Author's Efforts

See also author's employment resume: James E. D. Cline

A friend recently commented to me that "...this world has been for a long time too full of people...", a thought that frequently comes to my attention from others. Years ago I pondered that same question, exploring what would be the correct quantity of people on this planet, and what criteria, and to search for some way to enable civilization to continue increasing while also restoring the earth surface ecosystem back to long term fine survival form.

The most long term criteria seemed to be found by balancing the income and outflow of human civilization, otherwise eventually some resource depletion and/or some overwhelming accumulation of waste material completes termination of it all.

There seemed to be two long term alternatives based on this: one is to return to a balanced agreement where nature resumes recycling all of mankind's waste materials back to useable form again (no civilization materials are allowed to be made which cannot be easily recycled by natural processes in an adequate time frame): the population quantity and lifestyle is thus about that of the aborigines and other primitive hunter-gatherer levels of humanity around the world, maybe that of 5000 BC.

The other long term solution was to have humanity intelligently devise ways for total recycling for all civilization's output of types which nature cannot recycle; and the population of such a civilization could have extremely large numbers of people, far beyond the present population. The population would be limited to the degree of efficiency of useful extraction of work from the solar influx as the incomming energy reduces entropically to low heat level. The end result of all this pondering was to realize that mankind is effectively in a race to achieve the second option before some resource depletion and/or some overwhelming accumulation of waste material terminates it all. In the present time we are in a relatively low pressure zone where there is relatively abundant stored resources to draw from and there are still adequate out-of-the-way places to heap trash, a time where it is possible for mankind to lean back occasionally and see where it is all actually going and then hopefully we set a more wise long-term course from there.

The two alternatives seem essentially incompatible to me (although in one scenario both alternatives come to be, interestingly.) Those who are warrior hunter-gatherer types by nature yet living in this industrialized world, proceed by forming prey-predator relationships with other people, taking the form of rivalry in mate-hunting, business, politics, warfare and such. They currently are consuming so much of humanity's attention with their antics and romps that there seems to be little or no attention being given to mankind's real problem globally identified above.

Many decades ago I set my focus on finding a potential way to provide mankind with a possibly adequate way to continue expansion of civilization while also restoring Earth's ecosystem to long term balance, believing once this was seen by people, they would cease their bickering over scraps, and join shoulder to shoulder to nurture the survival of civilization and the Earth's diverse ecosystems. I finally succeeded in developing a possible cohesive integrated basic way of doing this, about 14 years ago, and is the main theme of this website ( The world's response was to treat me as merely another business rival, the project I proposed treated as if a rival's scheme for making money, and they have treated me that way ever since, quite successfully blockading me. I feel totally amazed at that response, it seems so anti-survival; they ought to be so rational a people, I had thought.

Probably my Asperger's Syndrome handicap enabled me to create that potential pathway for civilization, or at least creation of a "map" for their physical creation of such a pathway. Asperger's enabled me to do this two ways: one is that it sustained a focus for me compulsively toward the goal. Second, it blinded me to the realities of the social turmoil ever ongoingly entertaining all the non-Asperger's people with their strife so compulsively... every non-Asperger's would have automatically rejected the concept right from the beginning, realizing it could not survive the fierce competitive antics of the majority of people, ignoring the likely rather desperate need for its creation.

This "map" or project conceptual design is, of course, the major theme of my two websites, particularly It would be a very different way of using high technology, but would utilize contemporary technology and result in ways to totally recycle all substances, provide enormous quantities of clean electric power (from solar-electric power gathered in high earth orbit) delivered to anywhere in the world, provide high efficiency access to the vast quantities of inert raw materials of nearby areas of the solar system, and enable economical transportation for people to high earth orbit where they could live in huge well designed cities more easily built in orbit there... and slowly the Earth's surface could be restored back to as much healthy balance as enabled by the level of pollution and diversity of species remaining (and/or regeneratable) by then. A fairly cohesive plan. I just forgot to realize that the people which I assumed would all jump in and help create this long term future for all of us, were not actually the people I imagined they were. The form of human who has strong urges to control others by any means possible (perhaps those "warrior hunter-gatherers" romping in our midst?) in strife over who gets the bigger portion of the existing pool of nutrients, has seemingly absolute control over today's events, and so greatly enjoys the fracas, that there seems to be no intention by them to allow humanity to turn to the peace loving cooperative shoulder-to-shoulder task of creation of a long term fine survival for all. Could the project be completed adequately if made into a form where today's shakers and movers of this planet would take it on as part of their obsessive war&monopoly games?

Although I had provided the concept to the public by placing files in the GEnie network's Space and Science library (starting in 1988, long before the internet was available to me), and had submitted it to the RAND study, published a visionary meditation version in Meditation Magazine, and had presented it at semiformal manner at an ISSS meeting and at a small SSI local team, and I had described it in my web pages on starting in 1996, it wasn't until 1997 at the Space Studies Institute's conference at Princeton, that I was able to present my concept before an esteemed space-related academic body, as part of the session on Structures. In that session was my presentation (J.E.David Cline, as I was called at that time) on a kinetically supported transportation structure from the ground to GEO, a structure that essentially was an immense electric motor in the form of a maglev track infilling an elliptical orbital transfer trajectory shape from the ground around the planet up to GEO at its high point, the primary weight of the structure being supported by the portion of velocity of the armature segments which was above orbital velocity at all points; payload was lifted between ground and GEO by tapping into the stored energy in the upwaard-moving armature mas streams; all the transportation electrical energy would be provided by SSPS in GEO, beamed down to the earth terminal re-accelleration site starting soon after construction of some of them there, through use of this transportation system.

