We recognize the importance of taking care of the environment. GDG practices responsibility in all we do and continually seeks to better our membership as a green particpant.

 

Our Environment

by Dianne Irene

Nowhere in our environment is a place quite like earth. As you view earth from space it becomes clear that we are blessed. Imagine being dropped off on the moon and having to live on a dust covered surface with no breathable air or worse, underground where artificial accomodations would have to bring you solace. There is only one earth and we are raping her.Our nuclear plants are getting old and it becomes hard to trust containment systems that once confined the radioactive waste away from our ecosystem. Our factories have pumped massive amounts of pollution into our environment. Even our suburbs are full of pesticides as we attempt to control these supposed evil insects that are invading our homes.

The food we consume can be full of hormones chemicals, pesticides, and even poisons from artificial preservatives. The question of how long we can rape our planet before we start to see signs of danger is no longer one for the future. Our fish are disappearing, our children are getting sick, and despite empty promises, our environment is dying.We are left with the realization that we must demand solar power, wind power, alternative fuels beyond oil, and renewable resources that do not harm our envrironment. There are simple things that we can do to start this process. There was a story told about a man who bought a car from his local car dealership and it did not take him long to realize he had bought a special car. He was getting over 100 miles per gallon! He thought something was wrong and he took it back to tell them, of course they took the car back and told him it was a sample version from the factory and they mistakenly gave him the wrong vehicle.There would be no reason for this man to make up such a story like this.

Incorporate the following into your life:

* Buy organic food- this sends a message to the mass farming system that this is what we want.
* Stop using chemicals around your home. Simple rubbing alcohol or vinegar can be used in place of harsh chemicals that naturalist claim cause illness.
* Become actively involved in your communities where there are factories, nuclear power plants, and energy stations. Become vocal about wanting natural renewable energy.
* Ride your bike when you can instead of your car. most of us need the excercise!
* Read, read, read.
* Don't take the attitude that you will let another generation take care of the problem.
* Stop buying junk that you know will end up in a landfill like styrofoam and plastic.
* Take a new attitude about going natural. It is not weird, but neccessary.
* Remember that if you start seeing animals suffer, then it is only a matter of time before we do as well.
* Plant some trees and learn how to garden.
* Know your chemicals, before they know you.
* Recycle


ENERGY Discussion Energy consumption plays a role in varying factors related to our environment, life, and economy. Current sources should be reconsidered.The following sources are considered:
  • Solar
  • Fission
  • Fusion
  • Wind
  • Clean Burning Alcohol

Energy

We currently have many nuclear plants in the US and around the world. Simple common sense tells us that these are very dangerous to our environment and to human and animal life. Chernobyl should have served as a serious wake-up call to the energy community. However, not much has changed and they should be held accountable. In the days of grade school when energy was introduced in science class, we were told about the sun’s energy, fusion, fission, and if we were lucky alternative energy sources. If we stop and think for a moment, why would we rape our planet? Even the most skeptical of us would acknowledge that the food chain is affected by environmental factors. Who would not want an energy source that is free, non-polluting, and runs the least risk for environmental concerns? The answer to this is simple. Our technological advancement alone warrants our move beyond this ignorance.

Solar

According to an analyst, who had extensive experience with energy sources, it is time to change our energy sources or face serious consequences. This individual explained that after years of experience with nuclear plants, oil fields, and other energy related sources, his conclusion was that we should convert the all plants to solar immediately. He confided in me that radiation has leaked into the environment and the water shed. He said that cancer would continue to rise. He said that it may already be too late. He was also in strict opposition to the oil companies and felt that there would be a day of reckoning against them. We discussed how solar could be used. In reality, we could take one of the western states and set up a solar hub that would collect all the energy needed for the United States. This energy can be stored and dispersed. This could be a free energy source. Imagine little old ladies not worrying about their energy bills! Now this should excite those that truly are in the energy business to create energy. We also discussed water and how it is very important for humans to use water that has been cleansed by reverse osmosis. Creating clean sources of energy would contribute to cleaner water for everyone. He indicated that our water shed was in serious trouble.

