Today, Gone Tomorrow - Unlimited Fuel for Thought
Curiously, science and technology
continues to draw blanks when exploring viable, alternative energy
sources. Although regarded as institutions supposedly dedicated
to the advancement of science / human resource, scientists and
technological innovators are themselves entirely dependent on
current forms of energy.
Little thought is reserved for what happens when depleting earth-drawn
supplies are no longer available to run appliances, transport,
towns and cities. It seems that as long as there is power today,
a planet tomorrow without it is of no consequence.
Fossil fuels will one day be exhausted
as the world continues to suffer from the worsening effects of
pollutants due to their use.
Humanity is dependent on earth's depleted resources more than
ever before. So why does the all important issue of developing
a new, sustainable clean energy source take such low precedence,
and why do technically advanced countries not direct their highest
priorities towards its research and development?
The answer lies within a twisted
infrastructure of world economies; a vicious circle of industrial
interdependency around a deep rooted political / monetary framework
covering the entire planet. All which is precariously balanced
on just one commodity.... oil.
Every aspect of industry and most of society depends entirely
on all derivatives of crude oil, (also known as "black gold").
Since the early 20th Century oil has steadily become a life essential
and in turn, primary leverage in maintaining global productivity
and a social order from within each nation... and strategic
control from nations that supply this resource. Hence, a dangerous
game of "monopoly", as each world player builds kingdoms,
technology, transportation and global trade from a single limited
resource, owned by a handful of countries. Oil simply runs the
mechanics of society. If it's removed without any alternative
provision, the world turns inside out.... and collapses.
Frightening fact ?.... Well, it
certainly needn't be.
Any nation, rich or poor can look
up to the sky and see and feel the most powerful and sustainable
energy source available to everyone on earth.... and it's free.
It's called the sun. Unlike fossil fuels nobody can "own"
the sun or its potential energy. Solar power is what naturally
sustains all life on earth.
As with many of these GGL's, the
issue of a natural energy source blends with many of the other
proposals put forward. But here are some thoughts on solar energy
to consider when voting:
Politicians might argue that "cloud
cover" in many temperate countries prevents sufficient amounts
of sunshine needed to provide efficient quantities of solar energy....
But these arguments are unfounded and contrived, purely for political
motives. The solar non-efficiency argument is based on extremely
slow paced R&D which began over thirty years ago. Because
of economic dependency on fossil based fuel energy, development
in solar power has always been nothing more than a whimsical side
investment, just to try and keep the environmentalists (potential
voters) happy. There are of course solar power manufacturers willing
to provide a solar energy system to heat your swimming pool, for
example, for extortionate amounts of money. These types of companies
tend to target and hype solar technology to the rich, as if solar
power should be considered a luxury rather than a means to conserve
and provide free energy to the poorer communities.
Menial amounts of investment has caused such gross underdevelopment
in what should, by now have been a thriving source of efficient,
The groundbreaking developments during the last century have only
come about through massive investments based on sustained profit.
Commercial investment is based on political time tables, therefore
long term high investment into R&D of a new energy source
is unattractive to governments. Ploughing money into solar power
research is of no interest to fast turnover private companies,
greedy for quick profits. Even the odd private companies (including
oil companies themselves) put aside small amounts of their profits
towards the development of natural energy, but do so mainly as
a token gesture to promote a "green" image. Some oil
companies even display ironic jestures by advertising that their
petrol stations are run by solar power!
The amount of investment put into alternative, clean energy research
is pennies compared to the billions spent on profit making communications.
If we can beam hundreds of digital channels to our TV sets from
Earth's orbiting satellites, then we have the technical capability
to develop efficient energy capture and conversion units to power
those TV's and everything else in our homes.
