Thursday, April 17, 2008

Suppressing the Solution Set

Let's be absolutely clear; a solution set to environmental problems exists.

They consist of deploying:
  1. Wind Power
  2. PV solar distributed
  3. Concentrated Solar Power built in optimal sites
  4. Geo-exchange thermal management replacing HVAC systems
  5. Hot rock geothermal energy
  6. Ultra-light rail or personal rapid transit
  7. Inter-urban heavy rail for freight
  8. High-speed rail replacing air travel
  9. Organic farming, including the pasturing of meat animals and elimination of CAFOs.
  10. Biochar agriculture for carbon capture, NOX capture and nitrate fixation
  11. Conservation retro-fits of all occupied buildings
  12. Social safety nets- a universal right to food, housing, minimal personal needs.
  13. Health care- Cuban model as a minimal standard
  14. Birth control- available freely on demand
  15. Returning to a walkable, bicycle-friendly urban space
  16. Cradle to cradle consumer products
  17. Marine and riparian reserves, sanctuaries and protections to allow ocean recovery
  18. Regulated markets on the EU model
  19. Organized labor
  20. Any other solution that provides service in a "thermodynamically free" fashion i.e. where the EROI is greater than 2 including externalities

The above list are systems that have proven to have energy use patterns substantially cheaper thermodynamically than existing systems. They could effectively replace the majority of services provided by our existing economic technology set while reducing pollution, birth rates and social disruption.

Instead of solutions we are offered the false solution set of:
  • The hydrogen hype
  • Nuclear power
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Coal burning
  • Biofuels
  • "Free market" economics (loot and run corporate management)
  • Cheap labor (union-busting by para-militaries)
  • Debt economies
  • HMOs
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Homelessness
  • Mass starvation by market forces (see biofuels)
  • Abstinance education (and resulting STD's)
  • SUVs
  • War
  • Sprawl built on the quick, cheap and leaky model.
  • GMOs
  • CAFOs
  • "Disposables," plastic bags, shoes, razors, clothes, employees...
  • "Farmed" fish (yuck)
  • Subsidized air travel
  • Subsidized auto industry
  • Monopolies i.e. WalMart, Microsoft, ADM & Monsanto
  • Other solutions sets that offer choke points where essential services can be harvested for income by corporate oligarchs.

It is worth noting that even the most obvious portions of the solution set are ignored by major media voices. George Bush himself has a geo-exchange HVAC system in his Crawford, Texas house and despite the fact that it offers a major wedge that would allow reduction in coal, oil and natural gas burning at a small profit yet it is generally ignored by both the media and Congress in favor of non-solutions like the hydrogen hype.

This can't be accidental since the promoters of the true solution set have both physics and verifiable demographic studies on their side. Marine reserves increase fish stocks and social safety nets reduce birth rates; both are desirable goals unless one is seeking short-term profits from a mass market. The evidence at hand leads to the conclusion that the mass media is being directed to sell us a false solution set in order to maximize profits for a tiny minority.

What it's going to do to the vast majority is too horrible to contemplate.


Anonymous said...

So what's wrong with atomic energy?

Pangolin said...

Other than the fact that nuclear power plants have godlike powers over the lives of people downwind due to the threat of loss of power or radiation spillage. It's expensive, centralized, polluting. leaves a waste stream 100k years long, proliferates weapons, only burns 1/10th of the fuel and leaves the rest as waste.

It would be better if a nuclear advocate explained this to you. Check out this video at The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor: What Fusion Wanted To Be or look at or this discussion "More on why we need the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor".

Most importantly, with the ability to process nuclear waste and return it to the fuel cycle relatively quickly and safely (dissolve it in liquid salts) the human race has chosen to use more expensive and dangerous means of obtaining it's power.

We're simply too stupid when functioning as a group to repeatedly make the right decisions needed to work with atomic power.