from Comprehensive Design For A Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia [pdf alert]:
blueprint for a post coal era and carbon neutral economy for the coal land regions of Appalachia...
detoxifying the trillions of gallons of coal slurry that is held in reservoirs throughout the region. This will involve eco-machines designed to render the material harmless to the environment and local inhabitants as well as to create beneficial products from the treated slurry solids. We have evidence that both of these objectives are possible. The scale of the project is so big that the region could incubate a whole new industry around the conversion of slurry to clean water and new products...
a regional reforestation initiative, which has already been researched and is in the planning phase. It involves new forests, agro-forests and planting short rotation, fast growing woody crops for biomass production for subsequent conversion into fuels and other energy sources. The agro-forests will be models of succession with each stage having unique products and materials of economic value... Carbon sequestration will take place in the soils and in long-lived orchard and forest trees.
Coal can be replaced with renewable sources of energy. Already suitable Appalachian wind sites have been discovered that can provide competitive sources of energy. The drawback to wind energy is that it must be backed up by alternative standing stocks of energy. However, if it is paired with another renewable energy source like woody biomass from willows and poplars, a viable energy system can be developed. Land to support the woody biomass production is available. Woody biomass can be used for generating electricity, for refining into fuels, and for manufacturing a wide range of products ranging from plastics to polymers and adhesives...
[This is] a multi-phase institutional model [which] can be designed at scales ranging from a watershed to an entire region...
1st Order Ecological Design
connects elements that are related in terms of energy, nutrient flows, life forms and biological needs. Most
eco-machines are examples of 1st order Ecological Design through integration of life forms and process flows.
2nd Order Ecological Design
involves connecting processes that are typically unrelated often combining industrial processes with natural resources and ecological cycles.
3rd Order Ecological Design
[includes] succession through time on the landscape as well as with human institutions... comprehensive design at the level of the region [including all] the various sectors of the society.