Original thinking – there is our future

We use oil. We use coal. We use gas. We use energy resources and technologies that  diminish our stores of natural resources and poison our environment. It’s really not a very smart model anymore.

We need to create a future and leave the fossil fuels in the ground – in our past. It took millions of years to create those reserves and we are on our way to using them up within two centuries while pretending they’ll be there forever.

Imagine ‘intelligent pavement’ that could generate power for use elsewhere AND power our vehicles AND pay for itself – imagine replacing asphalt roads with solar panels in glass surfaces. It’s possible.

Imagine the jobs in research, manufacturing and construction. Imagine people imagining solutions.

Friend Brian (a Canadian – quelle horror!) sent me this video.

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17 responses to “Original thinking – there is our future

  1. What you describe is technically possible, but it’s many decades away from being viable commercially. We’re just not even close to being there yet because you’re talking about a fundamental shift in how power power generation is performed.

    The sad fact is that we’ve improved fuels but have changed the actual methods of power generation.

    When it comes to power generation the most advanced thing we have is internal combustion and that doesn’t scale beyond mid-sized vehicles. Everything else is still just a windmill, waterwheel, or steam engine.

    Coal, Oil and Nuclear power plants –> all Steam engines
    The actually functional solar plants –> Steam engines
    Hydroelectric dams –> waterwheels
    Wind Turbines —> windmills

    Sad ain’t it?

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    • Sad indeed, which is why I feel like celebrating whenever I see something like this – people, smart people, thinking of another future. Actually jonolan, I think it’s take a century, even if we started today. But what a goal it would be!

      By the way, are you saying that coal, oil, nuclear, solar etc are really producing steam that produces the energy? I get the water/wind part but am not clear on the steam part.

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      • Yes, I’m saying that we heat something to steam or near to steam in order to propel dynamos to convert it to electricity just as we’ve done for generations. Only the heat source has changed.

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    • I did’t get from the video exactly how the power was transferred to the end user – what I mean is, would the process they’re describing still mean steam or wheels or windmills? (Great point by the way!)

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  2. Let’s not forget nuclear power, amidst the Fukushima crisis and today being the 32nd anniversary of the Three Mile Island disaster. It’s potential dangers deserve attention, and storage of nuclear waste will be an issue as long as there are nuclear plants. If we could phase out nuclear power in favor of safer, renewable energy sources, the world would be better off.

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    • Of all the technologies we use today, none of them is safe – althought the riks are different. Coal mines kill people. We’ve learned off-shore wells can kill bodies of water. Nuclear can kill the land and everything that grows on it.

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  3. Ms. Holland ,

    How are you personally green ?

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    • I live ‘small’ because of my own nature and my abhorance of waste and greed – if that turns out to be green, that’s cool since I think that matters.

      I live in 790 square feet. I dont have a clothes dryer – everything goes on the line. I shower in cold water most of the year and run my AC less frequently than my neighbors. I have never used irrigation or fertilizer on my property (okay I will use a little organic fertilizer for starting new planting). Everything in my yard is indigenous and perennial. I never run to the store for something. Every trip involves multiple errands. I don’t ever buy stuff unless I actually need it. I keep my car tuned up and inflate those tires.

      I’m sometimes part of a ‘litter walk’ in a local park and have just offered my services to a small group who are working to return local runoff ditches to a natural state in an effort to bring the wildlife back. I donate to green initiates.

      I am not an ascetic. I adore my creature comforts and indulge them.

      You aksed. You?

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  4. Ms. Holland ,

    That is all very nice . The AC you do use has to be generated from dirty sources . You do use gasoline when you do drive . I mean I do not see you bragging about your Chevy volt, your windmills, and your solar panels .

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    • Frankly Alan, you’re being a jerk. I eat food too – and it has to be transported in trucks that use gasoline! And my lamps are lit from dirty sources too! I use a computer, a radio, a teevee. OMG! And all those people out there driving to work!!! Even the ones on buses!!! And in trains!!! And those damn hospitals – OMG they use mulitple dirty power sources!!!

      Ye gads.

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  5. Ms. Holland ,

    You just got it ! Imagine the world as you know it crashing to a stop . Now take a deep breath and imagine the color green .

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    • What strange belief do you hold Alan? If I want cleaner air, I should stop breathing the dirty air or I’m a hypocrite? I’m trying to figure out what your point is?

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  6. Ms. Holland ,

    I see you do not get what I was aiming for . My point is that you will never get away from conventional energy . If you do, the world will stop . Your green energy is not and never will be ready for prime time .

    And your solution of the limiting of supply of conventional energy and raising it’s price is destroying our great country . You have proved it yourself . You are the most environmentally respectful person I know and you could not function, nor could the infrastructure that supports you function if conventional energy becomes too limited or too expensive .

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    • [My point is that you will never get away from conventional energy . If you do, the world will stop . Your green energy is not and never will be ready for prime time .]

      I got your point Alan, but it’s just not valid because you’re arguing with yourself, not with me or any environmentalist. No one, not me, not anyone I’ve ever heard on the subject thinks we can get away from conventional energy sources any earlier than a half century from now. And we all know we’ll be using oil and coal for a very very long time. What you hear people clammoring for is to get to work and start working on the alternatives. That does not equal stop the world right this minute.

      I think you’d like to beleive that people believe what you charge, but they don’t.

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  7. Ms. Holland ,

    I am not arguing with myself . I am arguing with you Obama supporters . Be honest . You believe that limiting supplies of conventional energy, you will bring about this green world sooner . All you are doing is causing needless suffering . And your hero is doing everything he can to limit drilling and all sources of energy . And he lies so well about it . That is what I cannot tolerate .

    Like

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