1.15.2007

As a dog returneth to his vomit

So a fool returneth to his folly. I was contemplating even deleting this blog, but I need an outlet to share depressing stories like this:

Joseph Romm's Hell and High Water may be the most depressing book on global warming I've ever read.
He writes of a "Planetary Purgatory" [UPDATE - by the 22nd Century], where sea level rises 20 feet, many coastal cities are subject to such frequent hurricanes they are abandoned, and most of the Greenland ice mass melts. What are today considered heat waves become normal summers, with more and more forest and agricultural land lost to fire and drought.

Here's the really bad news: this is not what Romm is trying to avoid, but what he hopes to settle for.
Good thing BlogThis is back!

INSTA-UPDATE: At the same time,slight optimism:
There's a company working with Lockheed and Boeing, on a technology that's been around for a very long time, fairly well understood, where you collect solar energy in outer space, using solar panels like the kind that powered the space station, and beam the energy to earth by way of microwaves -- very mild microwaves that don't hurt anything on their way down -- to a receiving station and through a centralized grid.

The technology exists. It's not crazy. The only reason it hasn't been commercialized is, it's too expensive. It would cost by most estimates 20, 30, 40 cents a kilowatt hour to get the launch into space, to get the several football fields of solar panels, and to send down that electricity and receive it on the other end -- compared to two cents, three cents a kilowatt hour for coal. Take that trillion dollars and say, look, our health, global warming, averting a great depression, is worth spending a little money now. Rather than cheap, coal-fired energy, let's subsidize that kind of an industry and help China and India be the first to leapfrog into those kinds of facilities.

No comments: