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STATEMENT OF MR. R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER, ARCHITECT,
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA Mr. FULLER. In my lifetime of 80 years, I have seen a great deal of change. I grew up in an era when 99 percent of humanity traveled only very locally on foot, horse, and bicycle and averaged 1,100 miles per year of local linear motion, plus 300 miles per year of riding on horses or in vehicles. I would point out that I was 7 years of age when the first automobile came into Boston, and I was 8 when the Wright brothers first flew, so I am from the Victorian side of our present world technology.
CHANGING WORLD PATTERNS
I have a map of my own which can be unwrapped from the world and laid out in a variety of ways but always in one piece. I am going to show you two different patterns. The first has a propeller shape.
The CHAIRMAN. It looks like you have applied your architecture to the map of the world.
Mr. FULLER. This picture shows the world before air travel and radio. In its upper right-hand corner is what Kipling called “The East” when in 1895, he wrote, “East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.” The east includes Asia and Australia and contains 52 percent of all humanity. In the upper left-hand corner of the picture is Kipling's west, combining Europe and Africa and containing 36 percent of humanity. At the bottommost of the propeller is the "New World” of North and South America containing 12 percent of humanity.
I was born and brought up in the New World's United States, whose 6 percent of humanity was very remote from the other 94 percent.
My father was in business in Boston importing leathers from India and the Argentine. At fastest, it took him or his mail 2 months to get to the Argentine, and 3 months to get to India-a 6 month round trip.
It was logical for Kipling to speak as he did of east and west. That is the way it seemed to everybody, and that is the way it had been for at least three and a half million years. ; I have just completed a contract of designing three new airports in India-in New Delhi, Madras, and Bombay. This year I got to India quicker than I could get from New York to Chicago on the Twentieth Century Limited in 1922. I can reach India by telephone in a minute. The world yesterday was inherently divided and the world of today is inherently integrated.
I would like to look at the great Mercator world map behind you on your Senate Foreign Relations Committee's hearing room wall. There is Greenland, three times the size of Australia, whereas Australia is in fact three times the size of Greenland. The fact that Greenland appears to be bigger than Central America and Mexico combined is mis
Sarith centrales manica informing. I would ask you to look at my world maps as shown in two different arrangements-one: the waterocean world, and two: the airocean world. It is a complete world map in which there is no visible distortion of the relative shape or the relative size of any of the parts. Here you will find that Australia is indeed three times the size of Greenland. Here there is an Antarctic continent not shown on the Mercator.
I was 12 when the first wireless S.O.S. was successfully broadcast. I was 14 when humans first got to the North Pole and 16 when men got to the South Pole. In my childhood I was told that it was inherently impossible for man to fly, and that humans would never reach the Poles, and that they would never do a hundred things they have since done.
I was 23 years of age when the human voice was first transmitted and received by radio; I was 27 when the first human voice and music broadcasting station was licensed. Though these impossible to my parents—things have happened very recently, a whole new world of humanity has been growing up with them and is so familiar with them that the great majority do not realize that we have gone through a completely fundamental change in respect to foreign relations.
I grew in a world in which the whole criteria of our lives and adopted laws had been developed on the premise that we in America were inherently and eternally remote, and had to look out for ourselves in the wilderness.
STRATEGIC MAP OF THE WORLD Suddenly we were absolutely intimate with all humanity. Let's look again at the first arrangement of my world map. While it looks absolutely unfamiliar to you, it was the grand strategy map of the British Empire; 90 percent of humanity lives north of the Equator. This arrangement of my map centers around the Antarctic and unites the Southern Hemisphere, but 90 percent of the world's people live in the Northern Hemisphere, out in the tips of these propeller blades. In the center of map 1, we have over 100 million square miles of open watermore than half of Earth—surrounding the Antarctic continent.
Here we have the world atmosphere's high altitude southern jet stream circling from west to east around the Antarctic at from 200 to 400 miles an hour, with the three ocean's southernmost waters also constantly encircling the Antarctic continent from west to east. This water and air carousel of nature takes a ship very rapidly from the Pacific into the Atlantic and from the Atlantic into the Indian Ocean and from the Indian back into the Pacific.
At these few points just below the Equator, we have 10 percent of humanity. In all the rest of this Southern Hemisphere there isn't onetenth of one percent of humanity.
As a consequence, no one in this half of your world except a few sailors knew anything about it. By guarding the southern tip of South America, the southern tip of Africa, the southern tip of Australia and New Zealand, the British Navy was able to control the world traffic going from one ocean to another.
In our young United States of America days we went from our east coast ports to San Francisco the hard way, going against the “Roaring 40's” in a very perilous journey.
