Let’s say you want a device that will quickly catch snow, turn it to water and catch it, without power. Let’s say you don’t have a big roof you can use. Something smaller is needed. What about lavender as a model? A few hundred spikes to catch the snow, a few hundred dark heads to catch the sun and melt it, and a basin underneath deep enough to be heated by the earth. Would that not be a well?
Or shall we consider bunchgrass. The snow drags it down, the sun shines through the snow, heats up the stalks, and they spring back up, accelerating the melting. Again, it is caught by an underground basin.
Would we catch more water that way? Or would we do better by laying down surfaces with two levels, an upper one to cool and catch the snow, and a lower one to capture escaped heat and draw the snow down slowly? What if the bottom layer was porous, caught the water and delivered it to reservoirs?
Or might we lay down walls on east-facing slopes to catch the winter sun and then radiate it back to melt the snow over a porous catchment surface, as my neighbour has inadvertently done with a bit of rock work?
Or we might just construct walls with water-catching surfaces, such as the lichens on the wall below, which will melt into a piping surface within the wall and be taken away?
Or just leavie the last crop of grass uncut, or strips of it running laterally across slopes?
If we held onto our water, would we have to spend $100,000,000 for a population of 80,000 people, to deliver it across great distance, clean it, and pump it into the lake once we used it? Might ecological technology be more than building bluebird houses that are forgotten within ten years?
Or smart phone apps? Will smart phones save the world? It’s hard to imagine so. What about artificial intelligence? Hardly, although it will likely accentuate social divides of wealth and power. Could stone be a viable power source, instead? One that would return power to us, and allow for technical innovation? The stone below uses heat, freezing, water and the sun to move soil (note the cracks around the edge of the rock), concentrate water and direct it down hill. How many electric pumps can we do without?
Can we design a water pump on the model of this pool?
If you stand on the ice, it flexes, causes water to gush up around a hole melted by sun on rock. Several holes.
We could develop that further, couldn’t we? Why not? Because capitalized water is cheaper? Is it cheap to degrade land close to town…
… while turning the highlands into a vast set of reservoirs and drying up all our spawning creeks? Might we rather have salmon and water? We can, you know.
If our political systems don’t talk about what we love, we can still do so. Let’s make 2019 the year to move back home. Even if all we can manage at first is to plant a rock:
It will begin working the moment we set it down.