Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:14 pm
In your first post you seem to be implying that in order for us to utilize the suns energy then we need some way of using a medium to store it.mkelly wrote:You disagree with my crackpot theory about limits to just how much energy we can tap from the sun? I haven't done the math - I wouldn't know where to start, but I'm open to debating it.Homebelly wrote:I don't want to sound like i'm raining on your parade, and i agree, this is a great philosophy. But not for the reasons you are implying.mkelly wrote:
My personal contribution is to fly less. Eat less. Turn off more devices. Look for more energy efficient ones. We're still all fucked though
Otherwise I don't understand your response.
You then go on to imply that plants are this medium and so if we double our need for these methods of storage from not only eating them, but to processing them in some way to put into our machines, then we are going to exceed the suns ability to replenish this source of energy. All of this is kinda-sorta true, but it only represents a very small aspect of how the earth stores and uses the energy from the sun. In fact, most of the radiation from the sun is reflected back off into space. But again, this is a whole other topic, and one i am a long long way from being qualified to speculate on [/quote]mkelly wrote:Well, I'm no scientist. But the way I see it is this - the Earth's power source is the sun. By and large we get pretty much the same amount of energy from it year in year out. These secondary bio-fuels may not use the same land or water as the food stuffs we consume, but both crops have the same energy source. If we increase the amount of solar energy we are using to grow these secondary bio-fuels, there is less energy available somewhere else in the ecosystem. Something else will suffer - what I don't know.
You can't get away from the fact that at the minute our energy is mainly stored energy (from the sun) that accumulated over millions of years. I can't see how there's enough solar energy to totally replace the stored energy we're currently consuming.
The only solution is to to consume less.