Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fueling the Future


More and more, I am getting to like this Fareed Zakaria guy.  I know, I know, the underground among you will decry me for indulging in “mainstream media” but “them’s the breaks” as they say in Indiana.

Zakaria is a journalist for CNN and on that news site’s Global Square forum, he recently posted the following question: “How will we fuel the future?”
Bill Gates said last year that if he had one wish for the next 50 years, it would be “an energy miracle” that would provide power for the world while costing less than oil or coal and with no CO2 emissions or other pollutants.  Most influential thinkers agree.  The future of humanity is going to be directly tied in with our ability…or lack thereof…to find clean alternative energy.  The reasons for this, while debatable (foolishly, in my opinion), are many.  We may be consuming oil faster than we can extract and refine it.  Emissions from fossil fuel use are causing Global Warming.  Regardless, our future is going to require a massive shift in our way of thinking.

The responses from Internet users on the forum were predictably mixed.  There were the pragmatic suggestions, such as focusing on increasing electrical output through alternative means such as hydroelectric and solar power.  There were pie-in-the-sky arguments for anti-matter power and orbital solar stations.  And there were your usual allotment of gadabouts, trolls and “Obama is screwin’ us over!” criers. 

It’s got to happen.  For our common future, we are going to have to transition away from fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening without a sort of global crisis to kickstart people’s enthusiasm for such a project.  We may not, however, have long to wait for that to happen.
Wired magazine recently posted that all intelligence that the CIA has on Global Warming is listed as “classified.”  That’s right.  Stacks of data on the probability of drowned coastlines, rate of desert expansion, and exploding populations have all been locked away from public view.  It makes sense that the Agency would conduct the research.  Environmental factors affect the competition for resources and thereby affect national security.  While there are any number of valid reasons why this data needs to be concealed, it can only make someone wonder how close we might be to “endgame.” 
Let the conspiracy theories commence.

In other news, I've collected a fair amount of information in my research on the cut-up method of writing.  Just today I listened to Break Through In Grey Room by William Burroughs.  Still, I'm going to need to channel a bit more Burroughs in order to get a solid thesis to write about for the paper.


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