THE MYTH OF LIMITATION
We have a global problem.
There is no global fossil fuels replacement strategy.
We have excess regulations and complacency which will lead to a future of of mass depletions, if we do not create for ourselves an excess of clean energy.
Trivial amounts of clean energy will not solve the twin problems of depletion and excess CO2.
There are just three actual fossil fuels replacement options. There is also a fourth, non energy “half measure”, and even a fifth, which is a “use fossil fuels now but clean it up later” option.
Such as wind, solar and advanced geothermal. Other renewables such as biofuels, tidal and wave energy are not physically capable of supplying the immense power necessary at the global scale to provide for ten billion people. However, there is nothing wrong with any amount of clean renewable (no matter how trivial) as long as it is not too costly to the population as a whole and as long as it is not used as a tool to defeat other options.
2; Nuclear fission.
The power of fission can provide for multiple present day total global power supplies. It has to be scaled up in an inherently safe and affordable manner to do so. Contrary to popular myth, nuclear energy is the least environmentally damaging way to power a planetary civilization – at this time. There is less war in an energy abundant (non resource depleting) world, as well.
Weapons programs are not based on civilian energy, thus we can’t dismiss nuclear energy on the basis of proliferation. Various different reactor designs allow for wastes recycling, fuels denaturing and melt down proof operation.
3; Nuclear fusion. To overcome the diffuse and intermittent nature of the renewables, and to displace the fear and waste issues concerning fission, the continued research towards fusion at the global level is a must. Fusion power can only be 30 years away for so long.
In the meantime, we must develop the renewables and nuclear with the priority being:
SCALE UP THE LEAST EXPENSIVE, MOST ABUNDANT SOURCES, IMMEDIATELY.
We will NEED abundant energy resources in order to continue the economic growth necessary to attain baseload fusion technology!!!
4; Continued efficiency and conservation.
Efficiency is already mainstream, but clean abundant energy is not. We are not even close!
Although necessary in a finite fuels scenario to conserve, and for the improvement of technological progress (such as led lighting, cheaper insulation and electric cars), efficiency simply can NOT power a planetary civilization.
Passive solar energy siting should be required in this age of finite resources. However, we can not sit idle lest we conserve till the last drop.
5; CO2 sequestration via machine automation.
This option only addresses the excess CO2 part of the equation and is therefore not applicable to addressing the equally severe consequences of depletion (including adverse health risks due to pollution). Also, there is no guarantee that the excess CO2 will really be sequestered. Or the inappropriate but cheaper CCS tactic might be used. So called carbon capture and storage into depleted wells is not an acceptable option because there is no way to guarantee that the many billions of tons of compressed CO2 would not leak back into the environment.
Humanity may have to use machine automation for the autonomous mining of the material (such as olivine) necessary to sequester the excess CO2 into carbonates. The size of this tech fix will be on the order of the scale of coal mining is today for many years and will be possible when autonomous machinery is common. Costs will, nevertheless still be daunting and probably require a burdensome tax on CO2 to pay for the manufacture, maintenance and power required to initiate the machinery.
We should concentrate on developing ALL of these options so that the least amount of fossil fuels will be depleted.
Fossil fuels are being consumed in an ever acceleration level:
1; Developing countries will catch up and then surpass us in their ability to “consume”.
2; A major fraction of the energy produced may also be used for CO2 sequester.
As the finite resource is exponentially depleted, it will become ever more expensive to address its mounting external costs (much less provide a continued decent standard of living for the world). A depleting source can NOT power any long lived civilization.
Excess CO2 can cause ocean acidification and global warming, but we can not DEAL with the problems if we do not have the energy resources to do so. If the proven excess of CO2 does not cause unacceptable alterations to the biosphere, we will still need to address two major inescapable consequences.
1; Environmental pollution, health issues and fatalities.
2; Depletion and economic collapse.
~WE MUST DEPLOY SCIENCE, NOT JUST CO2 TAX “SOLUTIONS”~
We can not afford to settle for political solutions (unless they are proven by a majority that they will cause the development of abundant clean energy at the global scale which provides a net economic gain into the private sector greater than the loss incurred by taxation or other action).
