Saturday, 24 November 2012

POWER HUNGRY and POWER MAD

We seven billion Earth people can have all the energy we want for our industries, homes and hobbies AND we can eliminate pollution.

As from about 1850, just one hundred and sixty-two years ago, mankind has taken the first blundering steps towards understanding and applying the beginning of the electrical and electronic revolution; swiftly followed by the birth of The Information Society – computer science.

Read ELECTRIC UNIVERSE by David Bodanis:

Electricity brings us convenient and immense raw power to drive machines. Electronics introduces printed circuits, solid state wiring and ever accelerating, labour saving automation. Computers give us the power to collate data and to communicate worldwide - and across the universe. We are just at the start of humankind’s journey out of the darkness.

We like electricity, we need electricity, we will need more and more and more electricity. How on Earth can we make as much as we want, without wrecking the planet?

RULE ONE – Stop burning things. Grass, sticks, logs, trees, peat, coal, oil, bitumen, gas, nuclear fuel, garbage, etc. – all disintegrate into smoke and ashes as we burn them, to heat the water, that makes the steam, that drives the turbines that make the electricity.

RULE TWO – Use natural energy. We have about fifty years experience of driving the turbines that make the electricity, by using natural, clean forces. These include volcanic-thermal heat (its dirty but we can’t stop it and so should use it); solar power (on a human scale, almost limitless) which heats brine-pits, hot water pipes, solar panels (soft and rigid), solar arrays of lenses and mirrors focused on high-pressure vessels (Germany has designed a large Sahara Desert array that will power all Europe); wind power – which we have used efficiently for thousands of years; two-thirds of our planet’s surface is water, thus hydro-electric power from rivers, dams and rainfall;  tidal-power, the almost limitless, immense power of the oceans rising and falling as the Moon lifts the seas, making tides of up to six or ten metres (an energy we have barely yet used); wave power, which we well understand and have begun to use to generate electricity; ocean-currents, which carry huge amounts of energy we can tap into; heat-pumps, runs of pipes which, like your home refrigerator in reverse take heat from water and earth at low energy cost; gravity, on which can store vast amounts of energy and release it when needed – for example by pumping liquids uphill to storage tanks; and one day we will harness the movements of plate tectonics; and etc, etc. (have I missed any?)

STOP MONKEYING ABOUT: There is millions of times more energy in our local solar system – the Sun, Planets, Moons, Asteroids etc. than we can ever use. Most of it is clean, green, lean, low-cost, non-poisonous and is extremely powerful. We have learned how to harvest a little of this free, God given energy bonanza without destroying ourselves. In the next five-hundred years, we will have as much energy as we require – for survival, work and fun.

Let’s stop grubbing around like primitive children to find mucky things to burn – and get on with the next exciting phase of evolution. It does require “global intelligent co-operation”.  But, hey! NIL DESPARANDUM.

Read AD2516 - After Global Warming to learn how mankind can and will create a clean energy, money-less Utopia from today’s political and economic chaos.   

FLOODS, POLAR ICE CAPS - BLOG ARCHIVE

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