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R. Buckminster Fuller

What is the planet's Critical Path?

Selected Quotes from Bucky's book

"Neither the great political and financial power structures of the world, nor the specialization-blinded professionals, nor the population in general realize that sum-totally the omni-engineering-integratable, invisible revolution in the metallurgical, chemical, and electronic arts now makes it possible to do so much more with ever fewer pounds and volumes of material, ergs of energy, and seconds or time per given technological function that it is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a 'higher standard of living than any have ever known.' " (Page xxv)

"Within the crises times immediately ahead - into which we have already entered the computer is soon to respond. "We must integrate the world's electrical-energy networks." We must be able to continually integrate the progressive night-into-day and day into-night hemispheres of our revolving planet. With all the world's electric energy needs being supplied by a twenty-four-hour-around, omni-integrated network, all of yesterday's, one-half-the-time-unemployed, standby generators will be usable all the time, thus swiftly doubling the operating capacity of the world's electrical energy grid.

A half-century ago I discovered with my nonvisibly distorted, one-world-island-in-one-world-ocean, 90 degree longitude-meridian-backbone, north-south-oriented, sky-ocean world map that a world energy network grid would be possible If we could develop the delivery reach. Since I was in the watch for it, when the 15OO-mile-reach* capability was technically established twenty years ago, it was immediately evident to me that we could carry our American electrical network grid across the Bering Straits from our Alaska grid to reach the extreme northeastern Russian grid, where the U.S.S.R had completed a program of installing dams and hydroelectric-power-generating stations on all their northerly flowing rivers all the way into eastern Kamchatka. About 1500 miles could interconnect the Russians' Asiatic continent electric integrated power grid with the Alaskan grid of the industrial North American electric energy grid.

In the early years of Trudeau's premiership of Canada, when he was about to make his first visit to Russia, I gave him my world energy network grid plan, which he presented to Brezhnev, who turned it over to his experts. On his return to Canada Trudeau reported to me that the experts had come back to Brezhnev with: "feasible . . desirable."

I therefore predict that before the end of the l98Os the computer's politically unbiased problem-solving prestige will have brought about the world's completely integrated electrical-energy network grid. This world electric grid, with its omni-integrated advantage, will deliver its electric energy anywhere, to anyone, at any one time, at one common rate. This will possible a world-around uniform costing and pricing system for all goods and services based realistically on the time-energy metabolic accounting system of Universe.

In this cosmically uniform, common energy-value system for all humanity, costing will be expressed in kilowatt-hours, watt-hours and watt-seconds of work. Kilowatt-hours will become the prime criteria of costing the production of the complex of metabolic involvements per each function or item. These uniform energy valuations will replace all the world's wildly intervarying, opinion-gambled-upon, top-power-system-manipulatable monetary systems. The time-energy world accounting system will do away with all the inequities now occurring in regard to the arbitrarily maneuverable international shipping of goods and top economic power structure's banker-invented, international balance-of-trade accountings. It will eliminate all the tricky banking and securities-markets exploitations of all the around-the-world-time-zone activities differences in operation today, all unbeknownst to the at-all-times two billion humans who are sleeping.

The world energy network grid will be responsible for the swift disappearance of planet Earth's 150 different nationalities**. We now have 150 supreme admirals, all trying to command the same ship to go in different directions, with the result that the ship is going around in circles-getting nowhere. The 150 nations act as 150 blood clots in blocking the flow of recirculating metals and other traffic essential to realization of the design science revolution." (Pages xxxi-xxxiv)

"World Gaming discloses that humanity will perish on this planet if the sovereignty of nations is not abandoned and if the World Game's world around computerized time-energy accounting is not forthwith inaugurated. The first step in bringing about the desovereignization will be the closing of the gaps in the world electric power grid. The world-unifying electric power accounting will be the beginning of the omnienergy accounting for world economic management." (Page 202)

"It is engineeringly demonstrable that there is no known way to, deliver energy safely from one part of the world to another in larger quantities and in swifter manner than by high-voltage-conducted "electricity." For the first half of the twentieth century the limit-distance of technically practical deliverability of electricity was 350 miles. As a consequence of the post-World War II Space Program's employment and advancement of the invisible metallurgical, chemical, and electronics more-with-lessing technology, twenty-five years ago it became technically feasible and expedient to employ ultra-high-voltage and superconductivity, which can deliver electrical energy within a radial range of 1500 miles* from the system's dynamo generators.

To the World Game seminar of 1969 I presented my integrated, world-around, high-voltage electrical energy network concept. Employing the new 1500-mile transmission reach, this network made it technically feasible to span the Bering Straits to integrate the Alaskan U.S.A. and Canadian networks with Russia's grid, which had recently been extended eastward into north Siberia and Kamchatka to harness with hydroelectric dams the several powerful northwardly flowing rivers of northeasternmost U.S.S.R. This proposed network would interlink the daylight half of the world with the nighttime half.

Electrical-energy integration of the night and day regions of the Earth will bring all the capacity into use at all times, thus overnight doubling the generating capacity of humanity because it will integrate all the most extreme night day peaks and valleys. From the Bering Straits, Europe and Africa will be be integrated westwardly through the U.S.S.R., and China.

Southeast Asia; India will become network-integrated southwardly through the U.S.S.R. Central and South America will be integrated southwardly through Canada, the USA, and Mexico.

Graphs of each of the world's 150 nations** showing their twentieth-century histories of inanimate energy production per capita of their respective populations together with graphs of those countries' birthrates show without exception that the birthrates decrease at exactly the same rate that the per capital consumption of inanimate electrical energy increases. The world's population will stop increasing when and if the integrated world electrical energy grid is realized. This grid is the World Game's highest priority objective." (Page 206)

"World Game makes it clear that the world electrical systems' energy-network integration and its comprehensive powering of automated, special case machinery would most effectively counter the peril of overspecialization of the humans and would introduce the omni-Univerese-operative, time-energy, kilowatt-hours-per-year, commonwealth accounting system." (Page 215)

"The development our omni-world-integrating electrical -energy network grid, which will realistically put all humanity on the same economic accounting system and will integrate the world's economic interests and value systems and lead most swiftly to the realistic elimination of the 150 sovereign-nation systems**, needs only a relatively few geographical interlinking operations. It does not need the invention and development of new technologies." (Page 253)

"Having committed ourselves to solving humanity's problems with artifacts, we can use the Geoscope and World Gaming strategies as a "test-bed," and can now sort out which comes first of various artifacts - all of which are going to be needed to get Spaceship Earth operating omnicooperatively on behalf of all.

Not only may we begin to make the whole world work for all humanity but incidentally to actualize the human functioning in Universe as local information-gatherers and local problem-solvers in support of the eternal regeneration of Universe itself.

No single move can bring us more swiftly in the direction of complete overall desovereignization, unblocking the free flow of technologies and resources, than that of instituting the world-around integrated electrical energy network fully described in the introduction to this book and the "World Game" chapter." (Page 309)

* Today, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) has extended the limits of transmission to 7000 kilometers (4000 miles). HVAC can reach up to 4000 kilometers.

** There are now about 200 countries on our planet.

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