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1. There are many different ways to derive energy.
2. Each of these methods has different relationships with the environment
3. Each of these methods has different costs and different benefits
4. Each of the these methods has different pros and cons.
5. A partial list of methods; oil, coal, shale, wood, gas, Biofuels (a. food crop, b. hemp crop c. algae) Solar, Thermal Solar, Wind, Tidal, Geothermal, Hydrogen, Hydrolic, Zero Point, Nuclear.
6. Oils relationships with the environment are
a. oil is ancient organic material that has undergone geological processes.
b. oil is removed from the ground via oil wells. Ie oil is mined from the Earth.
c. oil is burned in order to get heat and chemical reaction to create the energy.
d. burning it creates smoke. the smoke is toxic. it is multiply toxic to the ecosystem in multiple ways.
e. its causing global warming
f. it causes cancer
g. it causes acid rain
h. thus it hurts humans personally and the whole ecosystem as whole in these different ways.
7. oil costs a certain amount of money to obtain from the earth, depending on how deep it is and at what pressure it is under.
8. oil costs a certain amount of money to refine and process, as well as to transport.
9. The pros of oil are that ;
a. it is accessible with very primitive levels of technology
b. our current energy infrastructure is based on oil
c. oil costs less than biofuels or, at least, it used to.
d. oils over all cost benefit analysis remains do-able from the perspective of economics alone.
10. The cons against oil are
a. oil is actually very expensive as technology compared to other forms of energy in which initial
costs render yields not limited by physical quantities. Solar power stations, Wind, and Geothermal all provide energy options which
are simply cheaper over the long term.
b. oil pollutes the ecology as mentioned in its environmental analysis above.
c. that pollution will cause the extinction of life on earth as we know it should it continue.
d. we have already reached a tipping point where we have raised the global temperature so high that the new larger contributor to
greenhouse gasses is the ice that is being melted.
e. thus we need solutions to reverse global warming, or, our civilization is doomed.
11. Coal. The specifics change, but Coal, like oil, is an ancient organic substance exposed to geological processes, mut be burned, and thus
contributes to pollution and global warming.
12. oil Shale and coal Shale. Similar to oil and coal or extensions of them, shale is harder to mine and harder to extract oil from.
thus it costs more to process.
13. Biofuels. The difference between biofuels and oil or coal is that biofuels have not been exposed to geological processes, but rather,
similarly effecting technological processes.
a.Biofuels still have toxic smoke which pollutes and which contributes to global warming
b. Biofuels trade energy shortage and economic stress for food shortage and economic stress, thus creating c +d
c. Biofuels create food shortages, hunger, and contribute to global poverty
d. Biofuels make food more expensive.
14. Solar Power
a. solar power is derived from the suns light and chemical processes.
b. Solar panels are a permanent fixture which will continue to derive energy whenever the sun shines.
c. Solar panels have real but comparatively very tiny environmental costs.
d. Solar panel technology is up to date and evolved, no more research is actually required.
e. assorted pundits and candidates and politicians and so forth like to tell us that they favor more research for solar power.
Thats a secret unsecret way of saying that they don't support employing it as a real world solution, because solar power has worked
and has been feasible and economically viable for over 20 years.
f. Solar power is derived at a specific rate depending on the size of the panel, the efficiency of the absorption of the sunlight, and the amount of
g. Solar power does better at high altitudes because theres less atmospheric interference.
h. Solar Power has very low yields per physical system cost. In order to run a car on Solar energy, you have to panel the entire car,
and in order to run your house on solar energy, you would have to panel your entire rooftop and buy energy saving appliances.
i. Solar power is most attractive and useful in a whole energy strategy because it is uniquely mobile. Geothermal wells or Wind
power or tidal power (for obvious reasons) won't run a car directly.
j. Solar power could in theory be used to solve the energy crisis almost by itself, by paneling over a very large surface area. This surface area
has been calculated variously, with low estimates ranging in 10 by 10 miles, and high estimates ranging upto 200 by 200 miles.
h. The problem with this is that the cost/ benefit analysis shows us that this would be very expensive when compared to a holistic energy strategy.
i. Solar power has very low yields when compared to geothermal power.
15. Thermal Solar. Thermal Solar is a variation of Solar power with a much cheaper cost, a much lower per square foot yield, and operating at a much simpler technology level.
a. about 100 miles by 100 miles (median estimate) of Thermal solar paneling could in theory meet our energy needs.
b. Thermal Solar can be done in such a way that it has lower materials costs and lower materials environmental impact.
c. Thermal solar involves using light to heat a liquid which creates energy by pushing a turbine when the fluid expands.
