News / Environment
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Sun
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Solar Power

There is one resource that nobody can own equity in, and nobody can purchase a put option for, or trade a futures contract on, and that is the Sun. Large amounts of time are spent debating how to use coal and other energy sources but humanity hasn't begun to use the sun which puts out as much as 1000 watts per square metre in clear solar conditions at the earth's surface .

The real truth is that any fossil fuel (oil, natural gas, coal) when burned puts out CO2 gas and these fuels are non-sustainable sources of energy for humanity. The estimates are that we have at most 30 - 75 years before oil reserves are depleted based upon currently increasing volume utilisation. If new extraction technology doesn't work, or we cant assume the environmental damage of getting oil regardless of cost, we may face energy shortages even sooner than that, if we dont rapidly develop cleaner alternatives.

The Sun delivers no CO2 emissions, and is a constant that we can depend on. In 1800 our ancestors were very organic minded and transport was more dependent upon how your horse was feeling. For most people the best form of transport was walking. Our ancestors worked the land and rotated crops on fields so as to preserve the soil for the next year's planting. They stood and looked up at the Sun and wondered what life would be like 1000 years from then or beyond that.

Today we face an absolute dilemma. We are on a train, that some of us feel we mustn't get off for economic reasons, that can be taken to the last station, which may be called "Extinction". If alternative ways are not found for us to live and trade amongst nations and to live in harmony with other animals and plants, the earth could be pushed to a point that it is saturated with our behaviour, and some other creatures could rise up a million years later and talk about the weather.

One can argue that if humanity were intelligent and resourceful, the deserts that are now shunned would become large energy farms that utilise the sun's rays to produce clean energy. One large parabolic dish can concentrate enough solar energy to run a steam turbine and produce electricity or hydrogen. The utilization of solar and wind energy at our homes, and solar panels for electricity generation must also be exploited.

Many scientists believe there really isn't much time left to argue, because the damage humanity is causing to itself in the 21st century is escalating to a point that it will soon no longer be controllable. Some say that in as few as ten years (2017) we will have no control over our own destiny if we dont act now. It has now reached a bizarre point that some of us debate the economic advantages of the retreat of the polar ice caps in summer caused by Global Warming and just blink at the loss of the Polar Bears. We have always sought to make money and to trade and lets continue to do so, but a new game could be designed that worked better; one that at least could be played for a longer time.

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