtilä, February 2, 2019