SOLCO: A new space treaty to break the Orbital Investing Sound Barrier

CityMoon : Getting back to the Moon

Earlier this summer, a friend and got to talking about space industry. Why industry and the authorities still had us stuck on Earth. It’s been 50 years. They played golf. And got us a bag of rocks. All the other promises were empty. And NASA keeps insisting that we ought to be making riskier long-duration trips to Mars vs. bootstrapping like entrepreneurs do. But got to thinking, concluding that the old Outer Space Treaty (UNOOSA, 1966) is the barrier to entry. The national space agencies really have little choice, because signatory states all agree that no one can own private property off-planet.

CityMoon.org : website
Treaty proposal video (CGI animation)

Well, who invests in that. 

The strategy here? A new treaty to break the investment log-jam. That’s been the project of the last few months. I will periodically post and welcome guest commentary.  It takes all of us to make the world better. And all of us dialoguing to move our civilization forward.

 

Discovering a lost First Nations trail

When caving…one of the ways to save time is to digitally survey before going into the bush.

One of my projects (from looking for historical reports for Horne Lake Provincial Park, which has an extensive cave network) has been tracing the lost trail and road network from Port Alberni to the east coast of Vancouver Island from colonial times to 1911, when the province surveyed and gazetted a road allowance.

Now, some success!

Independently finding two missing trails (Horne Lake and another trail), and a wagon road lost to memory since the 1870s/80s. Plus a portrait of Captain (later Admiral and Hydrographer) G.H.Richards, RN, commanding the 1857-64 survey of the coast, held in private hands. BC Crown agencies, local government, and all three local First Nations (Qualicum, K’omoks, Tseshaht) have periodically searched for the first Horne Lake trail map (1856), successor wagon road map (1872, active 1872-86) and associated reports for over 100 years. It took me 4 years and digitization helped. Thus far, I have physically visited 3 archives, but digitally…15 archives in 7 countries.

 

The 1872 took a few months in 2012 – not an easy find as BC united with Canada in 1871, and reports are missing for the years of administrative transition.

The 1856 took 4 years of thinking including ~3 months of research into the start of the backstory. Ruggles  (A Country Most Interesting, 1991) reports on the 1856 survey, but reference to the academic tome was not easy to notice at HBC Archives (1 line!), and only then found during a search for secondary sources after K’omoks FN’s archaeologist told me about another source, after finding the faint line of the trail on the HBC map myself – which is not cataloged to reference the trail.  BC Government, local government, and First Nations did not know about either map or the 1856 backstory. You’d need to know localities and the survey history to connect the dots.

I have some of this now – a complex tale of intrigue involving Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), the slaughter of the Qualicum village on the eastern coast end of the trail by a Haida war party, the Imperial Government and the Colonial Office, the gold rush and the Crown’s legal claim to all gold in its territories, US designs on the Oregon Territory, 1856-72 US/British negotiations to resolve border issues and tensions that later drove events like the Pig War, John Jacob Astor’s Russian American Company and Russian cartographers, commercial tensions related to HBC attempts to deceive the Royal Navy to block settlement (long enough to get control of properties for future sale?), and the Imperial Parliament’s 1857 inquiry into continuance of the HBC Royal Charter awarded in 1650; all bound up with the strangely conflicting dual-hatted duties and ambitions of Governor and HBC Chief Factor (call him “Senior VP”) Douglas (1843-59) and Surveyor-General Pemberton (HBC Surveyor-General & Engineer, 1853-59); all happening during the local shift from sailing ship to ironclad and the 3-6 month duration of travel back to England – and the methods of communication to deal with this (1 original and copies, sent by different ships).

A short note about the 1856 map is in our society newsletter — check it out for caving pictures! I suspect the Crown paid for the survey but HBC kept back details. And if so, is the UK National Archives the rightful owner of the 1856 original? Or local First Nations if HBC was trespassing? Some years later, Pemberton gave Richards a copy (tracing) of the map – to spark a favourable impression? What a can of worms! Further research is on the backburner as I pursue new business activities.

The marvelous aspect is that the original trail got used for centuries by foot and pack animal (First Nations’ traders, HBC fur traders, colonial era Crown employees and settlers) but never by wagons or industrial era transport, and lost to memory sometime during the 1880s.

Thus the bigger picture:
Proposing that we creating a small National Park on Vancouver Island to protect the trail and to grow economic spin-offs for the Island’s central coast region:
  • [Link] 01 – Enoksasant National Park 2017-2021 idea sketch
  • [Link] 02 – 1856 (clip) & 1872 (entire) maps + updated business links sketch
  • [Link] 03 – High-level image of proposed park at Horne Lake
  • [Link] 04 – Strata-level image of proposed park at Horne Lake

An Aquedam for BC Hydro’s Site C ?

pont_du_gard_oct_2007An Aquedam for BC Hydro’s Site C ?
Could a modified design prevent generations of market jitters?

