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The transition between traditional and green energy tech


© Guerito 2005

It amazes me, with the technological level of present day that we are still using carbon based fuels. You would think by now solar, wind and hydropower technologies would have advanced enough to become our primary sources of energy. Though I believe a lot of the problem is the greed of the corporations that supply the carbon based fuels, they can not monopolize the sun, wind or water and can not make enough profit off of such abundant and renewable energy sources. Unfortunately greed and the lust of power still plagues our world in both the private and governmental sectors. I understand the need for profit, but not at the expense of the earth or the species that live on it.

English: PS20 and PS10 in Andalusia, Spain

If our president wants to make a change towards greener energies then let us invest in the current technologies and help advance them to the point of making them more efficient. Solar power is one of the most promising energy technologies we have, if we can improve the percentage of the sun’s power we can harvest with solar panels from approximately 7% to around 25% or 30% it could make solar the best choice for green energy. Combine solar, wind and hydropower and we could cut down or eliminate the need for less eco-friendly energy sources. One of the downsides of going green is it will eliminate the need for coal as a main fuel source in generating energy which in turn will put countless coal miners out of work along with many small businesses that rely on the coal industry and its workers for an income. So if we are going to move towards greener technologies we must remember to put the industries involved in green tech creation in the areas that rely on coal as an economical source in order to supply new jobs for those that will be lost.

Coal

In the end we will either have to go green tech or alternative energy tech of some sort because there is only so much coal, oil and natural gas on this planet.  I just hope we remember the people who will be negatively affected by the closing of coal mines and other industries during the transitional period. If we cause economical distress during the transition between traditional and green energy tech we will do more harm than good. Until solar, wind and hydropower technologies are advanced enough to replace our present power sources we need to at least invest in clean coal technologies in order to make our energy creation more earth friendly.

Just a few thoughts on the problems at hand..

Ray Barbier

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.
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Our children and grandchildren will inherit a toxic planet if we don’t stop


IMG_1077 While Scientists argue over what is causing the climate change we pump toxic gases into our air. As they debate how little man influences our environment more and more toxic waste is buried in the ground and illegally dumped into our water sources.  Regardless what they say we affect our environment negatively with our chemicals, gasses and poisonous by-products. So what if the sun is part of the reason to the temperature increase it is not the only thing effecting our environment. Birth defects, mysterious diseases and health problems increasing in our world. Too much evidence to our negative influence on our environment to ignore. Our children and grandchildren will inherit a toxic planet if we don’t stop mistreating our home. All of this is put aside in the name of profit, the mighty dollar seems more important than the health of future generations, the water and food we consume and the human race’s survival. Seems silly to put greed before survival as well as the wellbeing of your future generations but that is the message the big companies are sending along with our government. When they do attempt to do something to help the environment they do it in a way that it causes job loss and an economic decline in the towns that rely on the industry. Coal is one example, they limit the amount of new coal permits which causes coal companies to lay off workers. They need to first offer job re-education programs and help get new industries in the areas that will be effected by the closing or slowing of the coal industry. So that the coal miners and related workers can find new employment locally to support their families. Once there is new jobs and the coal workers are trained and placed in the new jobs the coal industry can be shut down. Though I don’t see how we can actually discontinue coal use for energy at this point in time, but in the decades ahead we may find a safer alternative to coal besides nuclear. Natural gas, wind and solar are viable replacements but solar and wind are still not as efficient or economical as of yet.  It would definitely would be a phase out in a decade or two kind of plan so to give time to get new industry in the areas and retrain the workers.

 

In the end we need a clean and renewable energy source. We need to find less toxic ways to manufacture our goods and make more recyclable products. We can not continue on this disposable product path, we need to make everything as recyclable and reusable as possible. The public and commercial sectors need to become even more green minded than they already are. Maybe give tax breaks to families and business that go green and recycle. Just a thought anyway…

 

Lets all go Green, Renewable, Recyclable and reusable .

Raymond Barbier

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Only god knows and only time can tell.


