News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Energy

Fracking Earthquakes

March 8, 2014

A series of earthquakes measuring up to 5.7 on the Richter scale, across Okalahoma, USA were triggered by injection of waste-water from fracking.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued a press release yesterday indicating that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck Prague, Oklahoma in 2011 was unintentionally human-induced.

The USGS claims that the magnitude 5.0 earthquake triggered by waste-water injection the previous day “trigger[ed] a cascade of earthquakes, including a larger one, [which] has important implications for reducing the seismic risk from waste-water injection.”

Read article.


Australian Government Clean Energy Policy

July 10, 2011

Is this a refreshing change in tactic – is Australia leading the world in creating a future that it is reasonable to invest in, the crumbling economy based on oil will ultimately fall over.  Oil will get more and more expensive in political and economic relationships.  It will undo China as it has undone many Western economies.  It has been a growth industry and will continue to be until it starts to become more expensive to drill it than other methods – and if those other methods are non-polluting, that is a distinct advantage.  If they are free of excessive cost, or have no operating costs (an efficient means of collecting solar energy) beyond capital costs (interest) and maintenance, it means that power is a flexible commodity like much open source software that oils the wheels of business and life in a general sense improving life for all.

 


Clean Sustainable Future

April 18, 2009

President Obama has stated that it is time for American leadership to step up and he has picked the one time when the Right certainly have no right to complain about putting America to work solving its dependence on foreign oil economic imbalance in three years.

All it takes is the political will to spend on the economy while saving the banking system. The best and perhaps only way for a modern large economy to work is not so much trickle down as a sort of reverse trickle – or more correctly by “assimulative growth” – growth that absorbs and supports its own as well as taking on new ground. It is the point of winning a war, to be able to improve a worsening situation.

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The future of solar power

April 27, 2008

The future of solar power is linked to the cost of the medium for generating it. If it is too expensive, then the cost savings do not come into play fast enough to make it attractive to the greed instinct. A possible future breakthrough lies in a thin film that absorbs sunlight and generates electricity. It takes far less material to build photovoltaic cells from high grade silicon that is over US$500 per pound. Solar power is therefore a whole lot cheaper to generate and once you have established a solar farm it works without moving parts for 30 years. Instead of adding to global warming, nuclear waste dumps or using a finite resource, maintaining large scape solar power batteries becomes more possible when it is seen in a social context. Every roof in a city for example. It is time to evolve away from dependence upon a resource that is always going to be available for free. Unless we pollute the atmosphere with too much soot from burning coal, or worse a 500 year nuclear winter.


The Energy of Progress

August 3, 2007

Al Gore may be right that ultimately it is up to every individual to believe that change is possible, in order that politically we choose leaders who advance progress in priority to growth. On the 07/07/2007 we all swung away from unrestrained capitalism as the only panacea necessary to allow us to thrive in harmony most successfully.

It is really only the political consideration that matters, for, ultimately we may care how many plastic bags make poisonous pits out of landfills but that does not stop the factory down the road from making the local river murky and lifeless.

It has only been political change that has allowed us to control our impact upon the environment. And for America this provides an alternative impetus for progress. What is progress? It is invention, finding a better way to do it. And these days cleaner and environmentally friendly is going to become something as important and enforceable as any other law.

US Industry is growing at 1% per annum. It is already a substantial contributor to global warming because it requires so much energy. If we draw the energy from burning coal, as seems “politically realistic” it will be with advantages in air filtration and clean burning technologies that do not emit excessive CO2 or other gases that poison the environment.

Understanding the problem is hard enough for the scientific community so one can not expect political change unless the addiction to growth is not curbed. Political change needs to encompass stronger motivations for choosing to advance the case for free power generation using large batteries of wind farms.

Taking the energy from the air seems logical as a counter measure to climate change. Scientific analysis of this effect may well prove important if the religion of growth is continued. Our climate is like the Earth’s circulatory system. We got to learn to stop screwing with it to get our energy.

Free passive energy can obtained with solar cells. If every rooftop in America was covered with power generating solar cells, power would be free.

If the environmental cost was assessed and taxed to every business in the world, we could make progress to ensure our safety.

It is political for the same reason that it would be very hard to stop someone competing in a race, for example, after they had prepared for it. You would have to have a very good reason.

The most convincing commercial argument to prevent climate change is that there is rather a lot of money to be made.