Saturday, April 18, 2009
Tilting at Windmills
According to Greenpeace, in what must be considered a wildly optimistic scenario, China could supply close to 10% of her electricity from wind power. That is, assuming no growth in China's electricity demand for the next decade. (Even if her economic growth slows to 6% for the next decade, Chinas electricity demand will close to double in that time.)
This is clearly not sufficient to deal with the problems of pollution.
One must also consider whether the full exploitation of wind “resources” in China would not also raise some other additional problems – species extinctions, for example. Other, unanticipated effects are almost inevitable.
We must seek another path.
I think the answer must be some form of micro power generation, with a panoply of possibilities tailored to individual situations. For example, a typical home would benefit from insulation, solar, wind, geothermal, micro-hydro, and/or cold fusion. While industrial plant would utilize wave, geothermal, solar collector, and/or cold fusion.
Such a system would be able to quickly adapt to new inventions and innovations would be rapid, because so many individuals would be engaged in the effort.
I don't think we can expect to utilize a great deal of our existing infrastructure in this activity.
We must create new ways of meeting our needs without the excesses of our energy intensive lifestyle. Local production and consumption must replace the five thousand mile ceasar salad.
It will be necessary to provide financing and capital to millions of homeowners and microentrepreneurs to carry out the refurbishing of homes and businesses.
It would be a disaster to attempt to carry out this effort with the failed capitalist banking system.
The best way to organize the effort would be through micro-finance, and social businesses.
But I would say that.