As his geodesic houseboat meanders south along the Intracoastal Waterway, Roger Drowne — candidate for President of Earth — is promoting his platform:
Clean the planet.
Paint all government buildings rainbow colors.
Apparently unopposed in the at-large President of Earth race, the 69-year-old artist set out from Wilmington, N.C., in his quirky watercraft last November.
“I’ve solved the housing problem,” Drowne proclaimed, as he docked behind The Miami Herald building on Wednesday, eager to detail the environmental advantages of his peat moss-based composting toilet and rainwater-collection buckets.“I want to show the younger generation that there are other ways to live . . . It’s a lifestyle choice.”He’s headed for Key West, where he hopes to connect with people who want to build more Earth Balls: a low-cost, off-the-grid, dome-like housing option that he adapted for the water.The Earth Ball is 12 feet in diameter, made of 32 fiberglass-coated plywood panels: 20 hexagons, 12 pentagons, some that flip up to become windows. It sits atop a raft, trails a dinghy, cost $1,000, and is properly licensed by the state of Florida.“Very sturdy,” Drowne said, even in rainstorms. “People come up to me all the time. They don’t know what to make of it.”Propelled by a 9.9 horsepower, four-stroke Honda outboard motor — the carbon footprint of which Drowne regrets — it features a foam-mattress bunk, a camp stove, a car battery-powered laptop, hula-hoop-and-duct-tape peace symbols, rooftop seating, lots of candles, and a modest larder of peanut butter, salsa, and sliced whole wheat.Drowne, from Boston, worked for an MIT-affiliated electronics firm in Cambridge, Mass., and vents his anger about how some folks choose to live.
“They’re fenced in, in their multimillion-dollar properties, with their prim-and-proper grass. They don’t grow vegetables. They don’t share their 100-room houses with homeless people. They’re sick! They’re insane!”
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