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I have a serious question about so-called sustainable green energy

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posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 09:44 PM
Please don’t take the tone of my thread title as being against the increasing development of sustainable energy we can harness from our sun, tides, electromagnetic ionosphere, or geothermal heat from below. I just have wondered about our fragile balance that we might tip on a global scale, setting up very large-scale environmental energy sources.

Lets first look at huge, I mean huge city sustainable solar fields, lets put them in the deserts at the southwest of America, central Australia, and for brevity the Sahara Desert for starts. There would be miles of vast arrays of, well, highly reflective mirrors, with a lot of that condensed solar radiation focused to a collector, AND A LOT reflected back up into the fragile atmosphere. Would that not affect local climate?

These talks about building turbine fans to use the Gulf Stream Ocean currents off the Florida coast, or any (even) tidal force of the oceans to move underwater turbine fans sound like a precarious can of worms we don’t want to open. Ocean life, fish, getting chopped up in the blades and in a very large scale use, would the ocean currents be nullified to an extent that it could effect, weather, animal migration, food? Would Europe become cold like the Mediaeval Mini Ice Age if America somehow 'slowed' The Gulf Stream? Not to mention world Current Ocean patterns. I never liked that idea on a very large scale the instant I heard it.

In this layman’s ramble I’m in the middle of, with very limited understanding but some logic, I see using the wind seems to be the least damaging natural energy source in a large scale, world wide, but suddenly I seem to be missing something. Weather patterns. Could the natural weather patterns be altered by restricting natural wind flow? Why is Japan colder than England? The Himalayas? Look at their latitudes on the planet. Hmm.

Now the last one, likely the most expensive to set up to tap, our own earth’s hot geothermal outlets, (where if many, if possible, to be a major source? I don’t know). But doesn’t that sound dangerous on the surface to people like me with no formal education in these matters? Messing with our whole planet's tectonic structure, by restricting or releasing deep thermal activities of plate movements and volcanic activity?

Well, my 2¢ of course, I would enjoy and invite more educated folks that (may have heard my concerns before), to enlighten me where I over exaggerate the effects of what I mention in error.

Please excuse that fact I did not relentlessly research and outline this simple question thread idea. I got it off my head as I typed so if it sounds frivolous I understand, I sort of do that at times, when a thought comes to me.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 09:49 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

I think if every building had their own solar panels on their own roof that would solve the reflecting of the sunlight into the atmosphere from huge setups. Not too sure about the other items though.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 10:17 PM
I think we need to build space elevators that go to a collection station to convert sunlight into microwaves and send it down to ground stations for conversion to electricity and distribution.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 10:39 PM
It is good you question these alternative energy sources. I know with wind farms, wind turbines are not silent. They generate low frequency vibrations that are hard to live with. I have read some documents provided by another ATS member in a past discussion reporting the various debilitating health problems experienced by people living in proximity to wind turbines. I have no idea what they do to sea life but if the effect on human health can be so pronounced in sensitive individuals, I can just imagine how upsetting it could be to some sea animals that are also sensitive to vibrations. Unfortunately on IPad I seem to have trouble keeping my reply page open with my text intact when trying to find other pages to source my claims. So I'll try to come back to this topic another time and try to post from a full computer.

I've also read comments from people who love near them that they are a blight on the landscape. A real eye sore. The problem in that respect is too many communities, so gung ho about going green, or individuals offered a quick buck, stick those turbines really where they end up being intrusive.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 11:04 PM
reply to post by Bramble Iceshimmer

Now that's a sort of interesting thought I have heard before. We have so many satellites in orbit today already, it would seem to me that if substantial investment/return could be feasible soon, (lifting, building, transmitting, and converting), that the orbital solar source seems to be total (sans earth eclipse) and uninhibited to collect the real power of the sun that just goes by us we don't use. (sounds expensive in today's technology though).

To the other guy (sorry I can't look at the post you made), I like how you highlight the negative most people are unaware of, those wind turbines aren't silent and they are big! They kill birds and may disrupt real flora and fauna not so locally. Which is the real point of my OP.

Thanks for the thoughts to consider the apprehensions I have about so-called green energy. I'm not against it, just against the way we are going about it.

