Saturday, December 29, 2012

EGS Promo for Beacon Sloop Club, Jan. 18, 7pm

The coal, oil, gas and nuclear commodities industry -- the Commodities Industrial Complex -- has so successfully manipulated its vast public relations, political and infrastructure network that we and our government simply ignore its enormous environmental impact. Finding, mining/drilling, refining, storing, transporting, and locally storing a commodity results in enormous GHG emissions*. All that goes on just to create even more disastrous quantities of GHGs and waste while burning them -- simply to boil water or spin a turbine with its deadly exhaust!

Using the heat of the Earth in place provides a spectacular alternative. Expediting its development could actually change our focus from production of commodities -- and the concomitant destruction of our environment -- to the wise use of energy itself.

It is my contention that we need a focused, federally sponsored effort -- similar to the Apollo program or the interstate highway system -- to promote, refine and develop Enhanced  Geothermal Systems (EGS) to tap the unlimited and pollution-free resource within 10 miles of everywhere on Earth -- straight down. Within several decades of such an effort we could supply practically all base-load electricity with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions -- and dramatically reduce humanity's energy "footprint"! Not only could we generate electricity, but could also provide heat directly -- to a military base or airport, for instance.

Existing geothermal and EGSs generate no greenhouse gases; use only the heat of the earth from directly beneath the facility; use conventional generation technology above ground; feed the existing electrical grid; and cost-effectively, competitively generate electricity.

Employed 40 years in information technology, primarily in the publishing industry, I have served as programmer, analyst, project manager and director of publishing, editorial and operations systems. Independently since 2007, I have studied and written about the benefits and economics of geothermal systems. Most recently, I have focused specifically on direct electricity generation called Enhanced (or Engineered) Geothermal Systems (EGSs). I have attended geothermal conferences, gathered information from academic, industry and power generation companies, visited geothermal generation facilities and spoken directly with international financial, engineering, construction and political resources. 

[*for some perspective on GHG in production operations alone, see]

Friday, December 28, 2012

An Inconvenient Truth:No matter what and everything we do is Natural.

Written in response to published comments on the Newtown shootings asserting that our world is falling apart  and that we have lost our way regardless of the fact that we are "the highest part of Nature".

No matter what and everything we do is Natural. Yes, we humans are social. We form groups to help us survive and succeed. Our world is not falling apart. Meanwhile, we are not the highest part of Nature. No matter what and everything we do is Natural.

Our success at reproducing and survival as a species has depended on humanity's ever more creative, cooperative and exploitive consumption of Nature's resources to satisfy our ever-evolving definition of our "basic" needs  -- to the detriment of ourselves and many species who surround us. Meanwhile, that's Natural. Many other species have preceded us to success, collapse or extinction because of these same natural processes.

The success and demise of civilizations is Natural as well. We celebrate the achievements and monuments of Egypt and Syria, of Persia, Greece and Rome, of "the Church" or "the One", of Spain and France and Empires galore. We seldom reflect on their consumption, waste and selfish cruelty  suffered on other groups and their environment that led to their success and "evolution", naturally.

Our tribal nature has helped in our success because we can, and tend to, blame other groups and/or external forces -- Nature -- for our woes and selfish failures. Focusing on differences between our group and others has led us to excuse our mass-killing of millions of "others" every couple of decades, to ignore or exploit the suffering of other groups and/or to defend against other groups' -- and Nature's -- real or perceived attempts to succeed in stealing the resources of our group. And here we are, Successful, forgetful and ... Natural.