The Future I’d Like to See and Getting There

I find myself a bit of an outlier as I don’t believe either the green agenda or the oil is an unlimited resource crowd. I believe the appropriate action is a SANE move towards renewables or at least for any reasonable human civilization life span, inexhaustible, resources.

We can’t get there by choking off existing supplies. Here is why, in order to invest in new infrastructure, we need enough energy to sustain our lives and then some surplus to manufacture that infrastructure. What the WEF and company are actually doing is SLOWING the adoption of new cleaner and sustainable technologies by choking off our energy to the point where we can’t even sustain ourselves let alone invest in new technology.

It is my believe that global warming isn’t the main driver for adopting new energy sources, the main driver is that any extractive technology gets increasingly more expensive over time because first we go after easy to get at deposits, and then progressively more difficult to get at resources.

If we do not get other infrastructure in place, we will reach a point where it is simply too expensive to extract oil from the Earth, there may will be, and our neighboring planet Venus would suggest there is, vast stores of carbon buried within the Earth, but like Gold and other heavy precious metals, most of it is buried more than 20 miles deep where the technology to get at it is very difficult to impossible.

Since we can not produce food without energy for our farm equipment, it behooves us to create alternative methods to sustain that equipment that are not dependent upon extractive technology, at least on those extractive technologies that rely exclusively on Earth bound resources.

The WEF folks, if they have their way and kill off 95% of the worlds population only delay the time before the remaining people run out of fuel and at the same time guarantee no replacement will be found, because when there is no excess productivity everything goes to survival, and when you kill off 95% of the population, you destroy 95% of new ideas, 95% of geniuses and innovators that may solve these problems. The WEF does not create a sustainable world population, it creates a sealed doom not only to our future but also to theirs.

Here is how I think we can solve the energy problem. First, molten salt breeder reactors. These reactors are inherently safe unlike light water reactors. They can not melt down because they already run with their fuel in a molten state. In the event of a leak they don’t explode and spread radioactivity over hundreds of square kilometers because they do not operate under any pressure. They do not create long term nuclear waste because they burn all the actinides (the trans-uranic elements that form in nuclear reactors that take hundreds of thousands to millions of years to break down), they get approximately 200 times as much energy from the same raw Uranium ore as do light water reactors and they can also use Thorium, which is 3x more plentiful in the Earth’s crust, as a source.

These reactors can also burn the actinides in existing nuclear waste produced by existing light water reactors thereby solving the nuclear waste long term storage issues. We still have to store waste for about 300 years, but these are all fission products that are short lived as opposed to long term actinides.

There are several companies in the US that have already engineered commercial prototypes but they are not getting approval from the nuclear regulatory commission. Why? Because they burn the plutonium they produce as they produce it so there is no bomb material, also they produce other isotopes of plutonium that decay too rapidly and would cause a bomb to fizzle rather than to explode.

These plants have on-site fuel reprocessing so they never have to transport nuclear waste containing potential bomb materials, actinides, away from the plants. They are inherently safe because of first, operating at atmospheric pressure, as opposed to several hundred atmospheres of a conventional plant that are required to raise the boiling point of water sufficiently. It is the sudden release of this pressure that results in explosions from the instant flashing of water into steam. Second, they are self limiting because the fuel is dissolved in molten salt that has a high expansion coefficient. If the temperature rises, the salts expand separating the fissile atoms from each other reducing the reaction rate. Oak Ridge ran one of these for a year and they pulled all the control rods out and active cooling disabled and let it ran full tilt 24 hours, nothing happened. It self limited. Further, IF SOMEHOW these did overheat there is a melt plug that drains the reaction tank into a much larger tank where the fuel is spread out over such a large area the reaction stops.

In a conventional light water reactor, when you shut down the reaction with the control rods, the fuel still produces huge amounts of heat because the fission products continue to decay and produce heat. This is actually what causes melt-downs. In a liquid salt reactor this does not happen because fission products are continuously removed from the liquid fuel so there isn’t a significant amount to decay and produce heat once the reaction is stopped.

It is said that these reactors could produce all the energy the Earth needs for the next 10,000 years on existing nuclear waste and waste U-238 (the isotope that is not fissionable in a light water moderated reactor but is breedable in a molten salt reactor and becomes fissionable). And with the Earth’s Uranium and Thorium resources, could power the planet for the next million years.

This is plenty of time to bring fusion on line. And fusion will provide all the energy we need for the duration the Universe exists since hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe.