IMG_1078fb Where do we go from here? The world is suffering from earthquakes and extreme weather while there is civil unrest happening across the globe. Governments being toppled by both protests and warfare. The people want change from east to west and they starting to act upon their desires. Luckily here in the U.S. we can do it through political channels and also we can create change by utilizing all the media avenues available. The internet gives the people a power to express their concerns and to assemble as a political force like never before. So with all the sever weather, earthquakes and civil unrest in the world, where are we heading?

Seems we are at some kind of crossroads and which way we go depends on the choices the people in power make. With the fact oil is becoming less attractive as a fuel/energy source we desperately need to invest in alternative fuels and energy sources. Solar is the cleanest choice for energy though the current solar cells are still only capture a fraction of the sunlight’s energy. Still a viable energy source but the technology needs to be improved so we can capture higher percentages of the energy coming from the sun. Wind power works well but only when there is sufficient wind speed. Hydropower is the best out of the lot due to rivers are continuously flowing allowing for a constant energy source. This leads to the fact that batteries used to store energy also need to be improved so solar and wind power both can be good alternative energy sources.

The fact all three of the before mentioned power sources are renewable energy sources unlike oil, natural gas or coal they are the best bets for our future energy sources. We still face the problem of transportation and their use of combustible carbon based fuels. Besides the growing cost due to higher demand and that eventually the oil deposits will run dry, the toxic fumes the exhaust of such vehicles is harmful to both earth and the life that lives on it. The only alternatives at this time to petroleum-based fuels are Electric powered vehicles  or using natural gas, hydrogen or a synthetic fuel. Though I have heard of a compressed air powered vehicle being built-in the U.K.

If we survive the present problems in this world we just might figure a more efficient and less toxic or wasteful way to power our homes and  a better way to propel our vehicles. Maybe the civil unrest will bring  more of a positive change than a negative one. Only god knows and only time can tell.

Just a collection of random thoughts.
Raymond Barbier

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Green Issues Random Thoughts Thought's on World Issues

Environment or Independence?


Icon of Wind Turbines
Image via Wikipedia

Today I am going to talk about Green and Renewable Sources of energy and how it is not only about the environment as much it is about fuel and energy independence for the United States. The fact is a major part of our income is spent fueling our cars, trucks, SUVs and other motorized vehicles both commercial and recreational. The fuel is derived from crude oil that we buy mostly from foreign sources and a small percentage is from our own oil reserves along with bio-fuels and or ethanol. Our energy such as electricity is mainly fueled by local sources of fuels but they are both bad for the environment and non renewable. Eventually we will run out of coal, crude oil and even the large deposits of natural gas to fuel our transportation and our power plants. Of course there is Nuclear power but then you have the radioactive waste to consider along with the slight chance of a incident similar to Chernobyl or three mile island etc.

Many avenues are being researched such as bio-fuels derived from algae and the more common corn alcohol ethanol as viable supplements or replacements. Some have ventured into Hydrogen Fuel Cells as a possibility for transportation yet it still is not financially nor environmentally feasible at the current level of technology. Wind and Solar are nice supplemental sources for electricity if there is enough solar exposure and wind speed to generate the power needed. Both those technologies are still quite expensive at this time but are becoming less expensive as the technologies are refined and used. Hydro Power  is one of the more cost effective ideals in generating energy but it does cause some problems for the wildlife that inhabit the rivers and also can increase erosion along with changes the ecology of the surrounding area of the river.

Recently it was brought to my attention that at the University of St. Louis they have created a Fuel Cell that utilizes Sugar to create energy. The main Byproduct is water yet they are still refining the process and at this time they have proven it can recharge maybe a laptop or cell phone using this Bio Fuel Cell. There always seems to be some sort of cost to the creation and utilization of fuels and electricity. We just have to figure out the most efficient and less costly way to both keep the lights on and get us where we need to go. One thing myself would love to see is the glass bottle coming back as the container of choice for water and beverages. Glass is a very recyclable container and we sure don’t have a shortage on sand. Plus to me glass seemed to have no effect on the taste of a beverage when I still can taste the plastic when drinking beverages.

Well enough of my Tree Hugging and American Independence Babbling for Now.
Peace to All  R. Barbier