# 8-Years of Civilization Remaining

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Success_Machine, Jun 7, 2002.

1. ### GiftedWorld WandererRegistered Senior Member

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I would like to note that the reactors on space probes use a device called a thermocouple to generate the electricity. These are not much better that photovoltiac cells in efficiency. Where is geothermal? Much more practical.

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3. ### EduferTired warriorRegistered Senior Member

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Geothermal power

Never mind trying to harness volcanos, so let's go to "practical". What is practical? Practical things are those with a good cost/benefit balance. The difficulties for making utilities or devices capable of using geothermal power, and the costs involved makes this alternative not practical.

As with wind, solar or tide power, they are limited only to very specific uses. Really that's too bad. Nothing could be better to profit from solar power, or winds, or "solfataras".

But, alas, that seems to be impossible, until now I mean. (try to harness Old Faithfull in Yellowstone and see what happens). So until technologies give us something better, the urgencies nowadays point us to one direction: Nuclear.

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5. ### kmguruStaff Member

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Thanks Edufer.

Everybody is a power engineer thesedays....the word is, if you can change the car battery, you are one...and if you can change the alternator - you are an expert....ready to make the policy decision of the planet....right?

Talk about the fate of 6 billion people residing on a few backyard mechanics....

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7. ### EduferTired warriorRegistered Senior Member

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You are welcomed, kmguru. This thing of people with nothing more than a 6th grade education thinking they can "save the planet" would be ridiculous --<b>if it were not tragic</b>. Billions of lives depend on the right decisions when it comes to pass laws and regultations trying to achive the utopical "zero risk".

And this is worsened by many scientists that can never simply say: "I don't know". And the worst of all is the fact that politicians think scientists can always give accurate answers to any scientific matter.

11. ### EduferTired warriorRegistered Senior Member

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I was subscribed to both online newsletters by <B>Nature</B> magazine and <B>Science</B> magazine. I have cancelled them because I have not found there nothing really interesting to me. Of course there is a lot of good material on bioloogy and medicine that is useful for scientists in deep research.

But for general matters, the news that are published there are mostly following the political agenda of globalization. I could be wrong, of course, but that has been my impression for the last two or three years.

12. ### BatMMember At LargeRegistered Senior Member

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A single oil platform can cost up to 1 billion to build and untold millions to run over it's lifetime. However, it is expected to return 10 times that cost in revenue and, so, is deemed worth it.

The cost of the project is not the issue -- it's a question of return on investment. If the ROI is big enough, the project would be funded.