As the people in the east coast of the United State begin recovering from Hurricane Sandy, millions of Americans got a taste of what billions of earths people live without all of the time (modern grid power, natural gas, running water). Are we really so cold, cruel and dis-connected to blindly ignore the poorest of people in the world?
Earth currently has about 7 billion people that call this planet home. As much as a third of earths people live without electricity, running water, stable access to food, or safe/ sanitary housing. The relationship between over-population and poverty is undeniable.
Hurricane Sandy knocked out utility services (power, gas, and water) to about 8 million Americans, many of whom are still "offline". Stories of people carrying jugs of diesel fuel up flights of stairs in NY city to power generators that run 24/7 remind us that when the grid fails, our modern way of life is severely handicapped. Thousands of cell-phone towers powered down. Even the stock market closed for 2 days. Estimates peg the damage at around $20 billion USD 2012
Is it really our fault that poor developing countries have failed to embrace rational population growth trends and reproductive accountability ? They continue to add more people to their resource constrained situations, causing increased poverty as limited resources are divided further for ever more people.
The grain basket of America, thousands of tons of GMO grain are exported as foreign aid to the poorest parts of society across the globe. The truth is that the United States continues helping the worlds poor. These impoverished people take the resources we have given them, and increase their population without developing infrastructure to support their existing population better. Does this make sense? Should we continue to subsidize problems the hurt the people we are trying to help?
Just Thinking About It
I remember loosing power at my home for 8 days a few years ago: the people in my region quickly degenerated into irrational modes of operation: it was a sad reminded of how fragile and helpless we have become putting our trust in fragile electric grids that we have ignored: deteriorating infrastructure that is ever more prone to catastrophic failure. Americans enjoy some of the cheapest grid power in the world and still complain about the price of electricity. This is cultural problem that is making our grid weaker by the moment. Without our electric grid, out country will shut down and fail. We can no longer afford to continue ignoring the grid!
Think about it!
What happens to a bank or grocery store that lacks access to grid power? Does these businesses have a good reason to plaster their roofs with ever cheaper solar power so that they can make their own energy when the grid is offline? They should start thinking about it if we as country are going to blatantly ignore our most valuable national infrastructure asset, the electric grid.
I am tired of hearing Americans complain about electricity prices, we enjoy some of the cheapest electricity prices in the world. Those who continue to complain about electricity prices are hindering everyone by making our grid more ever more fragile as it continues being neglected: the high costs of low prices. When will American's wake up and realize that we need to stop spending national debt on fighting useless wars in order to direct those resources into making our grid more robust, electricity production more distributed and reliable ? Reinvesting in the electric grid can put millions of unemployed Americans back to work, while simultaneously paving the way for a carbon-neutral grid that supports energy storage and renewable energy production from wind and solar efficiently and effectively. We also need a smart grid to make electric vehicles even more useful: ever hear of Vehicle to Grid technology?
Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of how we have neglecting our aging electric grid. Every major outage speaks volumes to how integral grid power is to the basic underlying functions we need to have a modern economy.
If Americans want their electric bills to decrease, they need to start thinking about dimmer switches, CFL lights, LED lights, hang drying clothing, turning off things that are not being used, and intelligent energy conservation in general. If Americans want lower utility bills then they need to think about putting more insulation in their homes and becoming more energy efficient in order to make the most out of less gas, water and electricity delivered to their homes by utility companies: guess what, the costs of energy are only going to increase over the long run.
Upgrading our grid to take advantage of sustainable energy is going to cost trillions of dollars, something that utility customers are going to have to fund. $0.11 per kWh is not going to do it. As our old coal power and antiquated nuclear power facilities go offline, we have to add wind and solar to replace them. We are going to have to invest massive amounts of resources to develop grid storage capacity to make this renewable energy truly feasible, and technology from Ambri well make that happen.
The future is going to be more challenging, not easier. We can rise above and overcome the challenges we are facing by embracing intelligent energy thinking! President Jimmy Carter asked the American people to think about energy a long time ago, and they ignored him, and so did congress. Are you thinking about energy now? If not you should be thinking about energy. In this world there is only matter and energy: and even matter as Einstein is made of energy. Human ideas and creativity and thoughts are made of energy. The human soul is made of energy. Faith and hope and love are forms of energy. Sunlight, geothermal heat, wind and oceans waves are sources of energy: clean and abundant renewable sources of energy.
More finite gas and oil is not the answer: do you really want to breath more smog? We need to move beyond burning natural gas, coal and oil. We need to "joos" the sun, the water, the earth and the wind for energy that is nearly limitless: we just need to build the systems to harness and store energy from these abundant sources. The liquid metal battery from Ambri has the power to store the energy, solar panels and wind turbines have the capacity to generate it. Electric vehicles charging off peak at night can also store energy from wind- farms. We have what we need to move forward with plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The fossil fuel era will draw to a close as fossil fuels are dirty and finite.
We have the technology we need to build a brighter future even the face of these forthcoming challenges: we need inspiration, vision and insight to embrace these solutions. We can and must move forward with renewable energy and a smarter, more stable and more robust grid!
Pundits claim the roof top solar is too expensive: liars! The prices of roof top solar has never been more affordable and becomes less expensive every year. We have seen solar panel prices steadily become less and less expensive. Wind power turbines now produce energy that cost less than energy created by old cheap dirty coal power: the problems with wind and solar comes down to a need we have for grid level energy storage: electric cars are part of the answer: huge liquid metal batteries from Ambri will become the answer: massive multi-layer super-capacitors and flywheel energy storage are already options, but they are not cheap. The liquid metal battery from Ambri will give us the cost performance we need for grid energy storage. We have what we need: the knowledge, the capital, the people, the technology: we need to end the corruption from big oil, big gas, and big fossil fuel industries that are hampering and hindering us from embracing abundant sustainable energy sources!
Tesla recently rolled out a network of super charger EV charging stations that will enable Model S owners to travel the country on sunlight in less than 5 years: The super charger network in California phase 1 is already online. Think about it! The model S can go 270 miles per charge running on stored sunlight...... this is the kind of thing we need to power the future of the global economy: clean, sustainable energy: but we need a robust grid to make it happen!