Monday, May 26, 2008

Why are we only looking at alternative energy sources now?

Those of us in industrialized countries have become too complacent with our dependence on oil and other energy sources. We expect it to be there for use in our lifetime and our children’s. As a result we have not treated it as a precious resource to be conserved. We have not utilized all our resources as people in third world countries do. We are used to plenty and even though we say the words conserve, recycle, reuse we don’t do it to the same degree as impoverished countries.

Many years ago I watch a show on a village in Africa that was having a fuel shortage. The solution was to make methane gathering equipment and storage. This was a pit where animal waste was placed, a plastic cover, like a large bag was placed over it. The methane gas built up and would rise up through tubes into a plastic bag or bladder. Another tube came from the bladder to the cooking area. The tube was closed using something like a close pin. When fire was needed the close pin was removed and the methane was lit. This was very resourceful and cheep. Though I felt that more safety precautions were needed to prevent a bad fire explosion.

It is all in a person’s perception. We see animal poop as something to get rid of or use as fertilizer. Though even then we have gone to chemical fertilizers in some places. We complain that all the cow poop out there is causing an increase in the worlds temperature. Though we actually know it is our cars and factory’s. Why are we not harvesting the naturally occurring methane? I am sure we can come up with much more efficient and safe ways to harvest and use methane from animal waste. It is a renewable energy source, and we can still use it as fertilizer after. I think it would also be a cleaner source of energy the burning coal to make electricity.

Other countries, not just third world countries, are using every resource they have to have cheep, clean fuel and energy resources. Why are we not doing the same? Solar, wind and water have been used through out history as a source of energy, why do we use it in such limited capacity. Why are we only now creating wind and solar energy farms? Why have we not been using these resources all along? I know, oil was cheep and easy to use. So what if there were consequences such as high pollution, it would not be our or our kid’s problem. Well now it is. We have to make some quick changes on how we do things.

The only way things are going to change is if we start making changes as individuals and demanding changes in and how we get our energy. There are farms in Sweden that generate enough energy, using wind, that they actually sell the excess to a power company. That is one farm. What could we do if we all found ways to generate energy for our own homes using wind, solar, water or even on a farm animal waste?

Our huge garbage dumps are already creating a lot of heat. It is actually a problem in the waste management field. Why are we not finding a way to use this? It is not like we are going to stop making garbage. As it is there are not enough places to put it so we end up burning it or trying to bury it. Why are we not utilizing this? Are we so far removed from nature and need that we are going just keep wasting things? So what if we are not at the point that it is a necessity to keep our family warm and fed. Do we have to get to the point where it is a necessity before we take advantage of what we already have?

Once we were as needy and resourceful as the poor people in third world countries struggling to live. What is it going to take for use to wake up and start being that resourceful again? Gas and energy prices are just going to keep going up and we are already behind in using alternative fuel sauces. We need to catch up as a country and make use of what is there, not what is easy right now.

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