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Gold is Gone

The 1848 California Gold Rush : Image via Link
All the easy gold has been mined, captured, refined, now gold mining has gone industrial with billions of tons of low yield rock ore in mining projects so large you can see the engineered pits from space. 



The emergence of the industrial revolution during the westward expansion of the US in the 1840's brought with it tremendous gold rush developments that created shared wealth on a scale never previously seen in the world. Now gold mining is hard, produces lower yields, and is outside the realm of individual efforts. Industrial mining of gold uses huge diesel powered machines, some of the largest machines in the world to move billions of tons of earth in order to gain access to low yield ore. The really funny part is that most of earths Gold is locked below the mantle, in the molten hot core of the earth, beyond the scope of human access even with all of todays high technology.

Large Open Pit Gold Mining : Image Link
Finite Energy Problem

Energy is the problem holding back mining and mine reclamation. To perform eco-friendly mining, more energy is required to replace the ore into where it was originally extracted, minus the key minerals removed from the ore, namely valuable metals like gold, platinum, rhodium, palladium, silver, copper, uranium, etc. Most mines today are transitioning to more eco-friendly processing and operating procedures.

A reclaimed strip mine : Image via Link
Diesel is the limited energy at industrial mines. Though diesel contains 30% more energy than gasolines, which impressive given that gasoline contains 12,000 watt hours per kilogram, that is still extremely limited as a energy source on the planetary mantel manipulation scale. Mines really need nuclear fusion power to go star trek level. If we had enough energy, we could manually manipulate play-tectonics, stopping all earthquakes! If we had fusion level energy sources with commercial mining technology, we could even stop volcanic eruptions.

Largest Machines used in Mining : Image Link

Fusion power is not exactly within the realm of next year, but their are aims at General Atomics and Lockheed Martin to pipeline magnetic mirror fusion tech into the commercial power sector to replace coal power plants within 15 years. Once those fusion reactors are proven, miniaturization will occur that enable fusion reactors to fit within large ships, then further miniaturization will enable fusion power source in industrial mining machines! This abundant energy source will enable super eco-friendly mining, abundant amount of energy available to undo any damage done during the extractive processes.

Compact Fusion Reactor T4
Image Link
Environmental Awareness

It was industrial mining that got the modern environmental  movement started, a cadmium mine in Japan causing touch touch disease as the mine tailings entered a river that was being used for agricultural irrigation in rice patties. Cadmium poisoning is nasty, it attacks all the connective tissue of the body, making something like super arthritis where all your joint ache uncontrollably.

Itai Itai (Touch Touch) Cadmium Poisoning : Image 
Smoking Cadmium

Tobacco smokers accumulated cadmium in their body, the phosphorus fertilizer used on tobacco crops laced with a trace of cadmium that ends up in the tobacco leaves. This causes the skin of tobacco smokers to loose its elasticity, fine lines & wrinkle formation accelerated by the cadmium and other trace metal toxins in the tobacco smoke.

Tobacco Smoke Toxins : Image Via Link

The universe is made of
1. Matter *physical, many states*
2. Energy (electrons, photons, thermal, atomic)

Comparing Matter & Energy : Image via Link

Mineral Wealth

Industrial mining has produced more wealth than any other human activity ever! Mineral mining is the use of machines to extract resources from earth, mostly non-living resources, although timber harvesting could be considered forest mining. At least the trees can be regrown.

Large Mining Trucks are Huge! Image via Link
Agricultural Ideology

Extractive mining is based on industrialization ideologies that even people thousand of years ago were thinking about when they started doing organized agriculture to get the landscapes of the earth to give up more food. Once industrial applied technology was used in agriculture, the Green revolution emerged, human population doubled, and globalization gots its start with aircraft flattening the world so that people can move to almost any place on earth within 1 day using airplanes now :)

Organic vs Conventional : Image via Link

Antique Aerospace

Aerospace is so awesome that we have a space trash problem to deal with now! We have launched thousands of objects into space, many of them parked in orbit now, decaying both in orbital trajectory and mechanical integrity, they colliding, breaking down, making the space trash problem even more complicated! We need bold thinking to solve that problem, more energy too! The sun, as a fusion reactor, shows us the way to make abundant energy!

Visualization of Space Debris Problem : Image

The Information Age

We live beyond the age of cryogenic fluid technology, liquid hydrogen & liquid oxygen long mainstays as fuels for space rockets. We are at least 20 years into the information revolution, of course it happened all around us with few people appreciating the extent of the impacts that technology is having throughout the biosphere of earth on all of human civilization.

Opte Project Internet Routing Visualization: Image

Climate Change

Understanding carbon emissions on a global scale is sadly beyond the scope of ordinary thoughts today, but many people are thinking about climate change, even people who do understand atmospheric chemistry care about the potential implications of global climate change. Carbon emissions are a popular topic of discussion all around the world today. Governments cooking up new ways to tax based on carbon emissions! The creativity of government to invent new forms of taxation is unlimited!

Climate Change Model : Image via Link 

Toxic Emissions

Even if we ignore climate change caused by burning carbon, the foul toxic funk emitted by tail pipes causes cancer in people who breath the smog forming emissions. We all share the earths thin atmosphere, everyone is sharing everyone elses air, the wind blows pollution emitted in one place half way around the world such that people in the western USA are breathing coal power emissions from china.

Black Lung Disease : Coal Miner : Image 
Coal Powered China

I wrote my senior college thesis on China Exporting Coal Power because of the pervasive manufacturing in china of goods sold in almost all countries, the factories in china using coal power almost exclusively as a thermal and electric energy resource. When you buy something made in china, you are voting for coal burning indirectly! I realize that the Chinese government is trying to slowly embrace cleaner energy technologies. I also know that they are afraid of doing anything that would slow down economic growth. So the problem continues with coal emission from china fouling my air in wester Washington via a stratospheric transport mechanism for mercury contaminated super fine particulates.

Coal Power Pollution Fouls Ground Air in China : Image

Container Ship Energy

Heavy bunker oil or heavy fuel oil is the most common fuel used on ships that transport goods around the globe. It is almost as toxic as coal in terms of emissions, there are efforts to build container ships that run on LNG, or liquified natural gas. LNG is cheaper than HBO or HFO, and far cleaner burning, reducing CO2, CO, NOX, SOX and Particulate emissions. The main reason that LNG has not already displaced HBO/HFO in contain ships can be found in the complexity of storing pressurized liquified cold gases on the scale needed to power the engine of these gigantic ships. Furthermore, refueling with LNG requires extensive modification of port fueling systems, investments that have to be made as collaborations between logistics companies that own the ships, the ports and port cities, and LNG supply companies that stand to benefit from LNG use in heavy ocean logistics applications!

LNG powered container ship by Tote Maritime : Image
CNG Vehicles

Mining machines can make use of LNG though retrofitting, but an LNG supply needs to be addressed at the mines first. The same can be said for passenger vehicles that use CNG because of a lack of filling stations that offer CNG. Honda made a Civic GX powered by CNG but that model was discontinued in 2011. The trash trucks in my area are powered by CNG, so are the fleet airport taxi at Seatac.

The Honda Civic GX (Natural Gas Vehicle) Image Link

A CNG Trash Truck operated by Republic : Image Link




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