Re: Think long term...
From: Tom Hammer (thammer302yahoo.com)
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 20:02:33 -0700 (PDT)
In response to Ronald, there are many long-term
alternatives that the world's best scientists and
engineers have been thinking about that don't entail
obtaining all energy locally.  For some examples, an
article I found very readable and enlightening
n.p.i.(no pun intended), especially because each
possible solution is presented with a "reality
factor", is below.

Tom Hammer
Concord Village
"Building homes that will take no carbon fuels to
heat, cool, or light." 
(using geothermal and electricity from wind power
purchased from the power company)
http://www.concordvillage.org
 
 
Title: Plan B for Energy.,  By: GIBBS, WAYT,
Scientific American, 00368733, Sep2006, Vol. 295,
Issue 3
Database: MasterFILE Premier
 
Plan B for Energy
Contents
If efficiency improvements and incremental advances in
today's technologies fail to halt global warming,
could revolutionary new carbon-free energy sources
save the day? Don't count on it--but don't count it
out, either
NUCLEAR FUSION
REALITY FACTOR: 3*
  Starry-eyed physicists point to the promise of
unlimited fuel and minimal waste. But politicians
blanch at fusion's price tag and worry about getting
burned
  Fast Facts
HIGH-ALTITUDE WIND
REALITY FACTOR: 4
  The most energetic gales soar far over the tops of
today's turbines. New designs would rise
higher--perhaps even to the jet stream
  Fast Facts
SCI-FI SOLUTIONS
REALITY FACTOR: 1
  Futuristic visions make for great entertainment. Too
bad about the physics
  Cold Fusion and Bubble Fusion
  Matter-Antimatter Reactors
SPACE-BASED SOLAR
REALITY FACTOR: 3
  With panels in orbit, where the sun shines
brightest--and all the time--solar could really take
off. But there's a catch
  Showstoppers
NANOTECH SOLAR CELLS
REALITY FACTOR: 4
  Materials engineered from the atoms up could boost
photovoltaic efficiencies from pathetic to profitable
  Essentials
A GLOBAL SUPERGRID
REALITY FACTOR: 2
  Revolutionary energy sources need a revolutionary
superconducting electrical grid that spans the planet
WAVES AND TIDES
REALITY FACTOR: 5
  The surging ocean offers a huge, but virtually
untapped, energy resource. Companies are now gearing
up to catch the wave
  In Progress
DESIGNER MICROBES
REALITY FACTOR: 4
  Genetic engineers think they can create synthetic
life-forms that will let us grow energy as easily as
we do food
  Essentials
OVERVIEW
MORE TO EXPLORE
Section: REVOLUTIONARY ENERGY SOURCES If efficiency
improvements and incremental advances in today's
technologies fail to halt global warming, could
revolutionary new carbon-free energy sources save the
day? Don't count on it--but don't count it out, either
To keep this world tolerable for life as we like it,
humanity must complete a marathon of technological
change whose finish line lies far over the horizon.
Robert H. Socolow and Stephen W. Pacala of Princeton
University have compared the feat to a
multigenerational relay race [see their article "A
Plan to Keep Carbon in Check"]. They outline a
strategy to win the first 50-year leg by reining back
carbon dioxide emissions from a century of unbridled
acceleration. Existing technologies, applied both
wisely and promptly, should carry us to this first
milestone without trampling the global economy. That
is a sound plan A.

The plan is far from foolproof, however. It depends on
societies ramping up an array of carbon-reducing
practices to form seven "wedges," each of which keeps
25 billion tons of carbon in the ground and out of the
air. Any slow starts or early plateaus will pull us
off track. And some scientists worry that stabilizing
greenhouse gas emissions will require up to 18 wedges
by 2056, not the seven that Socolow and Pacala
forecast in their most widely cited model.

It is a mistake to assume that carbon releases will
rise more slowly than will economic output and energy
use, argues Martin I. Hoffert, a physicist at New York
University. As oil and gas prices rise, he notes, the
energy industry is "recarbonizing" by turning back to
coal. "About 850 coal-fired power plants are slated to
be built by the U.S., China and India none of which
signed the Kyoto Protocol," Hoffert says. "By 2012 the
emissions of those plants will overwhelm Kyoto
reductions by a factor of five."

Even if plan A works and the teenagers of today
complete the first leg of the relay by the time they
retire, the race will be but half won. The baton will
then pass in 2056 to a new generation for the next and
possibly harder part of the marathon: cutting the rate
of CO2 emissions in half by 2106.

Sooner or later the world is thus going to need a plan
B: one or more fundamentally new technologies that
together can supply 10 to 30 terawatts without
belching a single ton of carbon dioxide. Energy buffs
have been kicking around many such wild ideas since
the 1960s. It is time to get serious about them. "If
we don't start now building the infrastructure for a
revolutionary change in the energy system," Hoffert
warns, "we'll never be able to do it in time."

But what to build? The survey that follows sizes up
some of the most promising options, as well as a
couple that are popular yet implausible. None of them
is a sure thing. But from one of these ideas might
emerge a new engine of human civilization. 

(article continues with discussion, diagrams, and
charts.)
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 10:46:26 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Ronald Frederick Greek <fred.greek [at] yahoo.com>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Think Long Term...
> To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
> Message-ID:
> <407854.53413.qm [at] web55215.mail.re4.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> 
> 
> 
> 
> In a long-term sustainable and stable human
> community, there would essentially be no new housing
> construction, other than replacement for such as
> exceed their useful lifespan. 
> 
> 
> 
> Eventually, regardless of conservation efforts, we
> will have to end all fossil fuel use (oil, coal,
> gas, shale oil, tar sands, etc?) 
> 
> 
> 
> While the first-thought for alternative energy
> sources might be that prices will come down with
> more demand, and economics of scale for production,
> there is a barrier to face:
> 
> 
> 
> An annual human energy use of 30 billion barrels of
> oil is a lot of energy? Run the numbers in BTU or
> kilowatt equivalents, and compare to whatever
> renewable you like, I suspect you will find that
> there is no practical long-term approach that is
> going to allow humanity to continue to use energy at
> the current level.  
> 
> 
> 
> Absent some energy miracle, without the "free"
> energy from fossil fuels, what works, and what
> doesn't?  
> 
> 
> 
> Doesn't everything essential need to be
> re-localized?  
> 
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