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Zeitgeist: Addendum - Part Three - Page 7

Author: Edward L Winston
Added: August 16th, 2009

This is the seventh page of part three in my series of articles on Zeitgeist: Addendum. Please refer to the introduction if you were lead to this page.

[Jacque Fresco]
At present, we don't have to burn fossil fuels. We don't have to use anything that would contaminate the environment. There are many sources of energy available.

Alternative energy solutions pushed by the establishment, such a hydrogen, biomass and even nuclear, are highly insufficient, dangerous, and exist only to perpetuate the profit structure that industry has created. When we look beyond the propaganda and self-serving solutions put forth by the energy companies, we find a seemingly endless stream of clean, abundant and renewable energy for generating power.

There are people trying to make money off of clean energy, such as T. Boone Pickens who pimps out sweet lady wind like it will solve every single problem - even where the wind doesn't blow[17]. Nuclear is becoming better all the time. Nuclear power is a good choice for a scalable base load that has an output that can be moved up or down depending on requirements, not to mention nuclear power has a low incremental fuel cost[21][22].

Solar and wind energy are well known the public, but the true potential of these mediums remains unexpressed. Solar energy, derived from the sun, has such abundance, that one hour of light at high noon, contains more energy than what the entire world consumes in a year. If we could capture one-hundredth of a percent of this energy, the world would never have to use oil, gas or anything else. The question then is not availability, but the technology to harness it, and there are many advanced mediums today, which could accomplish just that, if they were not hindered by the need to compete for market share with the established energy power structures.

On a side note: All of the biomass on the planet creates nearly 7 times the total amount used on Earth each year and while it shouldn't (and couldn't) be our savior, it should definitely be used[18].

Then there's wind energy. Wind energy has long been denounced as weak and, due to it being location driven, impractical. This is simply not true. The US department of energy admitted in 2007, that if wind was fully harvested in just 3 of America's 50 states, it could power the entire nation.

It is one of the weaker choices because wind speed is not constant and there's no real guarantee of increased wind during higher load times. Some regions are simply better suited for wind power than others[19][20].

And then there are the rather unknown mediums of Tidal and Wave Power. Tidal power is derived from Tidal shifts in the ocean. Installing turbines, which capture this movement, generates energy. In the United Kingdom, 42 sites are currently noted as available, forecasting that 34% of all the UK's energy could come form tidal power alone. Wave power, which extracts energy from the surface motions of the ocean, is estimated to have a global potential of up to 80,000 TWh a year, This means 50% of the entire planet's energy usage could be produced from this medium alone.

It's a good concept, but hasn't been researched a lot, especially not on how it could effect marine life.

Now, it is important to point out that tidal, wave, solar and wind power requires virtually no preliminary energy to harness, unlike coal, oil, gas, biomass, hydrogen and all the others.

Tidal, wave, solar, and wind power work on more than hopes and dreams, they require manufacturing and most importantly maintenance. Even if you build it to last, it won't last forever, especially if it has moving parts.

In combination, these four mediums alone, if efficiently harnessed through technology, could power the world forever.

That being said, there happens to be another form of clean, renewable energy, which trumps them all: geothermal power.

Geothermal energy utilizes what is called heat mining, which, though a simple process using water, is able to generate massive amounts of clean energy. In 2006, an MIT report on geothermal energy found that 13,000 zettajoules of power are currently available in the earth, with the possibility of 2,000 zettajoules being easily tappable with improved technology. The total energy consumption of all the countries on the planet is about half of a zettajoule a year. This means about 4,000 years of planetary power could be harnessed in this medium alone. And when we understand that the earth's heat generation is constantly renewed, this energy is really limitless and could be used forever.

Geothermal energy releases a lot of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, hardly trumping the others. Granted, it isn't as much as a coal power plant, but if the goal here is to avoid pollution as much as possible, then this technology needs to be progressed a bit more or rethought[23]. In fact the enhanced geothermic systems (EGS), a newer technology, can trigger earthquakes; a project in Switzerland caused more than 10,000 earth quakes in 6 days, mostly small, but some up to 3.4 on the Richter Scale[24].

These energy sources are only a few of the clean, renewable mediums available, and as time goes on, we will find more.

Except geothermal.

The grand realization is that we have total energy abundance, without the need for pollution, traditional conservation, or, in fact, a price tag.

Again, except geothermal.

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