Why NAWAPA has not been built - (part 3) Rolf A. F. Witzsche - Sep. 2010

The reason is simple 

"Blue Marble" Satellite image by NASA for August

Mankind has become too cheap

The cheap option is prohibitive 

The world has become centered on choosing the cheapest options. The result is that nothing gets done anymore and the world keeps drying up, and mankind keeps dying of 'starvation' in ever-increasing numbers. This is not an accusation. It is the current trend.

The 1960's option of the NAWAPA idea is to transfer over land a portion of the waters that flow from Alaska and the Canadian high north into sea, and divert them into the dry regions of the western USA and northern Mexico. In order to accomplish this feat, the greatest civil engineering feat in the history of mankind, over 360 large projects, must be completed - the building of dams, tunnels, canals, etc. - a project so large in scale that it can be seen from space when it is completed. And this my friends is the cheap option. Of course, being a cheap option, it is inherently too expensive to implement. For this reason it won't be built.

The opposite to the cheap option

The opposite to the cheap option is the powerful option. For NAWAPA this option would begin with the development and the mass-utilization of nuclear power and high-temperature processes. It is not easy for society to reorient itself towards the mass-use of nuclear power, and to restructure its economy onto an energy-rich footing with a commitment to high-temperature processes and large-scale industrial automation. Enormous financial credits for investments into this development are required to build this kind of powerful foundation. But once it is done, creative potentials unfold for the fundamental rebuilding of the world with a richer biosphere, with plentiful food resources, and with a richer way of living, none of which are possible otherwise. That's the powerful option.

The 1960's option of the NAWAPA idea is the cheap option, because it can be build the cheap way, without nuclear powered industrial automation. Of course, it involves horrendous drudgery for 30 to 50 years to get the job done the cheap way, but it can be done. The cheap way is always drudgery-intensive. The powerful way would be to let industrial automation create the materials for submerged water transfer, thereby enabling a NAWAPA implementation that is not only several times larger in its effect, but can be implemented in a fraction of the time and with a greater quality and diversity.

Society's commitment to the cheap option (which is actually the most expensive option, because nothing gets done that way) is evidently the reason why the NAWAPA idea has not yet been implemented. This is apparently also the reason why the rail connection between America and Asia via the Bering Straight option has not been implemented. Building a tunnel between the continents would be the cheap option as it could be implemented without society making a commitment to nuclear power and high-temperature industrial automation. Of course, as a cheap option, it is 'cost'-prohibitive. 

Building on the powerful platform, one would simply lay a floating bridge (produced in high-temperature automated industrial processes) smack across the Pacific, and also across the Atlantic to Africa. (see: The Intercontinental Floating Bridge) This powerful option would open up vast development corridors across the near infinite expanse of the tropical oceans for the simplest and richest agricultural development the world has ever seen (floating agriculture), all being made possible with nuclear-powered high-temperature industrial automation.

Choosing between the powerful and the cheap

The future of mankind hinges in all counts, on it's choosing between the powerful option and the cheap option. This choosing applies to every avenue of civilization, but most of all it applies to mankind's energy system. Wood is a cheap fuel source, but it is so limiting by its lean nature that it is useless for anything but camp fires. This makes wood the post expensive fuel. It costs a lot and produces little. Windmills fall into this category. Coal fares a bit better. Coal has enabled the dawn of industrialization. Oil is better still. It has enabled a vast improvement in transportation, and an increase in population density that is inconceivable without the power-use density in transportation that oil has enabled. 

But why are we, society, too cheap to take the next logical step to nuclear power? This inability appears to have resulted from a calculated behavioral intervention by the world's ruling masters of empire who aim to keep society small, impotent, confined, and dying.

