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Suggestions for Urgent Action to Avoid an End to Life on Earth by 2026!
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 @ 20:13:28 GMT by vlad

General Overtone writes: There is a Ticking-time-bomb in the far North of Gaia.

Sounds a lot like Sci-Fi, but nooo. It is real. Does anyone care enough to take notice ?

Methane is more than 20 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide...so... no problemo, let's just "burn it" say the petro-pundits. But it is ironic that CO2 itself is now poised to abruptly release far more methane than we could ever use or burn, and instead... it will burn us, not the other way around. The problem is not a slow rise in CO2 but a "runaway" greenhouse effect at some point, and the statisticians know that point. These are the same guys that accurately predicted the Hubbert peak, but we are not listening.

Tragedy could be as little as twenty years away - tragedy which has happened before in Earth's history.

In fact, methane could kill us all within the a few decades more effectively than all the nukes ever assembled. Methane already triggered the greatest mass extinction we know of in the fossil record 250 million years ago: http://tinyurl.com/5rkvz

Unless new ZPE or LENR or carbon-neutral technology comes along first, we are going to be in deep you know-what... And without a crystal ball that can tell us when the new promised technology will arrive and be mass produced, we should be prepared to err on the side of caution, and there is an obvious place to start.

For one thing, try to re-educate our government from the grass-roots upward that this is serious. They do not listen to any scientist (who is not on the Halliburton payroll) so it has to come from lots of average voters. Even the 'thinking right-wing' can get in on this one, as they have more kids than they have obstinacy to policy which has formerly been associated with liberalism - and want to see their grandkids survive more than see 'fat cats' prosper. This is about survival not liberalism. It is not just a 'green' issue anymore, but to put it in terms that even shrubbery can understand, we are now facing the equivalent of one billion WTC crashes happening all at once - and not just in den of liberalism, NYC, but in Peoria and elsewhere. The E.T.A. for the" tundra express" of massive runaway methane disaster is about 2026.

There are some kludges that could help to get us by, or "stay our execution" for a few more decades if need be... should the new technology fail us, or if it should take longer to put into mass production than expected. And as Lovelock himself suggested, nuclear energy is as green as it gets, but that solution is not short-term nor even optimum until drastically re-engineered. Fusion is a bust, so all of that money should be diverted. Time to start speculating now, about both policy and technology -butting heads and finally throwing bucks at the real problems, and not at the Arab world and imaginary WMD ....

... here is a trial balloon based on a "strategy of thinking" more so than on a technical solution. It is a strategy of looking for synergy in what we have available now.

Can three wrongs (disappointments) ever combine to make a right (successful hybrid solar energy concept which is Carbon-neutral)? Perhaps not this one to be suggested, as it is very green... but someone out there with more insight can do better, and we need plans of action. Now.

Disappointment #1) A large percentage of electricity world-wide is generated from turbines burning natural gas and releasing CO2. As a intermediate measure, there are advantages to looking for a carbon-neutral enhancement to present gas turbines, since we cannot replace them all at once. Turbines are high efficiency and can even go higher if the exhaust heat can be recycled, or if the methane they burn can be reformed first and the carbon "sequestered" on the spot. This is costly but doable in a number of ways. It may make more sense to let nature convert the carbon into H2 near the plant, if the site is adequate for that.

We can either reform the methane first or collect the CO2 last. Lean Premixed Combustion for Ultra-Low Emission Gas Turbine Combustors is possible by substituting about 20% of the methane with H2. The CO2 can then be theoretically converted in situ by hydrogen producing biomass (algae) to make the required H2 in a very large expanse of adjoining greenhouses. Of course turbines will burn straight H2 also from reformed methane.Sites for algae farms like this are ideally desert areas or floating on oceans but most power plants now have a lot of adjoining "extra" space. The carbon in the biomass cells themselves is not burnt (otherwise it wouldn't be carbon neutral) but converted into plastics, fertilizers, animal feed, etc. It is possible to get pretty near to carbon-neutral this way if you only operate the turbines during day-time... but at what cost for all that greenhouse acreage or equivalent overhead?