Hydroelectric dam engineers face an incredible dilemma. Hydro dams generate renewable energy but destroy natural ecosystems. Forcing government to make a hard choice, often presented as: ‘developing the renewable energy supply’ vs. ‘protecting and sustaining the ecosystem’. In British Columbia, the contentious “Big Dam/Big Lake” Site C design produces the same dilemma. It will produce irrevocable ecosystem damage, but might go ahead if courts accept the provincial argument that energy supply and future export sales are more important [Note 1]. Objectors are taking the case to higher courts, and the Province is moving forward; pushed by political pressures to force a fait accompli – a locked-in project – on the federal court, despite the court’s demonstrated willingness to block projects of similar magnitude. We could wait to see what happens. But is this prudent?

What if a modified design removes the conflict?
Could it create incentive for a new dam partnership?
Could the partnership – of former opponents – grandfather all approvals done to date?

final-sketch

Aquedam Concept: David Huer
Solidworks Drawings: Matej Borovec https://www.fiverr.com/borohot

An aqueduct atop bridge piers, with penstocks, turbines, and generators located inside each pier. Sourcing water from a higher elevation upstream, through a pipeline, to an elevated feeder pond at the design-height needed to achieve proper head, for feeding down into powerhouses spaced across the river.

site-map2Inspired by Roman aqueducts, British Columbia’s open-lattice railroad bridges, and the magnificent curved structures of London, England’s tidal barrier.

10oct2016-inspired-videosCould this design …
Achieve the same head elevation and power production as a “big wall” design, without destroying the valley economy, treaty lands, businesses, farms, and natural ecosystem?

Aquedam Front ViewRight Angled View


 

 

 

 

 

And elsewhere? Could the design be as10-34-5026useful where dam designers face the same dilemma?

Growing return-on-investment. Avoiding decades of costly volatility – legal, political, and armed conflict – for hundreds of future hydroelectric projects across British Columbia, across Canada and around the world.

* Any engineering company worth its salt understands the business opportunity.
* Insurers, financiers, investors and bond markets will value the minimized risk.
* Local people will save their valleys, their treaty rights, wetlands, forests, and farms.
* Contractors and vendors get their construction jobs, fed by the farmers in the valley.
* And utilities will get their exportable power.

new-rend-962-transparent-flow-through

Aquedam Transparent View

 

 

 

 

 


British Columbia’s challenge, now, is that we may need a particular type of leadership.

Leaders who can switch directions. Leaders who simultaneously lead for the betterment of local ridings and industry and the Province and the Nation. For now, and for future generations.

This may be the biggest challenge – Asking our leaders to put political capital on the table.

But what if they could?


logo-bchydroNote 1: BC Hydro will expropriate and flood 80 km of forests, farms and homes, and 7,000 acres of Class 1 and 2 agriculture land.


meeting-pixels-com-cc0Note 2: Project Management steps could include:

* Site C – site approved;
* Site C – works completed to date – approved;
* Site C – all associated construction and works continue;
* The Court acts as a neutral body managing pre-design negotiations;
* Sheriffs of the Court administer adherence to agreement;
* Dam Re-design & Pipeline Design – pre-agreed by stakeholders with standing;
* All other existing Site C studies and approvals grandfathered into agreement;
* Stakeholders establish Dam & Pipeline “Redesign Delivery” target due date;
* Stakeholders establish Dam & Pipeline “Construction Start” target due date;
* BC Hydro issues new design upgrade contract tenders;
* Construction, with new design, commences at or near Construction Start target date;
* BC Hydro and Destination BC commence world-wide campaign to teach the new design.


Images:

Logos on Dam: Included as part of public policy commentary and assumed to be a fair use application. Please advise with a message through my linkedin page whether a logo should be removed.

London Barrier: By mattbuck (category) (Own work by mattbuck.) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/London_MMB_%C2%BB127_Thames_Barrier_and_%22Avontuur_IV%22.jpg

Pont du Gard, Roman Empire: 14 October 2007, 10:07:27, Author: Emanuele. This image, which was originally posted to Flickr.com, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 23:55, 13 February 2012 (UTC) by Prioryman (talk). On that date it was licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pont_du_Gard_Oct_2007.jpg

CPR bridge (black) in foreground, CNR bridge (orange arch) in background (with CPR train on it): Photo facing upriver. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/common/9/92/Canadian_Pacific_Railway_train_crossing_Fraser_River_on_Cisco_bridge_at_Siska%2C_British_Columbia_%282010-Jun-13%29.jpg By Michael Frei (Michael Frei) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Earth image: Astronaut Photograph AS10-34-5026. NASA. Public Domain. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EarthPerspectives/page2.php

Meeting: https://www.pexels.com/photo/meeting-pencils-macbook-notebooks-40120/ via Creative Commons-CC0 License