I fly over vast tracts of the desert southwest on a regular basis. Empty, barren desert waiting to be exploited by human ingenuity. I bore my copilots with this shit endlessly, when I'm not harping on astronomy and Mars Direct. Here's the idea: 1. It could be done with fusion power when it becomes viable, or nuclear power today if we could overcome the politics. 2. Build a half dozen power stations along the west coast, from San Diego to the Bay Area. 3. Chain 3 desalination plants to each power station. Cracking seawater into freshwater isn't technologically hard- it's just energy intensive. 4. Pump water into the San Diego basin, the LA basin, the San Joaquin Valley, and begin building inland pipelines: Vegas, Lake Mead, Phoenix, the Colorado River, and projects to turn vast tracts of the desert southwest into a green, 22nd Century oasis of added living space and agricultural awesomeness. 5. We create jobs up the ass: the power plants. The desalination plants. The pipelines. We create hundreds of thousands of square miles of ripe, settlement ready agricultural farmland in a desert. Excess water flows downstream to Mexico; we can support further immigration and/or a guest worker program to grow cities and agriculture. We can make- and support- twenty more Phoenix, Arizonas. 6. This technology, once proven, could revitalize northern Africa, the Baja, interior regions of Australia, etc. In addition, we can use energy to explore open ocean mariculture. We all talk about resource limits and Malthusian disasters- there is no reason this planet can't support upwards of 30 billion humans, and maybe more. And by the time it does, we're on Mars, in the belt, the Jovians, and on our way to Rigil K. A single disaster can't wipe us out- we're unstoppable. Goddamn it, we can do it. All it takes is guts, vision, some capital investment, and people who are willing to think big- like the Americans who built the Golden Gate and Hoover Dam. It can be be done. Anyone else on board?