One of the favorite tricks the masters employ is to get society to reach for sky-castles, whereby it becomes induced to ignore its power at hand. An example is the dream of nuclear-fusion power. Great dreams have been invested into this option (which is fundamentally not feasible, and immensely expensive in that it produces nothing) while the readily available options of far greater quality are being ignored. (see: ITER - snubbing the Principle of Least Action - ITER - The Way? - NIF - Successful Failure )

Even if it was possible to make the nuclear-fusion power process workable, the fuel-'cost' would be prohibitive. It requires the energy-intense processing of half a million tons of water to extract from it enough deuterium to produce one ton of fusion fuel. The second component of the fusion fuel, tritium, is even more expensive to produce. In comparison with that near infinite hurtle, the USA all by itself, has over 900,000 tons of thorium fission fuel sitting unused on the ground, which has the identical usable energy content than the idealized fusion fuel is theoretically able to deliver. (see: The Great Nuclear Fusion Delusion )

The other difference, and perhaps the main difference, is that while operational fusion-power systems are fundamentally impossible to implement by the nature of the inherent principles, the thorium-power (nuclear fission) technology has been developed and demonstrated in the 1950s, and has been put on the shelf and been kept nicely out of sight to hide this powerful option. The cheap nuclear-power option (uranium U235 fission) is being promoted instead (it is useful for making nuclear bombs). Uranium fission is the cheap nuclear-power option, because it doesn't offer much. Natural uranium contains only 0.7% of fissionable U235 (of which in best practice only 0.5% is used for power production -the rest is waste). In comparison, 100% of the thorium fuel is theoretically fissionable (probably only 97% in practice). This makes the thorium-power option a powerful option. India is presently committed to developing this option. (see: The Liquid Fluoride Thorium (nuclear) Reactor)

Will we see the NAWAPA idea being implemented?

This depends on, if, and how soon, society steps away from its commitment to the cheap platform. 

On this path of getting from the cheap to the powerful, society has a long trail ahead of it. The general welfare principle has been so deeply trashed with the smothering effect of the my-money ideology (that has been promoted for centuries by the masters of empire), that society is now dying on the platform of its cheapness. And this goes deep, much deeper than is apparent at the surface. I have started an experiment more than a decade ago to discover how intense this cheapness really is. I have put all of my 12 novels and 13 research books online for free onto the internet, with an invitation attached for donations. (see: My Novels and Research Books)  With a hit-range of upwards to 5000 distinct visitors per month to the books page, I have received two donations in this entire 10-year span, totaling $70, which is probably a good ratio in a world that is intensely focused of getting, rather than developing the principle on with civilization rests - the Principle of the General Welfare, and beyond that the Principle of Universal Love.

Physically, the implementation of a powerful NAWAPA implementation is possible tomorrow, but the barrier that stands in the way will likely delay this happening for an indefinite time, as presently nobody even talks about powerful options. Its simpler for society to remain asleep on its bed of the cheap, even if this promises to become its death bed. 

Ironically the 1960s plan for the NAWAPA implementation involves the overcoming of a great physical barrier. It involves transferring the waters from low elevations in the north, across the high-elevation 'hump' of the Nevada Great Basin, to the low elevation areas of the southern deserts. This feat can be accomplished with the input of massive electric power (app. 30 Giga Watts) to pup the diverted waters uphill and over the hump. But before we can even think of doing this, an even greater 'hump' in society's attitude towards itself needs to be overcome - involving some giant steps for society to get away from the cheap. Of curse, once this hurtle is crossed, vastly more powerful options for the NAWAPA implementation will then come then into view, which will assure a powerful implementation process. On this path, then, even the greening of the Sahara will no longer seem impossible, and will commence.

Society empowering itself

In principle the path from the cheap to the powerful is rather simple. It is rooted in society supporting the leading-edge elements within it that are most able to uplift its spirit and its power to ever-higher levels of achievement and creativity, and away from the cheap - based on the greatest examples and achievements of mankind throughout the ages, all rooted in the discovering universal principles and aspects of truth and their power. 

