Sustainability is the Grand Unifying Theory for finding the Ultimate Answers to Life, Universe and Everything --- and the answer for Earthlings is Sunshine --- All else is Moonshine.
Octopus Diagrams and Buckminster Fuller's Design Challenge
L Michael Hohmann | LMH Design
‘Staggering’ was my reaction when I first saw this (and still is); considering that any laptop and TV set these days has a laser in it to read CDs or DVDs, the refined electrical power it uses is only 0.3% of the energy embodied in oil used to fire the power station from where it comes; a nearly unbelievable 99.7% of the original energy is ‘pure waste’ in normal parlance – and totally unavoidable at that – or entropy (when using its definition of energy not available for work). And that applies even while using the most advanced and efficient engineering on the way from energy source to your laptop.
- a measure of the gargantuan size of growing 13TW world capacity to ~60TW
- and the need for methods of implementation that remain valid for our grandchildren’s grandchildren – and beyond
- which in turn needs energy sources not suffering from any ‘peaks’ which in turn would again require methodical and technological upheavals- and arrive at the same conclusions too late.
- that energy conservation efforts at the consumption end are totally ineffective in dealing with energy supply problems
- that it is not inefficiencies or sloppy engineering that waste or lose up to 90% or more of input energy through conversion and refinement to arrive at forms that can do work for us.
- we must find a source of energy that, for all practical purposes is endless in amount and duration, and
- that is ubiquitous in order to cut out the huge amount of entropy losses that otherwise arise from the long chains of conversions and refinements between source and use – proximity.
- Source and duration:
Sunshine and its immediate derivative – Wind – are ubiquitous from the poles to the equator.
- Proximity – to provide minimal entropy between source and use
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