Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Revolution is Here?

I have a belief, which is that all this fretting we have over the depletion of oil reserves, coal, and other fossil fuels, and global warming caused by the spewing of CO2 in the air, etc., etc., is unfounded. Yes, we should be concerned, but Al Gore notwithstanding, I believe we are leaving the gas-burning phase of our existence, and moving into the next phase, which is -- what? Nuclear? Fusion? Geo-thermal? Fuel Cell? I don't know what, but it will come.

One thing that is a constant in the history of humans is that we always find a way. We have a fear that we will over-heat the planet, that we will run out of gasoline, and/or that we will over-breed and deplete the food that exists (see Malthus for this latter view). My view is that we will find the answer and prevail, without turning the planet into a billiard ball. That's what we do.

The coming breakthrough that moves us from fossil fuels to the new paradigm is something that I have been calling "The Revolution." The Revolution is cheap, almost free, energy that will move us -- all of us -- to a new level. When you think about it, we have very fancy cars that are driven by 19th century basic technology: explosions in a cylinder that drive a piston to make a shaft turn, which then makes wheels turn. We are very good at making these explosions happen in more and more efficient manner, but we still use at most 40% of the total energy contained in a gallon of gas -- we waste more energy that we use. Here is a way-to-erudite explanation of this.

This is one reason that I am for SUVs, Big Trucks, and huge 20' Caddies: If we use up the gas, we will be forced to get to the answer sooner.

Come the Revolution, gasoline will be obsolete.

Now, comes news from Ireland, that the Revolution just might be here. It sounds pretty far-fetched -- energy is created, violating the law of physics that says this is impossible. The company that is claiming this, Steorn, laid down the gaunlet, challenging physicists to test and disprove the process.

Now, this could be a stunt. But -- what if? I am game. I'll keep you posted.