Now what about the environment? Well first the real scientific data from satellites, which is about the only real reliable data, shows the Earth is warming by about .1C/decade. At that rate it will take 250 years for a 2.5C rise, not the 30 years that the UN/WEF conglomerate of psychopaths claim. If we can ramp up energy production rapidly with molten salt reactors we can not only reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels, but we can capture carbon from the atmosphere and use it to produce liquid fuels which can then run our farm equipment and for those of us who prefer internal combustion engines because of their range or easy refueling, those, in a sustainable manner in which the CO2 they produce is taken out and re-used to make more fuel. In other words, carbon becomes an energy CARRIER instead of source and is recycled. So this problem is not as urgent as the WEF claims.

Another problem we face is with our food production, plants require nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon (which they get from air) and hydrogen (which they get from water). We have right now horrible farming practices where we grow one crop which uses one nutrient up preferentially leaving soils depleted in that nutrient and most often that is nitrogen but also to some degree phosphorous, then we add nitrogen and phosphorus, the nitrogen being turned into a compound with hydrogen such as ammonium nitrate, the hydrogen usually being derived from natural gas.

There are two problems with this. First the depletion of natural resources and the dependency on natural gas to replace them. But a larger problem is that we also over water our crops and do so in a way that is very inefficient. This leaches all the nutrients from the soil, including the fixed nitrogen and phosphor, and it turns the run off water into salt water. This causes algae blooms in rivers and streams and lakes and takes oxygen out of the deeper water as the algae dies. Then fish can’t survive. Further, ocean currents depend in part upon differences in salinity between river water entering the oceans and the water that is there. So this also salinates the rivers and reduces the velocity of ocean currents. This causes shifts in the climates that are much more in line than what we see with CO2, because instead of just increasing heat, it causes a large redistribution of heat around the planet which is what we are actually observing.

There are three immediate things we can do to greatly reduce this problem rather than killing off all our livestock and starving humans. First, we can go back to the old method of crop rotation. With one of the rotated crops being legumes of some sort. These fix nitrogen naturally from the atmosphere, actually it is bacteria the grow on their roots that do the fixing, but the point is this eliminates the need to use natural gas to produce fertilizers. Second we can recycle animal and human waste as fertilizers, both contain large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus.

But we still have the problem of nitrogen and phosphorus entering rivers, streams, lakes, and ultimately the ocean. How do we solve this? Well this requires some investment, Israel has already heavily invested in the necessary technology, it is called drip irrigation. The idea is that you place sensors under the soil at the maximum depth of the crops roots, you use a drip hose, like some people use on their lawns, but it is controlled by these sensors. Once moisture gets to the bottom of the roots you turn the water off. This reduces water requirements by about 97%, which prevents any of the minerals from being leached out of the soil. This prevents the algae blooms in streams, rivers, lakes and ultimately the ocean, prevents making rivers saline and thus prevents interference to ocean currents and it greatly reduces fertilization requirements as most of these elements are leached out by over-watering as opposed to actually being used by crops.

Lastly, if we ramp up our energy production sufficiently we can then do things like vertical farming with totally closed systems so external environment is not impacted at all. With sufficiently cheap energy, other things become possible.

For example rare-earths, we don’t have enough of these to keep up with our demand for high tech devices but they aren’t rare so much as being difficult separate from each other and most methods we use to separate them produce a radioactive byproduct, thorium, and right now that’s a waste product that is difficult to safely dispose of. Especially since in addition to being mildly radioactive, it is also a highly toxic metal like lead or mercury. But if we had a large number of molten salt reactors it would become a fuel rather than a difficult to dispose of waste product.

Further, gold, platinum, other platinum series metals, and rare-earths are much more common in asteroids than on the Earth’s surface because in the Earth because these metals are heavy they are mostly near the core and only come up in volcanic plumes. But in asteroids, there is no gravitational separation, well mostly not, on vesta and ceres there is but these are the only two large enough for it to occur, so these elements are right at the surface for the taking. Cheap energy will mean cheap everything including rockets and rocket fuel, so these problems also have solutions.

On such a plentiful planet there would be plenty of resources to dedicate to nature and perhaps very little incentive for war so we could perhaps finally get rid of our self-annihilating capacity in the form of nuclear weapons. But first we need to get rid of psychopaths like Klaus Schwab, Henry Kissinger, George Soros, Bill Gates, etc, so that we can move forward.

Leave a Reply