The National Labs, NASA and the freeway system have all created economic gain, proof that there is possibility in government involvement.
But these great institutions and accomplishments are far more than just a tax!
We need to make sure that if or when there is a CO2 tax, it goes directly into a great accomplishment. What we need to do is promote clean and abundant energy, regardless.
We need to remove any constraints so actual development and deployment at the global scale is realized. These constraints are:
Unscientific reporting by the media,
Lack of basic energy awareness by the public at large.
Greed is obviously a motivator in preventing abundant and clean energy from becoming mainstream. Every energy company will come up with reasons “why they are the best” but we need to promote the LEAST COSTLY, MOST ABUNDANT CO2 FREE SOURCES.
Newsbites from the media do not offer necessary coverage because the complexity of the energy/climate issue demands more attention. Inadequate info constrains the ability for collective action towards a common, and desirable goal. However, the media does help in spreading awareness of the initial problem.
Biased and polarized, promoting total anti-anthropological global warming on the one side and total anti-nuclear, CO2 tax based solutions and “wind and solar can do it all” on the other (we even have greenie aliens moaning and groaning about… too much wind and solar) !!! Do we ever hear about any coherent solutions???
Political motives may want to suppress the inalienable rights of each individual and of the collective to clean and abundant energy so as to guarantee current positions within an established hierarchy. They can also use the truth of excess CO2 as an excuse to tax… with uncertain results concerning its replacements.
Lack of basic understanding of global power requirements necessary to power a planetary civilization by the public at large is, indeed, the greatest obstacle because most of us have neglected the right to become informed, network and then initiate action to fully promote abundant and clean energy at the global level. We must be careful not to let the whims of any one side to manipulate us into cherry picking to our liking. We must want to “do the math”. Only in this way will we realize the potential and limitations of each of the 5 options (and of the many sub options within each one).
Costs are the final trump on any energy related argument. Development of automated factories or processes is required to scale up abundant solar energy. Development of a factory setting for a reactor design based on inherent safety and proliferation resistance is required to scale up nuclear. And development of the same such for solar will be required to scale up battery manufacture for cheap, for the electric car, and possibly, even efficient utility scale storage. And the development of such for nuclear will also be required to scale up wind power.
Subsidy is required for initial start up and research phases. Small scale is easily afforded by the population and has paid off in the end for many technologies, such as for coal. However, we can’t afford subsidies for large scale energy development. Hence the necessity for machine and or factory automation which pave the way for much lower costs.
Cost constraints are imposed by the lack of a well aware and organized population willing to promote a well defined and focused global clean energy objective.
Cost constraints include unwillingness by investors to risk on new endeavors, as well.
We must expose these constrains to create awareness in order to ensure future prosperity.
Activists from around the world need to spread awareness about what it really takes to have clean energy on a global scale.
The product is machine mass produced renewables, factory produced (inherently safe nuclear) and machine mass produced electric vehicle batteries. All processes should be performed in house if we are to achieve clean energy that is economical as well as ecological. The Chinese call it “vertically integrated”. This means that the company must own the mining equipment for all the various different raw materials, own the processing and refining (and be under constant monitor in a nuclear division), own the metals and framework sections, pre-assembly sections, final assembly sections, sells department, and finally, installation and maintenance.
Renewables are cheaper than nuclear… until actual and real fossil fuels displacement of any significant SCALE is considered. Up to 20% or so “max grid” integration by the renewables should be no problem… use wind and solar for these “fill in” purposes (as they generally become cheaper as time progresses).
However, it will take almost a MILLION SQUARE MILES (of 15% efficient) solar with storage, to displace most all fossil fuels and nuclear, for powering a planetary civilization of 10,000,000,000 people at Western standards.
