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Old 09-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #984 (permalink)
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The danger is a combination of declining crop yield, scarcity of water, spread of disease, and sea level rise, all of which are -again - already being documented. Beyond that, we have a poorly maintained infrastructure in this country (America), and a flood insurance program that encourages people to build on the coast. That needs to change. We also need legislators that won't do boneheaded things like forbidding municipalities from planning for sea level rise (North Carolina).

It may surprise you to know that I don't have all the answers. I would prefer to have have those in denial stop burying their heads and start thinking about what to do, since diversity of opinion and experience means that people who don't think like me will come up with solutions that would not occur to me.

Beyond that, a mix of solar, wind, geothermal, tidal power, and the conversion of every sewage treatment plant and trash processing plant/landfill into biogas generators. That'd be a good place to start.

Even if we CAN'T replace all fossil fuels with today's technology, there's no question that we can have a much larger percent of our power generated by non-fossil sources.

Start with sewage treatment plant conversion it's pretty cheap, and has a fast return on investment. The one that Thames Water converted a few years ago cost around 4-5 million to convert, and generates about 15-20 million worth of energy every year.

Start with all the federal buildings - have PV panels installed on every government-owned property that's not engaged in photosynthesis. And don't give me the "we can't afford it" line - this is the richest country in the world, and we spend hundreds of billions on the military. It's not whether we HAVE the money, it's how we choose to USE the money.

Start with rebuilding the nation's rail network, and getting it ready for heavy use again.

And as we put renewables in place, we will start to figure out how to iron out the kinks, and do it better, and if we do it right, we will bring back manufacturing to this country.

Again - it's a matter of political will, and a matter of overcoming vested interests that make billions off of NOT doing anything, and instead encouraging people to pretend nothing's wrong.

If we do it right, the result will be a much higher standard of living for everybody in the country, as well as greater resilience to disaster. We already have hydrogen locomotives that can double for a time as one-gigawatt generators. That means that any place with rail capacity can have relief from a damaged power plant in a matter of hours - all it takes is to get a relief train there, and you have supplies and power right at hand.
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