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SG-W:/ RE: Comments on Ecomindium



Re:Comments on Ecomindium
 
    Thanks for the comments Steve.
 
    It is difficult to foretell the future but as far as I can see, there is no energy source that could possibly replace oil for any length of time. Oil will greatly go up in price within 20 years. Natural gas will run out fairly quickly. Coal will exacerbate Global Warming and requires large amounts of oil to mine. Nuclear is a short range solution which requires large amounts of oil to construct. In fact nuclear could turn into a big trap.
    Urban Sprawl greatly increases energy usage by increasing transportation to school, work, church, store, etc. Single people living alone in 2000 sq ft houses also greatly increase heating costs/capita. Single drivers commuting large distances to work greatly increase transport energy. In an energy short economy Sprawl is a nightmare.
    Although I am an advocate of huge spending on solar and wind, presently they are contributing only .12% of total consumption. The environmentalists have a model of producing hydrogen from solar cells in the desert. This will be costly and the whole scheme is so complex that I suspect that it will never provide energy for the public. Michigan does not have much wind or solar. Solar and wind work only part time and are not easily storable or transportable. All conversion processes subtract from the overall efficiency.
     My best guess is that we might get about 10% of present consumption from solar 10% from wind, and 15% from biomass. The rest must come from doing without. Biomass is easily the most useful energy because it is storable and transportable. You can make a train run on wood. Unfortunately, environmentalists see wood energy as a polluter and are not supporting the mass planting of trees.
     In thinking of energy do not forget that we need large amounts of it for making steel, concrete. nitrogen fertilizer, aluminum, glass, and many other materials. These uses are more important to survival than moving people around in cars or even keeping them warm in winter. We must keep the capability of making windmills, solar reflectors, solar collectors, boilers, steam engines, farm machinery, trains, and glass for greenhouses.
    Steve you spoke of air conditioning. As far as I can see, solar boilers may be the best bet for electricity and air conditioning in summer. Wood used for electricity, manufacturing, and heat is the best bet in winter. The first project for desert solar energy should be an ammonia plant. Without nitrogen fertilizer the whole country starves to death.
    The Ecomindium is a research vehicle and a symbol of people cooperating together to create a future for their children. THe first one could be built at the landfill site. All subsidized housing should be built as ecomindiums. Eventually, I believe that houses must be torn down to make room for larger buildings which are easier to heat and which concentrate people so they can bicycle to work. I hope that their materials can be recycled for the new buildings. The energy cost for all of this construction will be immense but it has to be done.
    Urban Sprawl is death to our civilization. The Energy and Global Warming arguments should be used to fight it.
 
                 Kermit Schlansker     kssustain@provide.net