This is fully FIVE TIMES current net global power consumption (and 2% of the land). It is easily conceivable that such drastic solar coverage is much preferable than the accelerating combustion of fossil fuels… however, politically correct environmentalists don’t think so and won’t “allow for that”. There are many accounts of so called enviros blocking large scale solar and wind (and there may actually be just environmental cause in a few such large scale projects). Yet, with their unending and dizzying array of regulations, they also opt to prevent large scale nuclear, as well… and there are no other options at this time with the potential capable of even coming close to that of the big three:
We must NOT denounce any of the clean energy options! To do so is to promote LIMITATION for humanity, not only by outright restraint of additional clean energy sources, but by psychological processes that seek to repress the “other side”. We may agree that excess CO2 and depletion are serious global problems, but they will NEVER be solved if we all disagree on the means of remedy.
Using the truth of excess CO2 as an excuse to further the MYTH of limitation is evident in those agendas that would have us to believe that we need to reduce global energy generation. Sure, it is OK for the United States to conserve more (despite that country being a leader in efficiency developments), but it is not OK to expect all the developing countries to not develop!
Reverting to biofuels is like going back into the dark ages. Solar and wind <i>as they exist now</i> isn’t much better.
When enviro groups try to “inform” you that we must use less energy, ask yourself:
Do they sincerely want to reduce excess CO2?
Do they sincerely think that we have to live with less?
Do they live with less?
Do they not know about the already proven concept of melt down proof nuclear capable of powering the world many times over for many times less environmental degradation?
They may be using excess CO2 as an excuse to further their agenda:
Product promotion (which is OK unless their product is “mandated” and expensive).
Top down political control via industrial, safety and trade regulations, to avert losses incurred by a free society with abundant energy and the ability to machine automate all goods for a fraction of the cost (put sarcastic smear on green alien face here).
These tactics can only benefit a small but selfish minority for a limited amount of time at a great expense for the rest of us!
The reader can be excused for not being aware of the complexities of the energy/excess CO2 issue, but any environmentalist that seeks to reduce energy input is a real threat to humanity. Ignorance of the issue is NOT an excuse for those that make it their job to mold public opinion in the direction of less energy resources, or to make laws which erroneously restrict the necessary increase of energy sources.
A popular myth perpetrated by “The Future is In Less” advocates is that technology will more than make up for the lack of power, and that more power means more environmental degradation.
Developing nations need MORE power, no matter the level of their current efficiency.
The ability for technology to prevent degradation sometimes requires more power (such as trading in an efficient ozone hole causing CFC refrigerant for an environmentally safe but less efficient refrigerant).
Efficiency can reduce overall power requirements but can not side step the requirement to replace fossil fuels. An example is jevon’s paradox. As it becomes more efficient to extract a resource, it will become cheaper and thus will lead to even faster extraction rates. People might want to reduce mileage to save gasoline but they will drive more if gasoline prices go down or if the car gets a higher MPG. Instead of saving fuel, people may opt for the added convenience (such as trading in the smaller car for a larger one with the same MPG). Psychologically, people will not conserve any more than they have to, thus people will simply enjoy more benefit for the same price, and consumption will not decrease. Wouldn’t it be better to secure a source that can prevent environmental degradation?
The stated purpose of this paper is to:
Promote the required increase of available energy resources necessary to power a growing planetary civilization at a Western standard of living by promoting the development of the least expensive, most abundant source of CO2 free energy as soon as possible and to denounce the myth of limitation.
Any “actions”, “things” or “collectives” which seek to decrease available clean energy resources are a detriment to (and possible serious threat to the survival of) the human race, and even the biosphere itself.
The truth of excess CO2 must NOT become an excuse for any such to impose excessive taxes, raise energy costs, impose ill will or promote regimes tolerant of the disbanding of the inherent and inalienable rights of the individual.
None of these “behavior modification” tactics are needed in the resource rich 21st century (although necessary in a finite fuels “only” scenario)!
The biosphere can not withstand humanity in “depletion mode”. As chaos sets in, fossil fuels inefficiency, and subsequent biofuels depletions (aka complete de-forestation) would rapidly take place. Resource wars would soon follow.
It would take a global authoritarian order to absolve the chaos otherwise present during the depletion stage. This would come as a great expense to the standard of living to the BILLIONS of people (aka loss of rights).
Nuclear energy can actually provide the 5 times current global power requirements necessary to raise the standard of living up to Western standard for 10 billion people, if only it was allowed. We could have had a planetary civilization comparable to Star Trek by now (instead, we got stuck with the greenie aliens). When Alvin Weinberg invented the light water reactor, he was on to something… but when he figured out the molten salt reactor (MSR or LFTR), that was REALLY to good to be…
7,800,000,000 tons of coal,
2,700,000,000 tons of oil,
10,500,000,000,000 cubic feet of NG
and 67,000 tons of uranium
are consumed by humanity EVERY year… And these numbers are only going to grow.
10,000 tons of thorium
would displace ALL THAT (yes, ALL of that) by direct coal replacement (for electricity), and by providing the extra electricity required to power billions of electric cars if fissioned in thousands of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors.
This small amount of nuclear fuels would provide convenient LIQUID FUELS by use of its high process heat (by the conversion of water and air, into ammonia or methanol).
Automated mass production of EV batteries AND clean liquid fuels must be scaled up to global proportions in order to engage in the UNHINDERED economic growth required to stave off economic, natural and space borne disasters (not to mention human caused depletion and global warming/ocean acidification).
Continued use of fossil fuels will become burdensome to such necessary growth when CO2 emissions are taxed.
The nuclear closed cycle in a molten fuels reactor design is the quickest technological way to insuring continuous industrial processes necessary to power a growing planetary civilization once development of factory produced reactors is firmly established. It is also the least risky, as that design is melt down proof with very minimal wastes! Of course, there are some engineering dificulties, but nothing that prevented a fully operational test facility called the MSRE (at ORNLin the 60’s) from running for years. In fact, they shut it down every weekend! To say that a technology that enables nuclear to be turned on and off, regularly is not worthy of whatever disadvantages it may have is like saying airplanes are not worth the effort because of turbulence (greenie aliens fly all the time despite their excess CO2 wingprint).
A popular myth perpetrated by renewable and fossil fuel advocates state that the thorium fueled molten salt reactor “will take many decades” to develop. That is akin to stating that the Apollo mission “will also take many decades”. Note that the molten salt reactor was proven on a developmental level for many years up to that time. If we REALLY wanted the abundant clean energy from thorium, it should take LESS than a decade to re-develop (sadly, we don’t have transporters to beam the greenie aliens away).
The nasty fission products (not spent fuel) is actually less than 1/1,000,000th of the wastes involved with present fossil fuel sources. It is impossible at this time to sequester most all of the CO2 into geologically safe timescales. Acceptable mineral sequestration techniques could become automated and thus very much cheaper but still, no one will want to pay for the clean up process, any time soon.
So called carbon capture and storage (CCS) into depleted wells is not an acceptable option because there is no way to guarantee that the 100,000,000,000 tons or so tons of compressed CO2 would not leak back into the environment (and acidify water tables).
It is not only possible to contain 500,000 tons of nasty fission products at the global scale (assuming continuous closed cycle nuclear growth for over half a century) it is mandatory. It can, very simply, be ISOLATED from the environment (it will have to be). Machines can do it. By the time the containment vessels crack, the stuff inside will be radioactive FREE and should, by that time, be placed far beneath the water table, possibly in a tectonic plate “subduction” zone. It takes less than 500 years for it to decay down to below safe levels, not the tens of thousands it takes for spent fuel from the once through cycle (as from the LWR).
Unlike compressed CO2 stored in spent wells (CCS), this stuff is not under pressure.
Although thorium fueled molten salt reactors require the least amount of enriched fuel to start up, can fission spent fuel, and are efficient and meltdown proof, ordinary light water reactors have done a great job of displacing fossil fuels. France proves that a country can do it safely. So does the United States. The wastes should be fissioned in an Integral Fast Reactor or MSR, or can be buried under a plate subduction zone. The Integral Fast Reactor, have had developmental accidents but have not caused any serious radiation releases into the environment. Unlike today’s Light Water Reactor and the MSR, the IFR can also convert the huge stockpiles of depleted uranium 238 into electricity! Regulations must however, be present which prevents the isolation of plutonium from the mix. The PRISM concept was developed to do just that (but all of a sudden a bunch of greenie aliens descended and shut the whole complex down).
Eventually, humanity will NOT have to isolate the total of a few hundred thousand tons of nasty and radioactive fission products from the biosphere for hundreds of years. Eventually, humanity WILL achieve nuclear fusion and will power itself throughout all space/time (God willing). But first, we need to fully leverage the fission option to ensure required economic growth for continued scientific research in ALL fields because it requires huge amounts of energy to power humanity and our ambitions.
Sadly, it appears that there is a conspiracy to thwart this ultimate objective. Thankfully, no one dictator can be the head of such a conspiracy in today’s multi-faceted world.
However, complacency, ignorance and greed brought forth by millions of people who wish to, or are led to defeat the global scale up of clean and abundant energy, can usher the same insidious results.
The technology to become a prosperous type I global civilization, where no one is subject to poverty, has been thwarted because that knowledge has been around for DECADES. Now, it is time to promote the global scale up of clean and abundant energy with fervent persistence.
~realizing the full potential and experiencing the purpose of our existence~
Special interest backed enviros and all their silly “we can have ours but you can’t have yours” nonsense has since invaded the planet like a bunch of green aliens, somehow convincing the brainwashed minds from all corners of the land of make believe that the future of energy is in… less of it.
Less energy will NOT raise India, Africa, Asia and South America out of poverty. Less energy will not raise the developed world out of economic slumps, either. And less energy will not support the growth needed for continued tech progress. Less energy will not power the people and machinery needed to maintain basic infrastructure, running water, agriculture, road maitainence, the sewer system, garbage disposal, and MILLIONS of other processes benificial to the survival and comfort/entertainment/ mind growing of our species.
Less energy will not save the cute little polar bears either, because less energy makes more people (somewhere else) deplete fossil fuels even faster.
Less energy creates wars!
Fossil fuels has already been proven to cause not only global warming, but also ocean acidification AND political turmoil. Pollution, and adverse health issues (and bad tuna) resulting from the fossil fuels option are merely warning signs of the trouble yet to come if abundant, clean energy is not pursued at the global level.
Thermal expansion of the oceans and the drop in the pH levels of the oceans is EMPIRICAL evidence that excess CO2 is already altering the biosphere… of this entire planet!
Less energy creates global de-forestation!
Less energy will not make it easy to clean up our mess (especially if we must mine olivine on the order of the scale of the coal industry by automated machinery to reverse global warming and or ocean acidification).
Less energy will NEVER open up the final frontier and the unlimited (and as of yet, unknown) possibilities available to humanity. Less energy will definitely NOT stop an errant asteroid, or a super volcano. Only abundant, clean and safe energy will give us the capability to learn how to develop these necessary technologies and to provide power to use these technologies.
Less energy will not save the hydrocarbons either. We will need them for roads, plastics, lubricants, etc. If we stop the global frenzy to combust hydrocarbons, these much longer lived uses can be sustained for hundreds of years, giving humanity time to learn how to synthesize “anything”.
We need to rip the guts out of any agenda that seeks to reduce global power capacity 🙂
“The Future is In Less” is an insidious and ignorant trend. If it is accepted by the general population, we will surely suffer severe consequenses… at the global level!
We already have the tech, now we need to…
PROMOTE AND IMPLEMENT ABUNDANT CLEAN ENERGY BY ALL MEANS POSSIBLE.
And check out the thorium playlist… http://thoriumremix.com/th/
Thanks for reading and considering about how the argument for global warming (even though most probably correct, as is evidenced by some 95% of scientists) can be used as an excuse to limit humanity by not including a global scale up of machine mass produced solar, wind, batteries and factory molten salt nuclear reactors (or better) in popular solutions.
~realizing the full potential and experiencing the purpose of our existence~