Entering Space – ultimate energy resources?

Interesting and thought provoking words about the growing energy demand.

Brave New Climate

I recently read a book called ‘ Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization ‘, by Robert Zubrin. I’ve been covering a lot of this literature as I think it may have a lot to tell us about how to best tackle a slew of 21st century problems in planetary resource management.

Zubrin’s work examines, using an evidence-based approach, the prospects and challenges humanity will face in setting up colonies on other planets, moons and minor bodies of the solar system, and eventually, in expanding to interstellar realms. I’ll explore many of these ideas in future posts, but for now, I wanted to kick up some discussion on two tables Zubrin presents in Chapter 8, on sources of energy.

First, he does a simple projection of future human energy use through to the year 2200. The presumption is that as our reliance on energy-intensive technology continues to grow, our demand will…

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Carbon Dioxide Is Good!

I often hear the argument on social media that CO2 is not responsible for climate change. And CO2 is naturally needed for plant growth.

I must assume that all informed readers know the reality. But it maybe not how to counter these arguments.

smokestack_1

My usual answer to someone saying CO2 is good for plant growth:
“Too much is too much.” Or
“If you drink too much alcohol you feel sick or could even die. “

More detailed I may explain it this way:
In a natural carbon cycle, carbon dioxide is re-absorbed by plants and trees. However, we are burning fuels so quickly that plants and trees that are alive have no chance of soaking it up (and cutting down rainforests worsens the situation). The effect of the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is that the overall temperature of the planet is increasing (global warming). Whilst the average global temperature is increasing, on a day-to-day level the climate is changing in unpredictable ways (from floods and hurricanes to heat waves and droughts). To try and reduce the risk of ever more extreme weather, we need to reduce how much fossil fuel we are burning.

Sources:
– Skeptical Science: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-plant-food.htm
– The Carbon Account: http://www.thecarbonaccount.com/carbonexplained/