Fission

When I taught math for one of the industries, I would have discussions with some of the engineers. I became good friends with one such engineer, who held at least one patent, and we discussed nuclear power. I remember having discussion about why it was “wrong”. His argument was that this advancement was worth the risk. I asked him if Chernobyl was worth the risk. I asked him if it had the potential to harm human life if it was worth the risk. I tried to be sensitive knowing that he had worked on nuclear devices and had great respect for the intricacies of nuclear energy. However, he did yield when we discussed the fact that human life if far more sacred than scientific advancement. I think he was taken aback by my less than nerdy stand on science. This was something that he may not have been exposed to in our brainy circle at the time. We had great respect for each other, and I often looked at him as a father figure, so our disagreement on this issue did not hinder our discussions on technological advancement. My stand had been that if we can not contain the radiation then we have no business creating the power. This is something that Einstein realized before he died and regretted the harm that might come about from the knowledge he was encouraged to explore. In his final days, he focused on quasi-science and has been quoted as trying to understand the mind of God.

Fusion (Current Cost- Billions)

Fusion fuels have often not gotten as much attention as fission. The only acceptable form of fusion would be one that releases no neutrons and thus would not be a danger of radiation contamination. Dr. Bussard, a pioneer in fusion, indicates that the only proper fuel in fusion energy would include 3 helium atoms and no neutrons released and where the source would be heavy isotopes of hydrogen. He also indicates that the Helium 3 could be recycled back through an exhaust system. The molecules must be thrust together within a very small space to get the fusion to take and a strong magnetic force have been achieved using a magnetic confinement machine. The “bumping” of particles need about 1000 “jumps” to create a fusion.

The current approach of fusion is highly radioactive, expensive, the machines are giant, and unpredictable results are obtained. However, in nature, fusion exists in the stars and the sun. By looking at this process in nature, we can see that it uses gravity as the force to bring the particles together in fusion. Nature does this in an efficient way. Dr. Bussard wishes to use this as an example to create fusion with an electric field force that would act like gravity. This “Electric Fusion” would contain a core where the fusion would take place. This space would be significantly smaller than current methods. It would utilize quasi-spherical magnetic fields which trap the electrons and then the ions would be oscillated across the “core” until fusion takes place. Dr. Bussard indicates that this system would be like a “spherical colliding-beam device”. The fusion material would then form in the system walls while the fuel gas input would be at well edges. He also discusses another approach, using the ion fusion power generating in the central region including the “wiffel ball” effect, “magrid” effect with consideration of effectiveness. After much engineering for a device, they created one that they feel would take this method to more practical applications.

He feels that this energy method should yield cheap or free electric power, be clean “burning”, that ethanol would replace gasoline, it would create a possible burn for nuclear waste, use fresh water from the sea, and have many other benefits. Dr. Bussard feels that the third world nations would then become an economic player by creating the cane crops used in this process. He also sees that this would destroy the gasoline market and eliminate the oil cartels. Desalination plants would become cheap and clean water would then encourage agriculture. He even credits this invention with ending the wars of the Middle East which he calls, “Oil Wars”. He indicates that the profit potential could also be as high as 100 billion per year. These methods however, are still in development and not yet ready for commercial use. Also, the production cost is extensive and concerns of raw materials that might be dangerous must be considered. While this discovery is good news to curent nuclear production, other forms of future energy production should be considered.

The only clean fusion method includes:
P + 11B--- 3 4He Output= 8.70 mgV
6Li +6Li --- 3 4He (p, 2He cycle) Output =10.44MgV *It should be noted that all other combinations give off some form of harmful radiation and should therefore not be considered.

