SURPASSING TYPE 1 ON THE KARDASHEV SCALE
The Kardeshev scale, a method of measuring the technological advancement of civilization, was proposed by astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. Human civilization is at the equivalent of 0.72 on the scale at the beginning of the 21st century. Level 1 is the equivalent of 1.
In the latter half of the twentieth century, two major innovations influenced our society greatly. These were the highway system and the internet, and both were originally developed by the United States for military purposes. In the mid 21st century, the Space Based Solar Power (SBSP) System will be developed by the United States in order to power the field operations of its mechanized infantry and other military hardware during major wars in Eastern Europe. The system almost immediately after is introduced globally as a solution to the power question, and pure electricity becomes the dominant energy source around the world
This system employs huge solar arrays and relay stations in geosynchronous orbits that beam collected energy in microwave form anywhere on earth. The civilian application and private sector development of this technology will allowed us to reach earth’s energy budget of 174 Petawatts, Type 1 of 5 on the Kardashev scale. This achievement of mastery of earth’s available energy resources will set the stage for mastery of the Sol System and explorations outside our system.
On Earth the development and application of this technology will have profound impacts on our society, making energy readily available to all peoples, springboarding advanced technologies, and finding solutions to environmental problems of previous centuries. With careful management of earth’s energy systems and heat release, we can have an effective environmental impact of zero (see Cradle to Cradle).