Hydrogen-enriched hydrocarbon fuels modify both the chemical and physical processes that occur in flames for higher efficiency. Some reforming could happen now in every plant in the USA for about half of the annual cost of the Iraq war. These fuels have been shown to significantly improve flame stability characteristics during lean combustion and to allow combustion at the low temperatures while maintaining high Carnot efficiency and near zero nitrogen oxides.

Disappointment #2) Solar in general, has not seen the needed cost reductions which are continually promised. But we spend precious little on solar research. More is needed. The "solar chimney" mentioned in this article below has apparently not held up to close scrutiny either. It would have featured a large greenhouse covering many acres simply to heat air. As the hot air rises, it would escape up a tower in the center of the structure. Wind turbo-generators mounted in the chimney would convert this 30 mph rush of hot air into electricity. This idea was reported back in 2001, and they were hoping then to break ground a year ago on a project in Oz but cost estimates quadrupled.

However there are ways one could boost the output of such a device significantly. The most attractive way involves using the H2 modified gas turbine and the greenhouses for "double duty" and to boost that 30 mph airflow to about 90 mph (triple) by mixing in the hot exhaust steam from the H2-fired turbine. To an extent, steam forms clouds which negate the greenhouse effect. Perhaps this could even be combined with wind turbines in proper sites.

Disappointment #3) Professor Melis of the University of California and others at NREL have been working on modification of photosynthesis in green algae which will permit the generation of hydrogen gas as an economically viable alternative, but his progress has not lived up to initial expectations.

It does work in theory and many algae will remove CO2 while producing H2 as a byproduct... so perhaps with advancing biotech, this kind of thing can be genetically engineered to do exactly what we need, if we stop throwing chump-change out to finance it and instead give it Fusion-type-financing. Algae could even possibly be bio-engineered to feed off of cooled gas turbine exhaust.

Wonder if you could combine the three different ideas, using the greenhouse to both heat some air and grow the algae, which would remove CO2 and produce H2 for the gas turbine, which would also use reformed methane and send the CO2 to the greenhouse. The (now steam) exhaust from the H2 turbine is mixed with the rest of the hot air and channeled into the chimney where more energy is removed.

Many tradeoffs are involved, and building acres and acres of greenhouse ponds is not cheap. But for about the $80 billion, which the Admin is asking now to continue the War in Iraq, to go along with the quarter trillion already spent, we could have already converted every plant in the USA to go most of the way to carbon neutral (about 300 plants at a billion per).

No, it is not cheap, but neither is war for oil. And neither is loosing everything in Western Civilization to a runaway greenhouse event ...

Please read this information about the *ticking time bomb* that few are even aware of. The artic tundra is melting NOW. It is loaded with methane. What are we going to do? "Tent" the whole artic and Siberia? The Arabs would love that, wouldn't they. They could sell us tents to go with their oil and imaginary WMD.

This is fact, not Sierra Club BS! (not there's anything wrong with that, but let's de-politicize this issue before it is too late).


Jones Beene



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Re: Suggestions for Urgent Action to Avoid an End to Life on Earth by 2026! (Score: 1)
by malc on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 @ 01:20:16 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mripley
I know the arctic is melting because people who have been there say so. Unfortunately global warming is not happening because some scientists say so. That attitude fits in nicely with the politicians favourite pastime of preserving the status quo (fat cats big fat industrial wallets). So I'm afraid we are snookered. I suspect that those head in the sand scientists will become awfully quiet in several years time unfortunately by the time it is blindingly obvious to all (including the current US president!) that global warming is real then it will be too late to do anything. A word of warning to the skeptical global warmists : when peoples children are harmed by action or lack of they can become very very angry on a person to person basis ..........

You can add the following natural temperature averaging mechanisms as evidence : retreating glaciers worldwide, northward advance of flora and fauna.

The "solar chimney" would create more CO2 whilst building it than it would save. So that's a non starter. Big projects like that are not the answer small distributed power generation is the answer. Wind turbines for example. Quite why people complain about a wind turbine spoiling the view is a mystery. For a starter a lot of wind farms here in scotland are in places that are desolate to put it mildly. Secondly we already have electricity pylons all over the countryside DUH! Finally there won't be a "traditional" countryside to view at all if we don't do something.



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