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For a few blog posts, I’m going to consider projecting twenty years into the future and thinking about inventions that will be needed for functioning in that world. This began yesterday with “Inventions for future problems based on insulation” where I considered a world where fossil fuels had become prohibitively expensive to use for temperature control of various parts of our home environment. Today I will swap a few letters around and consider “Inventions for future problems based on isolation.”

One of the ways to totally isolate oneself from the current world is to live underground in a cave. Actually, that form of escape has been practiced for thousands of years by prophets, hermits, and normal people fleeing from persecutions of various sorts. Also, it is a form of escape from daily heat where underground residences are made and the air is cooled with evaporating water, which is heavier than the hot air and sinks down into these chambers. Also, in many hot regions of the world, the buildings are made just high enough to create shade during the day. The walls are also low enough and made of heavy materials, so they absorb heat during the day and are cooled by convection during the cold of the nights. The excess heat of the day is balanced over the twenty-four-hour daily cycle with the excess cold of the night.

It is hard to imagine a large percentage of humanity living underground as a way to save on the energy costs of heating and cooling their bodily environment, but some individuals could already purchase and make livable existing underground places. For these kinds of living places, it is essential to make several fail-safe means of access to the outside. There are existing salt mines that have large expanses where apartment-like spaces could be created and people could live a modern lifestyle, wholly underground. The inside of these structures could be made to resemble being in a shopping mall with a hotel and residential apartments attached. Alternatively, if an insulated roof were created over a portion of a modern city at a hundred-foot height, and all transportation were small electric vehicles or pedestrian, the experience of being there would be much as it is presently.

Humans can adapt to almost anything, including protecting themselves from the horrible natural environment they are now creating.