Wind

Wind is free, renewable and stable. This source of energy is really better for our environment than even clean burning fusion. There is no risk of explosion and repairs can be made very easily. The maintenance costs are even low once established. T. Boone Pickens advocates such a resource and has recently stood against the odds to bring the discussion of wind power to the table. He indicates that our use of oil is growing at a staggering rate. In 1970, the US imported 24% and the import is now in the neighborhood of 70%. A 2005 study conducted by Stanford University concluded that the abundant potential for wind power would satisfy global needs at least 7 times the current need. Pickens believes the investment to build wind turbines in the high wind areas of the US would pay off and be worth the initial investment. His campaign is growing and gaining national attention. While there are many who have advocated this for many years, it just might take a powerhouse individual like Pickens to get results. (http://pickensplan.com)

Clean Burning Alcohol

David Blume, an ecological expert, has addressed the issue of the prohibition and what he calls its true purpose. The model A and T car was a duel fuel system and could burn both alcohol and oil/gasoline. With the push for prohibition, the oil industry got an 18 year head start that allowed its establishment to what we know today in the industry. The use of alcohol is clean burning and can be made from numerous sources including apples. This source of fuel could be made locally, is relatively inexpensive in comparison to oil, and would make people independent of large corporate controlled fuel sources. The idea is that as long as we have the sun then plants would participate in photosynthesis and then be able to be turned into a usable alcohol fuel. A distillery was standard equipment on farms in the onset of the agricultural movement. Farmers could them make their own alcohol, to light the home, as a solvent, and as a fuel. The advent of gasoline from oil first started in the cities and the duel fuel was necessary for those traveling back and forth. With the push of the prohibition, a switch to gasoline then became the only fuel source for vehicles. The first cars using alcohol had 105 octanes and gasoline only had 50. Even from the beginning, alcohol fuel was obviously superior, good for the environment, and less expensive and less likely to be subject to a monopolized control. Henry Ford once said, "if we can't be the farmers customer, how can he be ours?" He was opposed to the gasoline movement and is said to have had disputes with its founder. Unfortunately, with a 4 million dollar donation from a private donor, the Women's Christian Temperance Movement fought to pass prohibition. This stopped the manufacturing of alcohol for any reason.

This same movement was attempted in France and Germany with no success. Perhaps, this has even influenced our attitude towards alcohol today. In Germany around the 1800's, they were using alcohol as fuel. They started cooperative alcohol fuel distilleries. This aided in keeping the potato market stable. In return, you would get 1/3 of the alcohol back. A mash byproduct could also then be used as a fertilizer or feed. Germany could then export this alcohol, get rid of their subsidies, and it was good for the environment. They even produced alcohol burning vehicles. Paul Federate, a representative of American farmers, went to Germany to help learn how to build these distilleries. He came back to America and the farmers gathered at the Washington Grange, but unfortunately, the state police were called in by a private citizen. They arrested the grangers as they sang the Star Spangled Banner. They were accused of having dangerous German ideas. The plans were confiscated. It was many years before the idea was revisited. Standard Oil was broken up in 1911 accused of being a monopoly and tried in federal court. The four successor companies were Exxon, Mobil, Amoco, and Chevron.Alcohol can also be made out of waste "food". The sugar is a food for the yeast that makes the alcohol. This method can produce 192 proof alcohol for about 30 cents per gallon. 1/3 of alcohol is oxygen, requires less oxygen to burn, and may need an engine adjustment to take advantage of an earlier firing of the fuel.

Conclusion:The current energy uses are heavily reliant on a costly market of dangerous and often non- renewable resources. Exploration of alterantive energy sources are both viable and essential to the environment, wildlife, and humanity. The lack of development of solar, wind, and non-radiating fusion have contributed to the lack of varietied sources for consumers. Our environment has become a seroius indicator of our lack of tolerable energy sources. It has become neccessary to address this issue with more than discussion and to move to an action plan that will move the culture of energy to a new era.


  • Source: Should Google Go Nuclear? Clean, cheap, nuclear power (no, really). http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1996321846673788606 retrieved on August 5th, 2007.
  • America is addicted to foreign oil. retrieved on July 23, 2008 from: http:pickensplan.com
  • Earth Changes. Coast to Coast am. Retrieved from http://www.coasttocoastam.com on July 23,2008.

 

 

 

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Price of Addiction
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to Foreign Oil
 

Pickens Plan

gas tax  

PEAK_RATE_LESS_CURRENT_RATE gallons/day
Current world oil production rate
difference below peak.