With the constant emergence of new materials developed for other
technical advancements, it is equally possible to re-channel such
development and apply them to clean energy productivity. Commercially
sustainable results could then be achieved, producing industrial
strength, solar power generators and devices - and ultimately
spawn a whole new revolution in solar and other clean- renewable
If the same amount of money had been spent developing a high performance
solar powered small family car (or travel pod) as has been spent
over the last ten years in new petrol models (and the accompanying
advertising promotions), then the world could, by now be transporting
themselves on free - non pollutant - renewable energy. (See
also "ban oil powered combustion engine" GGL)
In the UK an obscene amount of money
was wasted on The Millennium Dome in the late 90's. Many said
the money should have been spent on issues like health, education
and other usual "down the pub chat" issues. But surely
a more appropriate area to invest towards a brighter new
millennium would have been to put all that grossly misspent Dome
money into creating a new, unlimited natural free energy supply.
Too late now, but if that had been the case, the economy and political
priorities of the UK and the whole planet (since such a
technology must be freely shared) would change so radically
that today's public contentions on subjects towards the governments
spending would also change beyond all recognition.
The day that an industrial strength solar powered energy source
is developed for world use, every country gains an insurmountable
level of economical independence. Countries who have been tied
to such dependency based on oil prices and its availability will
no longer live by such a threatening agenda.
for a Brighter Future
Oil producing countries may still
have customers for their produce, but less dependency from major
world customers. With the strangle-holds of "oil power"
eliminated, a safer and more trusting relationship between Middle
Eastern oil nations and the rest of the world may ensue. No country,
(including the US), will be holding the ace card, so to speak
- which, at this time can make or break world economies.
With new solar power in place as the prime energy source for the
planet, the amount of oil still being drilled and refined would
be minimal amounts, and at levels which would have no significant
effect on the environment. Besides, oil producing countries may
well find alternative, cleaner and regenerative uses for their
commodity. Solar energy could supply that option. (E.g. production
of the materials from which solar energy units themselves are
made - and then recycled)
All materials derived from crude
oil such as plastics are now so wide spread across the world,
thanks to consumer waste. Humans may have unwittingly created
their own "crude" material deposits.
Disposed items can contain enough material to potentially replace
most of what we throw away. So new products would eventually contain
plastics made entirely from recycled waste. With a free energy
source to power recycling plants, many countries could sustain
themselves indefinitely, and if necessary afford to turn such
a "mining" industry into an exportable commodity. (See
also "waste disposal methods" GGL)
Third World countries would of course
benefit greatly from an unlimited source of solar power. Their
lives would be transformed in many ways, but in drought areas,
the issue of water supplies would need to be dealt with first
or simultaneously (see
drought and water supply GGL)
In post war Iraq, coalition forces
showed no environmental initiative when resolving the supply of
electricity to Iraqi communities.
They used archaic fossil fuel powered systems to provide electricity
instead of realizing this unique opportunity to establish both
solar and wind power as Iraq's primary energy source.
A golden opportunity wasted.
Iraq could not only have been rebuilt free of a regime, but also
as an ecological / environmental template to inspire other countries.
Energy in Action
Smiling children after a solar energy system is installed in
In Nepal the charity Swogun distribute
and install solar energy systems in remote villages, which provides
power to schools, hospitals and homes etc. These communities are
also taught how to be self-sufficient as part of the installation
on this ...)
Coastal areas can also benefit from
the world's second most powerful natural energy source... the
sea. The same principle applies here as with solar energy. Serious
investment must be forthcoming to research optimal methods for
capturing the oceans unlimited energy.
Wind power is of course another
important source of clean energy and should be considered inclusive
of this GGL. Wind power also needs to be developed further, with
forethought to ensure that environmentally suitable areas for
its use are considered carefully. The GGL suggests that wind power
may have preferable benefits in cities, where units can be mounted
on buildings (in tandem with solar power). Wind power has to be
adapted in a manner that is aesthetically acceptable rather than
creating an undesirable impact on countryside or coastal areas.
As with solar power, city roof installations are highly recommended
for wind turbines, provided that future generations of such products
can be designed with suitable noise supression.
you are voting for...
The GGL suggests that investment
in "all weather sufficient" solar energy development takes priority,
and that such solar, wind and similar units be operating as the
primary energy source in all new homes and industry by 2015.
Here for this GGL#5
more about the Global Green Laws concept here