[ExI] Will California become like "Dune"?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 14:01:02 UTC 2015

Nautilus has an article about how California is gradually turning to
water saving systems.


To Save California, Read “Dune”.
Survival on a fictional desert planet has a lesson for the
drought-stricken state.
By Andrew Leonard  June 4, 2015

To survive their permanent desert climate, the indigenous Fremen of
Dune employ every possible technology. They build “windtraps” and “dew
collectors” to grab the slightest precipitation out of the air. They
construct vast underground cisterns and canals to store and transport
their painstakingly gathered water.
Someday, sooner than we’d like, it’s not inconceivable that residents
of California will be shopping on Amazon for the latest in stillsuit
tech. Dune is set thousands of years in the future, but in California
in 2015, the future is now. Four years of drought have pummeled
reservoirs and forced mandatory 25 percent water rationing cuts. The
calendar year of 2014 was the driest (and hottest) since records
started being kept in the 1800s. At the end of May, the Sierra Nevada
snowpack—a crucial source of California’s water—hit its lowest point
on record: zero. Climate models suggest an era of mega-droughts could
be nigh.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that two innovative thinkers devising
means to address drought in California should be talking about Dune.
As I visited with Yolles and Fernandez to learn about their work
confronting drought, I realized the missions of both men embodied a
deeper ecological message in Dune. The novel’s ecologist Kynes is
famous for teaching that “the highest function of ecology is
understanding consequences.” The implicit lesson for society, as it
marshals technology to address a waterless world, is that
technological fixes work only in the context of an environmentally and
socially connected vision. It’s the vision that guided Herbert in
creating Dune, and it owes as much to our ancient past as it is a
speculation on the future.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list