This article is mostly speculation, but after contemplating recently about some of the things that contribute to landfill, I was wondering what is the future of homes in a world of limited space? What does it look like? If we allow garbage heaps to continue to pile up and spread, eventually there will be no room left.
What Happens To Us?
I often ask myself what will happen to the human race? There is only so much space on the planet. What happens when it is all used up with landfill and trash? I doubt we will ever let it get to that, well I would hope not anyway, but what options are there if we truly did not heed our treatment of the planet and continue trashing and destroying it?
This is not a pleasant thought for what the future holds for our children and their children and so forth. I came up with some possible scenarios, none of which would be greatly appealing to me. Thinking on this I realised I’d much rather keep our planet in its beautiful and most natural state than have to face these consequences.
So what can we do? Go up, go down, sideways, or out of this world altogether?
What Happens If…?
If We Go Up!
We Build High!
There is the likelihood of building massively tall skyscrapers. But I can’t see that being an option due to the structural stability being compromised the higher up they go. We would need to consider the consequences of natural disasters such as earthquakes and cyclones in the construction. However it may not be possible to account for such things in the structural integrity.
The image to the right seems like a very solid and imposing sight, however would it stand up to shifts in the Earth’s crust? The loss of lives would be devastating if a natural disaster were to occur. If we go too high, we may even cause changes to our own evolution in terms of becoming used to higher oxygen intake, making it impossible to live below high altitudes in future years.
Floating Cities In The Sky
Unless of course, we find a way to create floating cities. Those that are raised into the sky. I could see this being a better option. In face it probably is the most appealing to me in terms of keeping our grubby little hands away from the surface of the Earth and making sure we have minimal pollution to contaminate our world below.
We would need to worry about maintaining whatever mechanism is responsible to keep them afloat. High winds may pose a threat, but if they were able to move around, they could be relocated to a safer place until the danger passed.
Should We Be More Like Ithorians And Live Above The Earth?
So far they have only been seen in fantasy movies and animated films, but there is certainly room for technology and time to create the means to lift entire cities off the ground. I believe the science fiction stories refer to it as using repulsor fields or lifts, please correct me if I have the wrong term.
Star Wars Knew It!
I first learned of this idea through one of the Star Wars Legends book series. In the story, one of the Jedi Knights went to the planet of Ithor. I remember reading about this fantastic planet that they showed so much love and care for, and then it got totally obliterated by an alien invasion. I was devastated because all I could think about was that we were doing this to our own planet. We don’t need an alien invasion to ruin it, we are doing just fine by ourselves.
The Ithorians lived above the planet on high platforms, or in space in orbit around the planet and did not allow anyone to set foot upon the ground without good reason. Usually a holy pilgrimage or something similar that was considered an acceptable reason, and of course the Caretakers tasked with making sure the planet was looked after and remained unspoilt.
I know – I’m dreaming again!
If We Go Down!
There Is A Possibility Of Going Underground
We may choose to move underground, but then we might have all kinds of other problems, such as Vitamin D deficiencies from being away from the sun if living deep underground, leading to all kinds of health problems. We may lose some of the use of our eyesight as well, becoming more mole-like in our visual capacity. Then we are at the mercy of the Earth’s interior in terms of volcanic activity, earthquakes, and general movement of the earth’s surface and below. We risk cave ins and collapses of tunnels and there is the possibility of large numbers of people being lost this way too.
Or There Are Always Caves
Making our homes in caves may be a viable option, rather than moving deep underground, assuming we can find enough to house the entire population. We would most likely have to interfere with the Earth’s integrity and dig in to mountainsides, the ground, etc, which may affect their stability. However, we may leave ourselves no choice but to delve deep if we keep going the way we are on this planet. There are already a number of people living in cave dwellings such as those depicted here in Turkey. I have also heard of many people building homes on mountains or using already established caves to turn into homes, to escape from a coming natural disaster where it is believed a tidal wave is supposed to destroy a large area of livable and populated land. I don’t mind the idea of living in Hobbit-like abodes, dug into the sides of hills, but this assumes there will be hills that are untouched by rubbish. If the problem is a lack of land due to landfill and trash, then this option is not really going to be possible.
If We Go Sideways!
By sideways, I mean by moving into the water that we usually live side by side with when we live on the land.
If we built dwellings completely submerged in the oceans forming entire underwater cities, once again, there is the potential for disease to come from vitamin deficiencies etc, and again, natural disasters. Great losses would occur in the instance of the outer bubble that keeps the water from entering the underwater cities, fracturing or breaking completely.
Earthquakes and shifts in the Earth’s crust would be a major problem.
Then there are large water creatures that may cause damage also.
Tidal waves wouldn’t be a problem due to them traveling along the surface of the water and only to a small depth, unless the cities were only just below the surface, then of course they would be affected.
Floating Cities Upon The Ocean
Ocean Floating Cities Or Perhaps On Other Waterways
There is another idea to escape our used up land and that is to build cities that are floating on water, or tethered below the surface so that the foundation is more solid instead of being able to float. Tidal waves might then be a problem for these cities, but you would have access to the sun and therefore vitamin D deficiency and other diseases shouldn’t be an issue. I believe Dubai may have already established a residential area that floats.
The movie Waterworld starring Kevin Costner had a similar idea where small groups of people had their homes floating on water. But as they were not protected in cities, generally they were not safe on the great ocean and would get attacked by pirates. It would make sense to create large floating platforms if we were ever driven to live our lives on the ocean. Then there might be some semblance of order maintained with our laws etc. I dread to think what would happen to our marine life with all of the toxic waste we produce though. I hope that we would have learned how to get rid of our waste properly by then.
Then There Is Up, Up And Away!
By this I mean, completely leaving the Earth and relocating to another planet. One that has been untainted by the human race, to start all over again and hope that we have learned to love the next planet and look after it, rather than destroy it. I really hope we don’t get to the stage of having leave our planet behind us. There is only one planet Earth, and you are on it, we will never find the same thing again.
Where else can we expect to find the beautiful greenery, the forests, the waterfalls, the large expanse of ocean, the desert, the animals, plants and insects that are exclusive to this planet? Not on Mars, that’s for sure, not even anywhere in our solar system at this point in time.
It May Be Too Late Already!
I often wonder just how much we have already lost of some of the wonders and beauty of our planet. We certainly have lost some of the wildlife with many animals being extinct or on the endangered species list. They all play a part in our ecosystems and the loss of just even one could have unknown long term and disastrous effects. For example the bees, did you know they are dying out? Without the bees, how are we going to get the plants that we rely so heavily on for food, pollinated to continue to grow for our food. That is just an example of one of the species that is endangered.
But It’s Not Over Until It’s Over, Can We Save Ourselves?
When we are all done and dusted and there’s no room left, I’d like you to think now about what is the future of homes in a world of limited space? As much as these fantasy ideas that I’ve put to you sound almost exciting, the reality is that for the most part, they are just that, fantasy. It is probably unrealistic to believe that we could live in any of these ways without causing further harm to the environment. That will be the biggest challenge once our land is used up. But as science fiction is often the basis for many new inventions, maybe, just maybe, someone will come up with some environmentally friendly solutions to make these options more viable, before we have destroyed our planet completely. Maybe if enough thought energy is put into these concepts, the problems in shaping these future living options will be solved.
Thank you for reading. Have you thought about a solution yourself, or seen something in a movie, book or science concepts magazine, that shows that there might be a way to overcome these issues. I would love to hear other ideas. Please add to my comments section and have a real brainstorming session.