Seventy-five percent of our Earth is covered with water; the water flows everywhere. The water people were world people and the land people were local, isolated. The water people were the only people who were integrating the world's knowledge and physical resources. Inte
gration of the great wealth of our planet was being conducted out of sight of the 99 percent of humanity living on the land with 90 percent in the Northern Hemisphere not knowing what was going on.
CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH IN MARITIME NATIONS This is why the grand strategy world map of the British Empire was unfamiliar to you, though it is essential to understand how it happened that the great wealth of the Earth became concentrated in a relatively few but incredibly powerful hands. This is the world control power which was fought over by the great maritime nations of Europe, as to who was going to be the master of that waterocean world.
They were not interested in having you and I knowing about this strategic control. Historically, this is an important map, unfamiliar though it is to you.
It was also of prime strategic importance in that water world that it was impractical to try to transfer cargoes at sea. This had to be done in deep water harbors, and such harbors were relatively few. In the East-West Northern Hemisphere world that our history is most familiar with, there were and as yet are a score of good harbors on North America's east coast, but some froze over in some winters, such as those of Canada's St. Lawrence and those of Maine and Boston; no other harbors could compare with New York, with its vast mileage of deep watered shoreline all completely protected from but close to the open ocean. It was a long and badly shoaled way up the Chesapeake to Baltimore and a long way up the Delaware to Philadelphia and so forth.
On the U.S. west coast, both San Francisco and Seattle were magnificent harbors but there were no others. Soon the railroads connected the east and west coast harbors. Until after World War II the great traffic of the Earth went east and west. Just as we did not know in my father's youth that we were going to have a radio or an airplane, we mortals didn't know at the time of the founding of the United Nations that we were going to go suddenly into the jet age.
CHANGE FROM WATER-TO-AIR BORNE-WORLD
In the year 1961, three jet airplanes suddenly outperformed the trans-Atlantic passenger carrying capability of either the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, or of the S.S. United States, which were the three best passenger ships of that era. Three jet airplanes transported an equal number of passengers per year across the Atlantic at a very much lower cost and at a very much higher speed. In 1961, completely unexpectedly, humans abruptly stopped using the water as a means of getting from here to there around the world. World passenger traffic went into the air. This was only 10 years after New York City was chosen as U.N. headquarters because it was the focus of all the world's steamship lines whose ships were the only means by which the U.N. delegates could then travel to world headquarters.
If you take a helicopter and fly slowly over greater New York's harbor frontier today (1975) you will find only 2 percent of the docks in use. The Jersey City railroad yards are empty. The world's harbor cities are almost obsolete as passenger and freighter terminals,
yet the great harbor cities represent an enormous investment in real estate and buildings. To maintain its value and keep their wealth earning, these cities are being promoted for conventions and so forth.
In the meantime, the 90 percent of humanity that, historically, had been living and working on the farms were suddenly displaced after World War II by mass produced farm machinery, and they no longer needed to be near the source of food growth because of successful canning, drying, freezing and refrigeration. Food became shippable to anybody anywhere around the world. Thus, the great majority of people left the farms and came into the cities, which cities themselves were obsolete, being no longer used for the purpose for which they were originally built—the great warehousing and trading of the world's east-west water-borne life support traffic.
In 1961, humanity changed abruptly from a water borne to an air borne world.
CHANGE FROM EAST-WEST WORLD TO NORTH-SOUTH WORLD Now I want you to look once more at my nondistorted map of World Two, in which there is one world island and one world ocean. Map One—the British Empire—had the oceans integrated at the center, framed around by divided lands. In World Two the lands are integrated at the center and are surrounded by the waters. World One is an east-west circling water world. World Two is a north-south landing and take-off air strip world. Ninety percent of humanity can now reach each other on the shortest great circle air routes without going near the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Indian Ocean. Enormous investments have been made in the East-West world in the form of real estate holdings, buildings, road building and all, but it is suddenly to be a North-South world, and that is what Nature's evolution is doing. This is all evolutionary. None of it was planned by man, but it is fantastically powerful and as yet almost unrecognized by humanity.
During the same 80-year period of my lifetime, we have gone from less than 1 percent to 52 percent of all humanity enjoying a higher standard of living than had ever been experienced by anyone, including the monarchs and millionaires before January 1, 1900 when I was 5 years of age. During this 52-percent gain of all humanity, the world population doubled, so there was actually a 104-folding of the life support production capability. During that same time, the life expectancy of that newly advantaged human crop approximately doubled, indicating the improvement of living experience. This was as unplanned and as unorganized as the shift from an East-West to a North-South world integration had been.
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF HUMAN AFFAIRS
All the time we have political organization of human affairs becoming evermore severely partisan, dividing the world into 150 sovereign nations which tend to divide into two main political camps on a basis that it is a fundamental law of Universe that there is not enough vital life support to go around and there never will be. In view of the assumption of lethal fundamental inadequancy of life support, each