There must be something we are missing in sustainable energy. I don't think we really have a good grasp on what we are trying to do if scaled up.

posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 11:15 PM
About the ocean tide/ocean current flow we might disrupt, (because the ocean is so big), we do that already inland with river dams. The Colorado river runs dry before it reaches the Gulf of Mexico these days, you can find startling photos if you Google the mouth of the Colorado. Western America uses it up dry before it reaches Mexico, and it's kind of ugly too.

I could see that we as an energy starved nation, could construct enough resistance to disrupt the Gulf Stream, and the contractor would leave the spent metal fans underwater to rust in the ocean. Now that doesn't sound like very 'green energy', does it. Not to mention the lubricants needed to keep things spinning under salt water.

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 02:17 AM
We never had problems with energy to begin with. Talking about pre-industrial revolution.

Solar cells may not be good to begin with, sadly. First they are expensive, you'll probably replace them before you even save money by not being connected to the grid.

Second, dark colored solar cells absorb heat as well. Ironically, if used in large numbers, they can contribute to 'island heating' effect which makes cities uncomfortably warmer than the country side.

Wind farms seem to be more viable and probably the best solution(even better than hydroelectricity). Don't worry about wind drag causing some 'butterfly effect' to the weather system. Trees have been doing the same thing without dire consequences since antiquity.

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 02:40 AM
Wind turbines are currently one of the least cost effective methods of creating energy, the cost of buying or leasing land, building, installing and maintaining them is ridiculous and depending on the type of turbine you'll get just over 2 Megawatts from 9 turbines.

Solar energy is fantastic and has come a long way in the last 10 years, maybe even 5 years but for solar to be properly utilised, you need batteries. And this is where the technology is lacking on a massive scale and is why there are no large scale solar power stations in Australia, despite having the space and sunlight to do it.

So until we can build batteries that are much smaller and lighter than what we currently have (even smaller than lithium-ion), solar is no good.

I see good potential in hydroelectric, geothermal and in the future solar, particularly for Australia.

Just my 2c!

edit on 23/3/11 by Chadwickus because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 03:19 AM
Yes, extracting energy from the environment affects the environment.

However, even the largest-scale systems imaginable could only scratch the surface of our planet's natural flows.

Here are some numbers:

Total yearly energy use in the world, including nuclear, coal, oil, gas, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, etc:

500 exajoules

Amount of energy available:

3,850,000 exajoules

Not a drop in the bucket. Not enough to change anything much.

posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by Chadwickus

From what I can deduce so far, wind turbines are often apparently used as a political sop. Folks get paid and the politico who trumpets the installation gets to declare "Look at me, I'm for going green!".

If you look just at what a lot of individuals are doing to "go green" it's absolutely ridiculous. There are boneheads out there on HGTV, for example, who are ripping out serviceable existing kitchens so they can put in the same damn features made out of "sustainable" materials to impress their friends. My husband and I do a face palm every time we see that sort of thing.'re putting stuff in landfills that could have served you well for decades more if you weren't vain idiots.
I can understand replacing wasteful appliances with better engineered ones, and recycling parts from the old appliance. But does anyone really need to rip out existing countertops and flooring in good shape just to replace it with stuff built out of "green" materials.

Sorry that's a bit of an off topic rant from the larger subject of alternative energy sources. I'm just saying, we really need to tread carefully and examine whether or not so called "green" alternatives are truly beneficial over existing sources. The people in charge of the decision making tend to get too enamored with the fads and buzzwords without really stopping to evaluate what really is the best choice, vs. the "sexy" one. Probably because their voters share that tendency.

Sorry I'm a bit all over the place on this post but about solar panels, they can be useful on individual buildings. There are a few commercial buildings I've seen that boast they are 90 percent solar powered or something to that effect. I think they have the means to properly switch back to the grid on overcast days. I have a relative who works for the local power company and he says solar panels are best left to commercial properties, though, because so far in his experience residential users tend to have poor installations that conflict with grid use.

posted on Apr, 2 2011 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by Chadwickus

we can build these batteries through carbon-nano tubes.

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