Energy Sources and Destruction

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posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 01:45 PM
I was reading an article about wind farms killing birds which made me think about various forms of gathering energy and the problems they cause.

All sources of energy boil down to a simple process of removing energy from one thing and applying it to another.

Wind farms suck power from wind currents, tidal generators suck energy from the tides, nuclear plants suck energy from the ground (uranium), etc. Even solar energy collects sunlight before it can strike the ground or plants.

No matter what humans do, we will always "steal" energy from systems for our own use, and often with mild to serious consequences. Taking energy from a system will always change that system.

The conspiracy here is that people get behind various energy sources for various reasons rather than admit that in the end, its damaging a system by removing energy. Arguably, nuclear power and oil is the best source since the energy is being taken from the earth rather than a living, highly dynamic, system. Nonetheless, it is still removing something from a system that had reached balance.

The sun is a virtually endless power source, but any land or earth-orbit based collector would prevent sunlight from reaching the surface, and thus change the system.

When backing a source of energy, always keep in mind what you are taking it from and what effects it may have. To date, there is no source of energy that doesn't damage (irreperably alter) the source.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 05:01 PM
I know what you're getting at, and I believe that you and I share many of the same views when it comes to the environment and such, but could you really argue that nuclear power and oil are the best ways to obtain energy? Sure, wind farms change currents and solar panels take energy from the sun, but how negative can the impact really be?

The amount of energy taken from the sun is extremely minimal, and wind farms have just killed a few birds. Nuclear reactors produce dangerous waste that takes thousands of years to decay, if I remember correctly, and burning fossil fuels adds to global warming. Just think of how many birds, fish and other marine animals have died from oil spills. I guess I could see nuclear power if you're talking about something like breeder reactors. These convert waste Uranium-238 (which is 140 times more abudant than Uranium-235 which is normally used), into Plutonium-239, and give out 100 times more energy than a conventional reactor but they haven't been put to use yet as far as I know, and there are concerns of terrorists getting their hands on the fissionable Plutonium.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 06:34 PM
Not to mention that ALL of our structures impacts Wind Patterns and takes energy away from the system and blocks sunlight from the "Natural" pathways it usually takes if we weren't around to build our artificial structures. Fossile Fuels is a finite resourse fast running out and become uneconomical let alone the ecological effects it has on the Earth. Tides comes primarily from gravitic interactions on a massive scale, a few tidal generators isn't going to effect it much, as not every place is suitable for this type of energy generation. Same goes for Solar, Wind and Geothermal. The ONLY feasable and clean energy source I see coming down the line is Fusion and that project is just getting started so until we have mastered that we had better find less distructfull ways to power our needs and vises as we aren't willing to give up our vises in order to supply the basic needs for more people which is why it is nessesary. We will eventually strike a balance with Nature providing all we need and want, that is if we don't wipe ourselves out first...

EDIT: One other note, if we make the Wind Turbines bigger it will limit the impact to wildlife as Bigger Blades with more advanced bearings won't need to turn as fast to produce a good amount of energy. We have a 160+ homes Wind Turbine down by the water front, and scientists have been watching to see how many birds have been killed by it, and I just read a few months ago they average 3 bird kills a year directly attributed to striking the turbines, and they were all Seagulls which are a nuicence anyway heh.

[edit on 6-7-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:48 PM
Yes, fusion definately has great promise, and there's hope to build a fusion reactor in the middle of this century. Solar panels are also improving in efficiency, and I actually wrote a news article about a year ago about these sprayable infrared absorbing nanoparticles that give solar panels 5 times greater efficiency. As it is now, we're only harnessing 6% of the sun's energy in solar panels. With this new sprayable material it will increase to 30%. We still have a long way to go with solar panel technology and with continued improvements it should become a very useful energy source. Here's an aricle I found on the proposed fusion reactor Sardion, read it in Popular Science earlier this year, and the article I wrote awhile back:

[edit on 6-7-2005 by zhangmaster]

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:08 PM
Yeah I've been following Nanotech Based solar colelctors since I've found out about them. The Nanotech Revolution is gonna change the game when it comes to energy generation and storage. I've heard a while back that they deviced an almost frictionless fluid, I was wondering when they are gonna try to merry that with Wind and Tidal applications friction is a great efficiency drain. Another thing is we are thinking in older terms, Appliances are getting more and more energy effiecient all the time, I just read an article the other day(i'll try and find it in a sec) that said if we put as much money towards increasing energy efficiencies in our appalinces we could cut down on the need for big centralized power genorators. Up until now anything new usually came with a cost more power consumption, but more and more manufacturers are looking on how to increase the efficiency, it's right now mostly being driven by the mobile computing industry but if we apply what we learn there to other application, well think about the implications! LED lighting is a killer WorldChanging application, we could literally cut down on our energy consumption by 10 %(thats a conservative estimate btw I've heard it could do so up to 20 % in other articles) The article in question I cannot find right now I'll try again tomarrow its ony this site and it asserts that we can actually bring 10 billion people to our standards of living at half the energy cost we are using RIGHT NOW. I'm not sure if I believe that but it's something to mull over. Found these other articles while I was looking for the other one that you might find interesting.

Density as Effieciency

How Dense can we be

Thorium Point(Thorium powered reactors)\

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:42 PM
Very interesting articles, I've read through them all
. I love the phase shifting wax insulation idea. When it's hot, it melts and absorbs heat, when it's cold, it hardens and releases heat.

the microcapsules are so effective at climate control that a mere inch of this plaster has the same heat absorption capability as a 10in thick timber-bricked wall.

About the Throium reactors, it definately sounds like a good idea. I doubt that it will have the efficiency of a breeder reactor which is a 10,000% increase in efficiency over conventional reactors
, but if it eliminates 80% of plutonium waste then it sounds good. Thorium is more abundant than both types of uranium I believe, and it will eliminate the possibilty of terrorists attacking a plant to get the fissionable Plutonium-239 to use in a nuclear bomb. I really want to see the fusion reactor soon, but we've got to wait until we're halfway through the century (of course you know how accurate these kinds of predictions are, probably be in 2100!). I'll try to find the picture of the reactor that I found in PopSci tomorrow and post it on ImageShack so we don't turn Quest's thread into something else.

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