Friday, March 6, 2009
7 News Features: The Venus Project
Do you know what the future will look like? Few people do, but one South Florida man, a very brilliant man, does because he is designing it. A place where there will be no food shortages, no fear of hurricanes and no war. It's called the Venus Project, and Patrick Fraser went there.
WSVN -- Driving down a quiet road near Lake Okeechobee, you see cows on one side, orange groves on the other, a sugar mill in the distance. Then you arrive at a gate in Venus, Florida to possibly get a look at the future of the world.
Roxanne Meadows: "This used to be a tomato field right here."
Today there are 10 concrete and steel domed buildings built by Jacque Fresco, but it's his vision coming from inside the buildings called the Venus Project that is attracting attention.
Announcer: "A nation without a vision of what the future can be is bound to repeat past errors over and over again."
Jacque and his companion Roxanne Meadows are using drawings.
Roxanne Meadows: "He does five or six of these everyday."
Jacque Fresco: "We assemble buildings like this in dry dock."
To show Jacque's dream of the future.
Jacque Fresco: "One world designed to lift all people to their highest potential."
In Jacque's vision, towns will be circular, powered by solar radiation with self-contained cities in the skyscrapers or in the ocean.
Announcer: "It is actually less expensive in the long run to build newer cities from the ground up than to restore and maintain old ones."
Who will do all the work to build it? No one, the Venus project will be entirely automated, factories, farms, everything.
Roxanne Meadows: "If you unleash science and technology to create a high standard of living for everyone and automate boring jobs, it's very easy to automate jobs."
Sounds impossible, then Jacque took a piece of metal with a memory, twisted it out of its shape, hit it with a dryer for a few seconds and restored it to its original state. In the future, he says buildings will be automatically created in a factory that way.
Jacque Fresco: "They will deliver a box, that's say 10 feet by 10 feet, and the box, roofs and windows, then the furniture comes up. Everything is memorized."
When you talk to Jacque about the Venus Project you hear two phrases quite a bit. The first, I have no credentials. He says that because he dropped out of school at 14. The other, he blames all of our problems on BS, bad science.
Jacque Fresco: "The way we think and the way we run our country is old and inefficient. Technology is racing forward but not the mental state."
Jacque has been inventing and designing since he was a teenager. He drew this rounded car when all cars were all shaped like boxes.
Patrick Fraser: "You designed this (car) 65 years ago. Why did it take so long?"
Jacque: "Because I can't get to anybody. I have no credentials."
That might be why he can't get everyone to listen or it might be his blunt, outspoken style.
Jacque Fresco: "We are so self-centered, so stupid. The environmentalists don't want to cut down the forest, but they live in wooden houses."
Or maybe his goal to have a planet using a resource-based system might be holding him back. A system where money is not important, utilization of the earth's resources is.
Roxanne Meadows: "The resource-based economy is very practical. All it is is the intelligent management of the earth's resources."
But to do it Jacque's way, there would be no communism, no capitalism, everyone living together in one world, sharing our resources.
Patrick Fraser: "It's idealistic."
Jacque Fresco: "No, it's not. It's practical."
Roxanne Meadows: "It's impractical to run society the way we do it today. We don't have much longer, we're depleting the environment, we're killing each other."
You may not have heard of Jacque Fresco, but he is known around the world. Documentaries have been done about him. Magazine writers from Europe have written stories about him.
Roxanne Meadows: "We are getting hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people signing up on our email list."
He has been invited to China, Ecuador and Spain to talk about the Venus Project.
Jacque Fresco: "Turkey wants me to come back and design a museum of the future, new city."
Many countries want to hear from Jacque. Except one country, the United States.
Jacque Fresco: "Everywhere, they want to hear about this system, not in America, not yet."
Maybe because it seems idealistic, or maybe it's hard to look ahead when the present is so bleak.
Jacque Fresco: "Somehow they feel I'm rocking the boat. I'm not. The boat is being rocked by economic conditions."
The Venus Project ...
Announcer: "With this type of construction, there would be little or no damage from floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes."
... folly or the future? Let's hope we live long enough to find out.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Venus Project