16. Wind Energy.
a. Wind energy is derived from creating large turbines called wind mills.
b. Wind mills are generally very large affairs.
c. The larger a windmill is, the more energy it creates relative to its overall material cost.
d. This means that the cost/ benefit analysis shows that larger windmills are cheaper.
e. Windmills create medium yields of energy when they are operating.
f. One good large windmill can probably meet the energy needs for perhaps a dozen homes.
g. The USA could in theory meet all of its energy needs via wind power, if we invested heavily also in enormous
distribution network infrastructure.
h. The USA is rich in wind energy compared to most places on the earth.
i. the problem with windmills is downtime when theres no wind.
j. This is significantly less a problem than with solar downtime due to no sun.
k. Wind and Solar together as a team can capitalize on the two extremes of climate, and should thus be employed
alternately depending on the location one wishes to provide energy for.
l. for instance, Solar power is better in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, And sunny places.
J. And yet Wind power is better in places like New Jersey, Oregon,...places alongside the Canada Border.
k. The other problem with wind power is that it can create quite an eye sore to look at.
l. Wind power also can be very devastating to local bird populations.
m. Wind and Solar might be good tandem partners for cities like Denver, where theres lots of wind and lots of sun,
but not usually at the same time except for when it is.
This allows such a system to generate power in the sunny months with solar and in the winter months with wind.
17. Tidal Power
a. Tidal power is derived much like wind power is, from the movement of water instead of air.
b. Tidal power is slightly higher in potential yields because water is denser.
c. Tidal power would have to be done more or less on remote beaches , probably in large fenced
areas to protect the systems from animals and animals and humans from the systems.
d. Tidal power is obviously only viable on the coastlines of oceans or very large bodies of water such as lakes.
e. Tidal power could in theory meet all of our energy needs.
f. the cost/ benefit analysis for tidal power is a bit murky because its a mostly unexplored technology.
g. however, proof of concept units do exist and the technology is very simple.
h. tidal power has problems due to the corrosive nature of salt water and erosion.
i. Tidal power is unpopular because it ruins one beach per facility.
j. Most accessible tidal power exists in the energy of waves.
k. Cost/ benefit analysis shows that tidal power can be done out at sea, but it becomes increasingly more expensive the further out
you go to get the power back to land.
l. Tidal power is probably a good solution for arctic regions which don't get much sun, and whose wind conditions might on some occasions be too intense,
pulling windmills down.
m. Along with Solar power and Wind power, tidal power provides a third leg of medium level yield energy for low materials cost in situations where
geothermal power would be too expensive.
18. Geothermal Power
a. Geothermal power is energy derived from the heat of the earth.
b. that heat is on average several miles beneath the surface.
c. However, there is a lot of variance in how deep that heat is, and every state has regions where that heat is within a few hundred meters of the surface.
d. Geothermal power like wind power becomes cheaper per materials cost the larger the plant is.
e. Geothermal power has very high potential yields, and is in fact competitive with nuclear power in terms of sheer yield.
f. Geothermal power plants could in theory be built with higher energy yields than nuclear power plants. However, this is not advised or advisable, due to
potential tectonic stresses such high energy plants could create.
g. in the range around 100th or even 1 tenth the yield energy of a nuclear power station, geothermal power stations could be built which would have
virtually no impact on tectonic stresses.
h. Tectonic stress is an important variable. Frequently geothermal power is most accessible along fault lines. However, these should be ignored for
caldera like situations where the system is not contributing or in danger due to tectonic stresses.
i. There are many different ways of configuring a geothermal power station, and only one which this author supports. This is called double circuit closed system geothermal power.
j. double circuit simply means that the water drops on one circuit and the steam comes up on the other.
k. closed circuit means that no water is ever lost in the system, because even the heating element chamber is a well engineered container
L. Geothermal power can in theory meet all of our energy needs
M. of the resources available to us, it does this with the cheapest over all cost, the smallest possible ecological footprint, and the highest level of
N. Geothermal power is not a good solution in situations where a small amount of power is needed for small communities or remote estates. It has a high material cost and start up cost to drill the well.
O. Geothermal power is theoretically available almost everywhere on the surface of the earth.
P. current oil wells now go as deep as 7, 8, 9 miles deep.
Q. Enough Geothermal power is accessible within 200 meters depth to meet all of our energy needs.
R. where larger power sources are wanted in places where that heat is deeper, it is still true that geothermal heat in most places is not
deeper than 4 miles.
S. In some rare situations where the crust is thick, geothermal power might be as deep as 20 miles.
Don't drill there, import the energy from 150 miles away somewhere.
