Silent Earth describes what humanity must do to prevent global catastrophe from our massive consumption of fossil fuels. Silent Earth warns, if we do not soon transition to non-fossil energy sources, Earth will pass the Trigger Point where global warming will runaway, even if we stop using fossil fuels. There are immense amounts of carbon - much more than now in the atmosphere - stored as decomposing organic matter in the warming Arctic permafrost and barely stable frozen methane hydrates in the warming ocean beds. At the ...
Silent Earth describes what humanity must do to prevent global catastrophe from our massive consumption of fossil fuels. Silent Earth warns, if we do not soon transition to non-fossil energy sources, Earth will pass the Trigger Point where global warming will runaway, even if we stop using fossil fuels. There are immense amounts of carbon - much more than now in the atmosphere - stored as decomposing organic matter in the warming Arctic permafrost and barely stable frozen methane hydrates in the warming ocean beds. At the Trigger Point, the process will become self-sustaining and global temperatures will increase exponentially, even if humanity stops consuming fossil fuels. The environmental effects will be catastrophic When will this Trigger Point happen? We don't know. Sadly, nobody is trying to find out. Most likely, humanity won't know until after it happens. Our only hope is to transition to non-fossil fuel energy sources, and be more energy efficient, as soon as possible. So far, there has been some limited efforts to transition to non-fossil energy sources and to increase energy efficiency Fossil fuels power our electricity, transport, industries, homes, and commerce. The ONLY way to stop using fossil fuels is to develop and implement new and practical non-fossil energy sources that are cheaper both in investment and operation, than fossil fuels. Otherwise, people and nations will continue to burn fossil fuels. Human civilization, and very possibly humanity itself, is not survivable, if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Silent Earth reviews the non-fossil energy possibilities? and finds most alternatives are not practical to reach the scale required. For example: Nuclear? It would take 6,500 reactors, each 1,000 megawatt capacity to supply 54,000 million Megawatt hours in 2050 AD. And more than double that amount to supply our other energy needs for transport, industrial purposes, etc. Today, we have 437 reactors in the World. We would have to build 600 reactors every year. Would the public accept that? Probably not. Clearly, new technologies are required. Silent Earth, describes how Superconducting Maglev, a new transport technology, can enable passenger, truck, and logistics transport at much lower cost and much greater energy efficiency, can store very large amounts of electrical energy at very low cost to meet time varying energy demands, and launch space solar satellites into orbit that can beam down electric power 24/7 to any spot on Earth at very low cost. Low-cost power beamed from space can be used to manufacture a wide range of products, including hydrocarbon fuels for transport and other applications, using the decades old Fischer-Tropsch process. Combining carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere with hydrogen generated by electrolyzing water: gasoline, diesel, jet fuels, and other hydrocarbons can be manufactured at acceptable cost. Superconducting Maglev was invented 50 years ago by Gordon Danby and the author, James Powell, when they were scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, located on Long Island, New York. Gordon Danby, James Powell and their colleagues have continued working on Maglev to evolve Maglev to a 2nd Generation transport system that can transport trucks and freight as well as passengers on 300 mph networks, that can be built at lower cost than other high speed surface transport and also perform 2 new applications - storage of electric energy from intermittent renewable energy sources, like windmills and ground solar farms at very low cost, and launch payloads into orbit at 1/100th the cost of chemical rockets making it possible to create very cheap solar electricity the foundation of the future world economy.
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