Located just west of Maui, this 142 square mile slice of paradise, purchased in june for a reported 500 million dollar price tag by billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, is the newest laboratory for sustainability. Ellison has recently released his vision of turning the island into a model for sustainability where energy will be strictly supplied by the sun.
Here, the principals of Botkin are crucial and need to be utilized in order for the success of this laboratory and any future sustainable community. Initial plans call for using the resources of the land only without any fossil fuel help. Solar radiation will supply the power and also run the desalinization plant for drinking water. Electric only cars will be allowed on the island and only organic agricultural practices will be allowed on the island.
It will be interesting to see if this project can become successful or not. Hopes are high considering Ellison’s deep pockets, but deep pockets have delayed projects before. Masdar city in the United Arab Emirates was a planned carbon neutral city supposed to be completed in 2016, but after the great global recession Masdar currently lags that projection and expects to be completed in 2025. No time table has been set Lanai, but the success of this laboratory has immense implications for the viability of the sustainable movement and also for the health of spaceship earth.