If you are curious as to the events that followed that 1997 SSI Princeton conference, I sensed that there was some lack of acceptance of my presentation, although it was not expressed until the summary session on the last day, rather embarrassingly. Later, through correspondence with SSI, I was told that peer review of my paper had some questions, and I easily responded to their questions, it was as if they had not read my paper. Another round of questions I easily answered, A third set of questions and I used e-mail to reply, this was taking a lot of time. The only person I could determine was actually involved doing the peer review was Dr. Freidman, however, and he seemed adamantly against my paper yet seemed to have no clear reason for that position. Then SSI (Betty Gerber) advised me that the issues were not all resolved yet and it was time for them to go to print and my paper would not be included in the Proceedings.

I probably would not have continued to pursue the effort at SSI, except that they had earlier published a paper I presented to them at Princeton in 1995 on a different concept ("Wet Launch of Prefab Habitat Modules") and several of the members were supportive of my concepts. For the 1999 SSI conference I submitted a camera ready copy of basically the same kinetically strengthened structure conceptual design material, with all their expressed concerns now addressed, a few new things added too, but of the same basic concept. SSI quickly rejected it, saying there was "nothing new" in the paper. With limited finances and no paper to present, I did not attend that SSI conference.

In 2000 my kinetically supported transportation structures concept was finally accepted, presented and published in "Space 2000" proceedings of ASCE's Space and Robotics 2000 conference in Albuquerque, "Kinetically Strengthened Transportation Structures", pp. 396-402 in the Proceedings. This is, of course, more of a Civil Engineering project than a classic Aerospace one. This paper was a much compressed and limited scope version of my original overall concept, yet did finally formally get into print instead of just on my web pages and a few other places during the years after 1988 when I originally formulated the basic concept and first wrote of it in the GEnie network's Space and Science library in 1988, 12 years earlier. (See KESTS history page for chronology including ideas stimulation from Loftstrom's and Hyde's suborbital concepts, among other root ideas.)

In 2002 I presented an expanded paper on the kinetically supported space transportation structure to GEO concept subject at the ASCE conference, a much revised paper and lengthly (14 pages) following the suggestions of an adviser from ASCE, Bryan Laubscher. Its title was "Kinetically Supported Bridge Vehicle Lift to GEO". My paper was scheduled for presentation first on the sessions agenda in the conference, 10:00 on Monday; luckily I had not counted on being able to use Powerpoint directly using it from my iBook since the projector was not available until after my paper was done.... I had also prepared a fine set of viewgraphs using MacPowerpoint, and they worked fine on the overhead projector for my presentation. There had been a mix-up in the title of my paper, Dave Klinger just couldn't seem to get it corrected in the conference's website, so people only know of the correct title from the conference program that people had received shortly beforehand. In fact, it is still shown incorrectly on the Space&Robotics website (there called "Creating a Sliding Armature Energy-Momentum Technology", title of one of the other papers I had originally submitted for the Space 2002 conference's consideration.) My paper would have been much more appropriate for the session on Space Elevators, but even though Stewart Johnson recommended it be placed there, again it was not scheduled for there by Dave Klinger, that session only had Brad Edward's tether type space elevator presentations and one on a high altitude balloon tether concept, but my paper was not allowed in there, and no explanation given to me.

Note that Brad Edward's tether form of space elevator project is also extremely interesting (especially to all of us who decades earlier had given up on the idea since no material was strong enough then), and needs very serious consideration, in my opinion. I say this even though it competitively addresses some overlapping applications as my kinetically supported transportation system to GEO concept does, and even though its capacity and efficiency are inherently much lower than potential with the KESTS concept. But it does have the great advantage that we could start construction almost immediately, based on his information about a new carbon nanotube matrix material soon to be in production; and there is no time to waste. Both sets of concepts need very serious examination as soon as possible, in my opinion.

-- James E. D. Cline, 2002 06 12, Glendale, CA, USA. Updated 2002 06 15 jedc

Return to KESTS to GEO home page

Ref: "from Science Editors' Choice: 296 (5575) ECOLOGY/EVOLUTION: Life in a Field of Daisies


Caroline Ash

The sixth mass extinction in our planet's history appears imminent-- precipitated, unlike the previous episodes, by human activity. To deepen our understanding of ecosystem resiliency and to explore how we might mitigate the effects of extinction are the aims of a collection of theoretical articles compiled by Sole and Levin. The main thrust of the argument is that ecosystems are complex adaptive systems that follow universal principles of organization.

James Lovelock propounded Gaia as a paradigm for the coupling between life and the physical environment of Earth, encompassing the biosphere. In their contribution, Lenton and van Oijen contend that Gaia may be the largest complex adaptive system in a hierachy that includes cells, organisms, populations, and ecosystems. They have added albedo mutation to the original Daisyworld model (of black and white daisies) for Gaia, and they show that variation and natural selection operate through feedback to dampen instability as adaptive behavior emerges. They also point out that, although the biosphere lies far from equilibrium and major events have suppressed biodiversity in the past, the system has always recovered without losing the capacity to capture free energy or to cycle elements. But this may be poor solace for humans facing the consequences of extinction. -- CA

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London B 357, 617; 683 (2002)."