19. Hydrogen power;
a. Hydrogen power is an up and coming technology which we can expect to see having good strong applications 20 or 30 years from now.
b. Hydrogen power is very promising, but currently, its still mostly a way to store energy, not create it.
c. The two main exceptions to this are using corrosive rare earth metals to get reactions, and using phased electrical energy to short out the binding force.
d. The problem with the former is that the rare earth metal is itself a form of fuel, and that creating it, and "burning" it with water both create toxic
substances as side effects.
e. the problem with the latter is containment of the field and what happens when organic matter is exposed to high energy bursts of electricity.
f. To the knowledge of this author, water based solutions which continue to use a combustion engine are frauds.
g. When Hydrogen becomes a used technology, it will probably be for very large equipment and uses, such as trains, planes, and large boats
20. Hydrolic or Hydro Electric power.
a. This energy is created by damming a river and using falling water to drive a turbine.
b. this is incredibly damaging to the ecology.
c. Yields are fairly high per materials cost, but, still, hydro electric materials costs are comparable to geothermal power, which doesn't destroy an entire
ecosystem per power plant.
d. Hydro electric power does not exist in anywhere near sufficient quantities to meet all of our energy needs.
e. This author finds hydro-electric power to be a bad idea all the way around, not even as useful as nuclear power.
21. Nuclear power
a. Nuclear power (currently) is derived from using rare earth metals in reactions which turn some fraction of those fuels directly into energy.
b. The radioactive fuels must be mined, and this results currently in the deaths (and serious health problems) of many Miners.
c. Nuclear power currently creates hyper toxic and radio active wastes, which cost money to tend and babysit, and which in an accident
of ignorance 10 thousand years from now could wipe out an entire continents worth of our descendants.
d. Nuclear power is in many senses still a futuristic technology with much promise and much potential.
e. Thus nuclear power should be studied and refined in the laboratory.
f. The focus of such studies should be in finding ways to use non radioactive fuels,
finding ways to create dissipating forms of radiation only, and finding ways to eliminate the problem of wastes.
g. Nuclear power is very high yield, but it has exorbitant costs, especially over the long term.
h. Compared to Geothermal power, nuclear power is extremely expensive, gets more expensive instead of less expensive over time, is extremely
dangerous, and perhaps most importantly, sooner or later we will run out of nuclear fuels, and still be forced to move on to geothermal power.
i. Nuclear power will be most useful for purposes of exploring our solar system and our galaxy.
j. There is no good reason to use nuclear power for domestic use considering the other much better alternatives.
22. Zero point energy
a. Zero point energy is derived from quantum phase state fluctuations where energy is created in contradiction to the "laws" of conservation of mass and
b. Zero point energy is a futuristic technology which may become realistic within the next 100 years.
c. Final stage proof of concept zero point energy research should be conducted at least as distant from the earth as the oort cloud, due to the unforseeable
nature of potential dangers.
d. In theory, zero point energy could create a self sustaining quantum phase reaction which could create nearly unlimited energy in spaces literally too small to be seen by the naked eye.
e. Early stage research into zero point energy is the entire field of quantum mechanics, specifically Singularities, branes, and quantum holographics.
23. Summary of findings.
a. Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Tidal, and Hydrogen Technologies together provide a clear and easy path towards green and sustainable energy.
b. Geothermal energy specifically is the solution which a realistic green energy infrastructure should be rooted in.
c. It is reasonable to project a total holistic solution in which 80 percent of our energy comes from geothermal, 10 percent from Solar, 5 percent from
Wind, and 5 percent from Tidal.
d. It is also worth mentioning that electric cars are a current and viable technology.
e. This is all of it simply a sumary of known and provable science fact. The only reason why most people don't know all of this is that oil companies
and rich evil jerks have spent billions of dollars to flood the public with propaganda and misinformation.
f. The other strategy of the evil empire jerks is to promote energy resources such as biofuels or nuclear power which create a situation of extreme expense so that they can continue to exploit our need for energy in order to make money. A Geothermally based energy infrastructure would provide
extremely cheap energy (especially over the long term) and this would be the death of the energy industry.
New Tectonic Source of Geothermal Energy?
volcan42.jpg Geochemists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Arizona State University have discovered a new tool for identifying potential geothermal energy resources. The discovery came from comparing helium isotopes in samples gathered from wells, springs, and vents across the northern Basin and Range of western North America. High helium ratios are common in volcanic regions. When the investigators found high ratios in places far from volcanism, they knew that hot fluids must be permeating Earth's inner layers by other means. The samples collected on the surface gave the researchers a window into the structure of the rocks far below, with no need to drill.
"A good geothermal energy source has three basic requirements: a high thermal gradient—which means accessible hot rock—plus a rechargeable reservoir fluid, usually water, and finally, deep permeable pathways for the fluid to circulate through the hot rock," says Mack Kennedy. "We believe we have found a way to map and quantify zones of permeability deep in the lower crust that result not from volcanic activity but from tectonic activity, the movement of pieces of the Earth's crust."
Geothermal is considered by many to be the best renewable energy source besides solar. Accessible geothermal energy in the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, is estimated at 90 quadrillion kilowatt-hours, 3,000 times more than the country's total annual energy consumption. Determining helium ratios from surface measurements is a practical way to locate promising sources.
Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.
the opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity
Posts: 4 | Posted: 5:42 PM on August 14, 2008 | IP
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