I am not talking about Adam Smith and the like, here, the revered gods of the mud pool of monetarist greed, who regard mankind as being merely animals, with no cognitive powers, and no creative and productive abilities. The masters of the mud pool see the world as a living zoo of pathetic creatures trained by them (with behavioral so-called science) to be dancing to the tune of their calling. But this isn't the real world. Nothing that profits society and develops its power can be found in the mud pool, the pool of empire, the pool of the thieves, destroyers, and fascist rulers of the club of the insane who desire the elimination of four fifths of humanity as they so often proclaim. Unfortunately, it is in the mud pool were society looks for its leadership. To seek such is convenient and cheap. The mud masters have no need to be supported, nor do they invite it. They already stole all the wealth of society. They now want your life, and may well get it. That's how 'expensive' the 'cheap' path near to becoming.

What empowers and elevates society lies in the opposite realm, far distant from the cheap and its corresponding cheap and crude ideology, music, literature, entertainment, and so on. The leaders in society who are primarily pioneers in the unfolding of the human spirit, are those who by their personal achievement have opened the door for society for the realization of its own inherent power as human beings. An example of this process is found in the leadership of America's scientist, statesman, and leading economist, Lyndon LaRouche (a man who qualifies exceedingly well as an accomplished pioneer), who served up a powerful platform for society with which to rescue itself from the precipice of economic collapse that had reached a crisis point in the summer of 2007. He introduced at this time a the now famous "Homeowner and Bank Protection Act" that would have reorganized the financial system onto a higher-level footing. A large number of local and state legislators had endorsed LaRouche's proposal. But to merely say, yes, doesn't make it so. Thus, the Act was blocked with ease before it made it onto the floor of the Congress.  

Civilization, by its very nature, doesn't happen passively. Power is an active process that must be developed, supported, carried forward, labored for, and not be let to drop to the ground. This demands a great effort. The cheap way in comparison, that achieves nothing, is easy, but its cost is horrendous. The cheap way has in recent years earned society many millions of home foreclosures and several times as many millions of lost jobs. And on the financial front, this cheap solution drew society into bailout trap that gave away many tens of trillions of dollars to the very swindlers who stole its living. That is how 'expensive' the cheap has already become. And this promises to be just the beginning on this track to hell that society has the potential to get off, but refuses to take the needed footsteps.

LaRouche has proposed since 2007 a number of critical steps for society to rescue itself, that society has not yet empowered itself sufficiently to carry out. Among these is his critical proposal to society to impeach its president who serves the destroyers of the nation, and to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act that had for a long time protected the nation against grand financial thievery until this protection was taken down. LaRouche also re-introduced the NAWAPA orientation and put it onto the plate of society. These are all invitations to society to empower itself. He calls for bold measures of international cooperation for the global redevelopment of the Earth, and to go beyond even the grandest previous achievements. He demand nothing cheap, but powerful.

 Will society reach up from its impending 'grave of the cheap' and reach for the grand and powerful, and built itself the greatest renaissance ever, beginning with rebuilding and advancing itself? With the forthcoming answer to this question rests the future or fate of four fifth of mankind. It's as simple as that.


Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Main articles:

NAWAPA: Existentially Critical

The New NAWAPA - part 1 - greening the deserts

The New NAWAPA - part 2 - infrastructures for the Noosphere

Related articles: 

NAWAPA - an exploration of the 1960s plan

A NAWAPA dialog - how to raise it to a higher level?

NAWAPA: Wells or FDR - contrasting orientations

Towards a FDR NAWAPA - how would Franklin Delanor Roosevelt have responded to the challenge?

Related supporting articles: 

Infrastructures  - what increases the power of humanity

Advanced Infrastructures - the power at hand to snub the Ice Age

Ice Age Collapse - a challenge to mankind to raise its humanist power

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An example of an FDR type new NAWAPA river diversin system, superimposed onto a NASA satellite composite image


Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - 2010  Rolf A. F. Witzsche

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