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Principles of a Sustainable Community
Any logical train
of thought would lead to the conclusion that the living in a Sustainable
Community is the only way that humans can survive for any length of time after
fossil fuels are gone. There is no possibility that any new energy source can
completely replace fossil fuels. Therefore we must cut energy and resource
consumption as much as we can. Elimination of houses and cars is the only way
that we can make this possible. That can only be accomplished by combining work,
agriculture, dwelling, schools, offices and as many things as possible in one
small area so that most transportation can be accomplished by foot or bicycle.
Clustered living offers the opportunities of sharing walls and ceilings, saving
on utility cost, saving on transportation, eliminating needless chores such as
lawn mowing, sharing childcare, forming cottage industries, and living with
abundant nature. The most helpful thing that people can do now to save their
grandchildren is to form land-owning cooperatives. It is the purpose of this
paper to formulate the principles, which will make such cooperatives useful.
Various other names that I have considered for the Sustainable community are,
Agricultural Condominium, Cooperative Farm, Agromindium, and Ecomindium.
The cooperative should be founded on strict business principles so that shares
can grow in value and be left to grandchildren. There would be a rigid set of
rules to loud music, smoking, drunkenness, and other distractions on the
property. Property rights would be strictly observed but people would be
encouraged to share and to own jointly. There must be a constitution with rules
laid out in advance.
2 The ownership structure must include investors,
apartment owners, renters, and part owners. I am not sure whether it would be a
profit corporation, non-profit corporation, a cooperative, or a joint ownership.
There must be a hostel so that non-resident owners and guests can visit and work
on the property. Most of the dwellers would probably have full time jobs and
work part time on the project.
3 There should be enough land with the
community to engage in farming for both food and energy. A minimum of about 10
acres would be needed. More would be desirable. One objective should be to use
as much agricultural waste and other biomass for energy.
4 Only large
buildings with 2 to 4 stories and 4 apartments per floor would be built. A small
Ecomindium might have only one big building with four apartments per floor in a
square shape and 2 or 3 stories. The full basement would be used for communal
5 The Co-op should engage in farming, gardening, cottage
manufacturing, services which would bring income, and R&D relating to
agriculture and energy.
6 The energy system would employ Combined Heat and
Power (CHP), Combined Heat and Manufacturing (CHM), solar electric panels, solar
thermal panels, Biomass, Wind, and Solar focused mirrors used for electricity,
heat, and processing. There would be attempts to make biogas, synthesis gas,
Ethanol, and Methanol.
7 As much as possible of the food used on the project
would be grown there. There would be large stores of canned, frozen, and dried
8 There would be communal transportation in the form of small buses,
car pools, and rides from individuals. There probably would be a car pool with
9 There would be an attempt to keep a strong technical base
for the Co-op. This would permit the possibility of developing items for
manufacture and of adding great wealth to the Co-op. It is critical to the
survival and advancement of the Co-op that any items developed on the Co-op
should go into mass production. A strong work ethic and inventiveness would be
10 There would be a workshop and powerhouse adjacent to the
property, probably underground. There also might be a greenhouse.