|a post I made in WordPress
||[May. 1st, 2010|11:45 am]
Harnessing the world to fuel itself in other ways
May 1, 2010
THE NOTION IS REALLY QUITE outstanding at first look. Imagine your own body being able to fuel internal systems by it’s own seemingly excretive or every-day processes. One’s hair growth might benifit liver function, or sweat might keep the heart more healthy. Saliva production giving the muscles energy to work. Urine helping the very urethra it came from..
This sounds askance, but turning one’s mind to energy harboring in this world, something rather fascinating comes to mind after contemplation: The world does indeed fuel itself. With the exception of the life-giving Sun, which is the true placenta of this orb, the earth is a self-prepetuating machine. Driving from the battery of the Sun’s titan energy, it feeds on itself- ravenously cannabailistic, capricious, giving, whoring. Food chain members, take a number; flora members, live your life so death may grow in your shadow, only to sponsor a resurrection of new life.
Also, like a complex organism, the biome consists of systems that are governed by-as it were- organs, that are governed by tissues, that are governed by cells. Interdependence is the key word, here.
And so, too, with our foibled existence on this planet under the guise of humankind. Humans have not been kind to the planet historically, and have, over the recent centuries when the industrial revolution put pockets of humanity in a different strata of their physical and interpersonal relationships to the flora and fauna of the earth, simply taken and not put anything of value back to the planet.
And so it goes on. When petroleum burns, it is petroleum no more, and it’s effluvium will not come back to any kind of useable energy for untold years. When coal burns, it becomes as worthless after firing as other petroleum distillates.
But with this second industrial revolution, where the micro and macro are starting to shake hands, something new comes about. Something so simple that even uninterested scientists and worthless old oil barrons can’t seem to ignore completely. The picture of what can be, illustrated in the most manageable ways of propitiation is so readily and handily this:
Wind and water.
We should no more travel into the dark bowels of the Earth, searching for corpses of plants that render burning when the flame is touched upon it, but indeed diametrically change our view to what we see and feel when we step outside our shelters. Wind and water carve this planet. Aeolian and hydrological processes cut the face of the earth like knives- over geological time- and the earth suffers not one wit.
Gaia runs it’s own bank, and simple water and wind are big, big bosses when it comes to loans and savings accounts. Oil and gas are relatively abstruse in this scenario, as they are so many things in the sandbox. But what shapes the sandbox? Looking for the next energy should come from the face of the earth, and not altogether her innards.
Cracked petroleum does well with many things as spawning energy, it is true, but like the spermacetti of the Leviathan that used to be hunted to fill lamps, wax candles, and most recently some decades ago unction jet turbine engines (true).. other remedies are available. Unlike coal or shale, or oil deposits, or the whales of yore, there are forces on the planet that are inexhaustible.
ONE WHO STEPS ON THE plain of north Texas knows two things are certain: it is windy, and it is flat. The wind blows regardless of what we opine about it, just as the sun shines. This wind is powerful in it’s force, as anybody who has been in windy quarters, or a storm, or hurricane will attest. But the air around us constantly moves. How it moves is up to the day-to-day micro climates that we live in. But it always moves.
More consistent is wave action, as the seas beat the shores of so many lands on this earth. Unpredictable, but carrying energy that the stoutest coal plant can not produce punch for punch.
On top this: tidal action. The simple act of the sea heaving itself to and fro, as one heaves their chest with breaths, commands an energy of horsepower that is as yet unmeasured. And never mind wave action when it comes to having good data on the pure output these waves contaminate a shore with.
The numbers with these must be staggering. And eternally renuable. And the polution footprint from wave action or aeolian power is negligible compared to burning the earth.
I need to say more on this, but I stop here because the notion that wind and water (not dams) can propel us into the future is so very simple that it’s hard to understand at first. But a walk in the woods, as it were, puts certain aspects into notion, and from that, the future inventors of energy harnessing ability will understand- why spend so much to harvest something that spoils upon useage to something that renews, never spoils, and works in complete harmony with the land it shapes and speaks to?