Acs presentation 3 (11)

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To eliminate greenhouse gases & build a sustainable economic framework for society by the introduction of "municipal energy tokens".

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Acs presentation 3 (11)

  1. 1. SUSTAINABLE APPROACH TO CONTROLLING THE CARBON CYCLE Paul A. Comet PhD Consultant Presented at American Chemical Society, Dallas March 17th, 2014
  2. 2.  The Ecosphere – Model of sustainability  Miniature version of the planet, placed by window, is nearly indefinitely sustainable.  Photosynthesis, Respiration and Decomposition in precise balance.  Water remains clear & clean
  3. 3. Controlling the carbon cycle  (a)ocean fertilization using Iron Salts.”Give me a tanker of iron salts and I will give you an ice age.” (Martin 1989)  (b)Utilizing the waste stream.  Most waste is “carbon neutral” because it rapidly decomposes back to CO2 ( so it does not count towards atmospheric carbon mass balance). Fossil fuels represent carbon that has been sequestered for a considerable time, so is atmospherically additive when burned to CO2.This kind of carbon is positive, it also includes municipal waste, which is largely paper derived from old carbon (trees). However, landfilled municipal waste produces methane, a significant green house gas much more potent than CO2.  (c)Hence by converting waste into fuel (syngas or fermentation gas) little further CO2 is added. Alternative agricultural waste can be turned into biochar, this would take CO2 out of the air (carbon negative)
  4. 4. Some biological models of sustainability  (a)A single symbiotic cell such as a protist containing algae.The organelles of the cell can be compared with human factories.  (b)An ecosystem where photosynthesisers, respirers and decomposers are all separate and in balance  (c)The entire planet (Gaia)  (d)An ants nest under a tree  The ants eat the leaf litter and bugs on the tree.The ant waste fertilizes the tree.  (e)A lunar base where sunshine CO2 and water is used by plants to grow food, and create oxygen for man to eat and breathe.  (f)A more developed model might be a beehive, where the bees pollinate the local vegetation, and in reward are given nectar to convert into honey (sequestered energy) and infrastructure (the wax honeycomb)
  5. 5. Towards a model of human sustainability  Using a combination of social animal models a “superorganism” model of human civilization can be offered as a perspective on how to solve the problems of sustainability  (1)Stored energy can be used as currency (Honey = Money)  (2)Roads, railways are “veins” by which goods and services (nutrients and energy) are circulated.  Each urban area can be complimented by a rural area to form a symbiotic self - sustaining “cell” . A similar protist model for a lunar base; the organelles being the factories.The road & mail system represent arteries, banking the heart, money the blood, and the internet , radio,TV represent the nervous system & satellites the “eyes”. Essentially city and state could become unified “self sufficient “ sustainable entities.
  6. 6. A model for city & state? As the oil & gas from a given area is depleted; collaboration between oil , gas companies & the local municipalities to install sustainable energy devices for mutual profit.
  7. 7. Role of money  Trying to identify what money “is” is not easy. Economists are divided as to what it represents :-  Perhaps earliest money was the use of blocks of salt in Central Africa and China.  Other early money include sea shells (cowries), human heads! (Indonesia). Gold and silver bracelets (ancient Egypt). In the west around 650BC, stamped round ingots of gold and silver (coins) became standard, but after WWI promissory notes (debt) replaced gold & silver. During oil boom periods, the dollar becomes “valorized”.When the oil is gone, the economy may become less stable.  So what is money now?
  8. 8. Role of money  Money can consists of two alternative components.  (1)Specie (gold, silver, oil or other commodity). Less used now.  (2)A promissory note linked to debt system.  Both systems have their merits and demerits. However, as in any “dualistic system” polar opposites many conceal a unified whole. In fact both precious metal and debt may conceal that the only REAL SPECIE, is energy alone. Gold or debt are powerful motivational “tokens” for the provision of goods, and services, created by the use of human (food) energy , and mechanical/electrical energy largely derived from fossil fuels.
  9. 9. “Putting it all together”  If money is accepted as promissory notes for alternative energy , and is issued and recycled through the local power and fuel supplies,(similar to ATP in a cell), sustainability and control of climate change may have been achieved one city at a time. Each living cell or ecosystem “valorizes” energy by storing it as carbohydrates, proteins etc.The stored energy is mobilized for growth and the creation of new substances by & for its organelles. Something similar could be organized for any city.  Energy could monetized by the issuance of scrip redeemable in energy (Joules,Watts etc.) As long as the scrip circulates back to the power station or gas station to pay for more energy, the scrip could be used to purchase any local commodity made (or found) using alternative energy (similar to the role ofATP in a living cell).Gold is no different to cowry shells as disguising the fact that all money are merely “anthropological” tokens for energy (and hence all labor) in producing goods and services. Only water and salt , essential for life, remain outside this system.
  10. 10. A plan for the future  Instead of submitting to a carbon tax, the oil industry could play a major role in developing sustainable cities. 1) By setting aside a modest portion of their profits from oil and gas sales to purchase or set up small alternative energy companies that are profitable in converting waste and sunlight into fuel or energy. 2) By showing that a few percent of the profits of an oil and gas company derive from alternative energy, rather than let the government take the money and do exactly the same thing, with consequent bureaucratic losses.  Each city becomes a “lunar base”, functioning similarly to a living cell, powered by sunlight & waste ( waste contains abundant sequestered energy) as well as wind and solar power.The currency could reflect this “natural capital” and could be stored (sequestered energy) and invested, similar to fats etc. in a living cell.The cities link together by existing communication links (roads, rail, mail and internet) to form a biological machine that can “think” (democratically) in order survive sustainably.This “superorganism” however reflects changed perspectives on existing resources.The new currency would control a parallel economy.The old one would be initially unaffected.
  11. 11. Card received from White House after submission of abstract to ACS (Oct. 2013)
  12. 12. Card received from White House after submission of abstract to ACS (Oct. 2013)

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