Almost every source of freshwater the population needs to survive is going away. The freshwater that’s been stored in Glaciers-is melting and ending up too contaminated and saline for consumption before it can even become seawater.
The underground freshwater sources are depleting from over withdrawal and the depletion is happening far quicker than recharge is happening, and recharge is slowing down.
It takes a lot of energy to desalinate water, and although the cost is declining, and we can decarbonize it, the cost is infinitely more expensive than the global economy can afford.
Everyone knows how passionate I’ve been about this issue, and for how long, but the issues are still the same.
This excellent article highlights the challenges and provides a list of the barriers we have to find our way around.
How can we charge enough for a commodity that the planet owns to both reduce wastage, and pay for taking humankind’s pollution out of it and making it fit to use again? And how can we structure that “enterprise” in a way that will pay for itself?
No matter how many millions are spent on generating reports like the UN, and World Bank publishes, we are stalled in all but the wealthiest countries.
The United Nations Environment Program has predicted that half the globes population could face severe water stress by 2030.
This is a very common question and a deadly misunderstanding.
First, let me point out that 97% of that water is too saline to drink.
All but 1.5% of the water is too saline to drink. At one time there was also a great deal of freshwater stored in Aquifers (Underground lakes.) the water in the biggest Aquifer in the US (Ogallala) took over 10 million years to form.
Since rain in the western parts KS, OK, TX, Nebraska was inadequate to grow the amount of food for the big Cotton and cattle fodder the farmers used cheap electricity to pump the water up from the aquifer.
That pumping has been taking out more water than is going back in. As a result of that imbalance, this underground lake has gone from 500 feet deep to 5 feet deep.
Farms went out of business, and it became popular to blame fracking for the ramshackle town stores scattered around, but those towns and the surrounding areas had been pumped dry and deserted decades before.
And this was all before climate change started even less rain to fall.
Now, let’s look at the SW part of the US. Most of the freshwater that Southern California and Las Vegas have depended on comes from the Rocky Mountains. The large Colorado river and its tributaries are filled in western Colorado, and then some f that water is pumped over to the eastern side to provide water for the “Front Range (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver etc,
What left in the river leaves Colorado, going to Utah, and California, with New Mexico, and Arizona sucking a lot of water along the way. Then Los Angeles, the Imperial Valley, (desert without the Colorado River water) and recycles that water so many times that it’s now too salty to grow the great crops that they used to.
This is just the United States. Both India and China have made the same mistake, which means that their ability to grow food is declining.
The Great Himalaya’s are melting, and the Indus and Gages Rivers are getting lower and way more polluted. The life-saving Punjabi Aquifer is dangerously depleted.
Since humans, and most life can only live on freshwater, and the population of the planet is going up, climate change is moving the areas where adequate rain used to fall, we are currently vulnerable to water and accomplish food shortages.
We can’t drink electricity, oil or seawater, and even with renewably generated electricity, we can’t desalinate water fast enough.
What we can do is start replanting forests, and trees as fast as we can, we MUST stop deforestation, such as that Chocolate Bars, and BioFuels are killing,
A frustrating reality, that was brought to my attention by a very wise man, over 20 years ago, is that using water to grow crops is profitable, the world over. The depletion is going to continue, the media is inclined to create opinions like the one you so kindly shared, The Industrial Ag companies are going to continue using the chemicals that are killing the Gulf of Mexico with the toxic runoff from the fertilizers, and pesticides and the oil companies are going to keep protecting their revenues, and good old America is going to continuing to buy, and or sell anything to anybody they can.
I spend most of my time trying to find better options, for continents like Africa and India, but I’m afraid it’s going to be near Impossible to change America’s thinking much.
© William Ross Williams 2018
How feasible is it using fuel cells to power residential buildings, the cost implication, pros, and cons?
The Fabulous Bloom Box. These are so clean and convincing. Hydrogen in Water out. I just looked at 100 images of fuel cells that show how the fuel cell works, but only mention the necessity to stip the Carbon Monoxide from the incoming nature gas, before you have pure Hydrogen to run through the “fuel cells” that look like these on the outside.
One simple fact is that the process of separating the hydrogen from the carbon in the methane fuel puts just as much carbon in the air as burning the natural gas would. Plus the natural gas-fired engines are 25% more efficient that Fuel cells.
Ok, so it’s taken me a decade to learn this, but the hydrogen, and carbon monoxide issues happened right at the beginning.
I’ve been watching a lot of fuel cell mythology, and I acknowledge that hydrogen may be a huge part of making all wind electricity more useful, however, I’m also seeing a lot of situations that are imperiling peoples lives.
Most all residential fuel cells are fueled by natural gas.
As the natural gas enters the process it goes through a catalyst that strips the carbon monoxide from the hydrogen going into the fuel cells. There’s no carbon coming from the fuel cell. It’s all coming from the catalysts located on site but never shown in the fuel cell pictures
Now, they figured out ways to ditch the CO at the big, highly ventilated outdoor fuel cell locations but in residential applications? Not in my neighborhood. I don’t want to be asphyxiated by an invisible carbon monoxide bubble drifting down the street.
This is not a theory. 20 years ago a fuel cell company put their fuel cell generators with CO strippers behind their homes. The fuel cells worked just fine, but the carbon monoxide coming from the catalysts build into a CO bubble around the homes and nearly suffocated the families.
No smell, no warning just dizziness from suffocation, followed by death.
Fuel cells, like the Bloom box, can claim zero emissions from the actual hydrogen reaction, but in total, they produce the same emissions as a natural gas engine or turbine does.
So, unless you are running on imported pure hydrogen, you are going to need the entire building interior and exterior heavily vented. If the airflow removing the carbon monoxide were to break down in the middle of the night, a whole bunch of people will die.
It’s time to wake up and notice that what we are not being told is deadly. We need to be reading deeply, noting the bytes of factual information included, then trying to assemble them into a meaningful and verifiable whole. I sure you there will be key pieces of the puzzle missing.
And then, in the text below what got your attention, there will be a sentence, in a paragraph of seemingly irrelevant discussion that tells, in words that just flow by your attention that will contain enough truth to allow them to totally change the game while “honestly” being able to say that they notified everyone.
The US has become a highly sophisticated world of marketing, misdirection, and misinforming, too a point where people are just nodding without waking up and comprehending.
This is a reason why, at this time, the irrefutable Black Swan will be more effectively organized and demonstrated in Countries like India or South Africa. We’ll see.
© William Ross Williams 2018