Hope this isn't too broad. I tried to make it as easy to understand as possible. A list of these technologies would be great

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    $\begingroup$ Nothing, we are alredy on 0.7, going to 1.0 would be enough by developing the current ones. $\endgroup$ – Gray Sheep Apr 16 '17 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ Have you read the Wikipedia article for the Karashev scale? Very informative. It actually has a section that pretty decently answers the question, if you scroll down a bit. Hope this helps! $\endgroup$ – Kai Christensen Apr 16 '17 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ I would like to see more meat in the question, but in general, we have everything already, we just need to move those things into space. To make a question less broad does not mean write it in fewer words. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Apr 16 '17 at 8:58

Fusion power, practical

As the definition is by energy use and the required increase is several orders of magnitude this will require an energy source that is relatively convenient and for practical purposes unlimited. The closest candidate is fusion which has been fifty years from adoption for decades. From what I understand the technology is mostly already there, but the engineering problems involved are large and expensive.

If you prefer something more exotic such as solar power satellites orbiting the Sun or zero-point energy that is fine.

One of improved biotech or practical AI

You need to have some use for all that energy. That means either population well beyond the ability of natural ecosystems to support or a machine civilization. Since the machine civilization would have no real need for the planet (or indeed large growth or density) either, the first option is much more likely.

Basically, you need the ability to recycle the nutrients in waste back to edible food without going through the natural ecosystem in a sustained fashion. We probably have all the necessary technology for this already, but we do not actually know how to do it in practice, since nobody ever needed to. Space colonies might be the first place where this actually happens and we do not have those.

Space mining, affordable

Building such civilization would require huge resources. The resources would also be accessible at a reasonable cost. While Earth might have enough resources once we can tap resources of the sea floor and improve our mining technologies, making those resources affordable will probably require being able to access resources off-the-planet at a reasonable cost. In short the cost of space flight has to come way down. There are already people working on that and it probably does not require new exotic technology either.

Advanced medical technology or simply time

The real issue here is that for us to reach the necessary population naturally will take lots more time than developing the technology will. With natural growth I have seen estimates of few centuries, but those generally just extrapolate the growth in energy capacity not accounting for the actual growth in demand. We might never reach the population levels that would use that much energy naturally.

So you'd probably want something that forces the population to grow. Simplest solution is to drop mortality drastically and make humans not die of natural causes at all. Rejuvenation (to stop aging) and regeneration (to fix damage from injuries and disease) in short.

Both are being researched, but unlike the previous technologies we do not have the science for them at the moment. This means that predicting when we might have them or if we will even have them is difficult.

Even more difficult to predict are the social changes or the effect of other technologies resulting from this kind of medical science. The people probably could engineer their children for upgraded specs, for example.

  • $\begingroup$ I think space mining is needed only for 2.0, Kardashev 1 would mean only the full control of the energy producing capacities of the Earth. Practical AI we seem to start to have, but it imho unrelated to the Kardashev definition (there is nothing in it about if the energy production should be controlled by AI or not). Improved biotech is imho very nice idea, a large part of the Earth's energy production is biological (or it was far, far ago). Advanced medical tech is imho unrelated again. Actually, a global dictatorship which regularly exterminates the overpopulated $\endgroup$ – Gray Sheep Apr 16 '17 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ countries with nuclear or biological weapons, could also match the Kardashev I criterium, although I think we all would like more a happier future. :-) But your answer looks beautiful and contains many good views, so voted up :-) $\endgroup$ – Gray Sheep Apr 16 '17 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MorningStar You are of course correct that space mining is not required, but I was aiming to be bit more pragmatic and useful than usual discussions on the topic by taking to account that huge expansion in energy production does not make any real sense unless the economy as a whole has also expanded correspondingly. It is possible that the energy is used for something else (population control by nuke is actually good example), but we can't really predict such special circumstances, so IMHO dealing with it this way was more useful. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Apr 18 '17 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ This answer appears to be simply wrong. I'll withhold a down-vote and ask for clarification first in case I am mistaken: "the technology (fusion) is mostly already there" Where? From any sources I see, human energy production by fusion is generally claimed to be impossible with current technology, and the tech is not even something we are capable of developing for now - fusion in 50 years is an unrealistic dream if you don't have a major science breakthrough in 10 or 20. Second) Zero-point? This question is labeled "science-based." If this is a viable candidate, please cite anything credible. $\endgroup$ – Loduwijk May 17 '17 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ I should note that, despite calling it "wrong," I do not disagree that many over-zealous scientists and engineers have understated the problem and development timelines, and it is likely that some keep saying "It's just around the corner, give us 50 more years," as is the case for many advances; but there is no real science-based answer, as far as I'm aware, that can suggest fusion (or zero-point). Perhaps I'm being too harsh on what is "science based." I just re-read the science-based tag description. I suppose it depends on if you call fusion-reactors science or pseudo-science. I vote pseudo $\endgroup$ – Loduwijk May 17 '17 at 18:24

The amount of insolation is orders of magnitude more than what we use currently. So even if we assume everyone on the planet will consume 10X more than Americans, we're still nowhere near that amount.

It should be obvious that Level I is silly since it depends on the star, and the size and distance the planet is from it; none of which have anything to do with technological level.

Since most used energy ultimately winds up as heat, the only way we could use the equivalent to the total insolation is by having an enormous number of space habitats. Fusion power would be high on the list for that.

Personally, I don't see us ever using or even needing that much energy, but I've no better insight into the distant future than anyone else. Realistically, I don't see much reason anyone would want to live in space. Perhaps when the A.I. overlords take over, and our civilization evolves into a solid state/machine one, then it may make more sense.

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    $\begingroup$ Generally we like answers to have a little more "meat" to them (references, equations, quotes, etc.) There is nothing wrong with your answer but as is, it looks more like an opinion that an answer. You might include a link to something describing the Kardashev scale. Originally it was proposed to be all the energy received by a planet from its primary, since then it has been abstracted to be a specific amount of energy. There are similar scales for info storage and processing now too. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Apr 16 '17 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ good argument about total insolation -> habitats. It needs not that insane amount of them. One O'Neil habitat at its 20 million inhabitants capacity, it needs about 36000 of them, as it needs about 240 kWh per person instead of about 10kWh per household. The 24 times difference does not include industrial requirements, just basic food recycling needs, at very basic not lavish level. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Apr 17 '17 at 20:13

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