Introduction

Technology allows citizens of developed nations to live better than medieval kings. Kings lacked indoor plumbing, automatic heating and cooling, refrigerators, and comfortable methods to travel from the next town in a few hours or to the other side of the world in a day. Kings could not entertain themselves or their guests with radio, sound recording, television and movies.

Advanced agriculture technology made it possible for a few percent of the population to feed the remainder. Medical technology has dramatically improved the chance of survival and doubled the average life span. Technology has permitted humanity to multiply to over 6 billion individuals. Technology is now mandatory for earth to sustain these billions. We have become utterly dependent on the benefits of technology. An even greater application of technology is required for economic progress by undeveloped nations. However, the unintended effect of technology, environmental damage, is reducing the earth's capacity to support life, including humanity. Over the years, lack of foresight has allowed our magnificent technologies to develop an ominous side. Now our dependence on technology seems to pose a threat. Energy production and use is at the core of the technology's threat to the environment; yet, energy is crucial in achieving a high standard of living.

Our current energy system was started around 1800 when the world population was less than 1 billion. Before 1800, energy came from human labor, animals, wind, water or combustion of wood and animal fats. All these sources were renewed by natural processes. From the Chinese, Europeans learned that a black rock, coal, would burn hotter than wood. It was discovered that heating coal would produce oil (coal oil) suitable for lamps. Later it was discovered that lamp oil could be produced from the oil that seeped from the rocks. This rock oil (petroleum) became the basis for the oil industry. As a result, an energy technology that exploited fossil fuels proliferated. Unlike the energy sources used before 1800 fossil fuels are non-renewable finite resources.

From the beginning, no one foresaw a need to predict long-range effects of fossil fuel use. The waste products were spewed into the air, poured into the rivers or carted out to unexploited land and dumped. The only people who noticed were the poor who lived in the shadow of the mills, factories and dumps. At first the remainder of the world seemed untouched. With few people and a modest level of energy use per person, the environmental damage caused by energy use was repaired by slow geological and biological processes or simply lost in vacant land. In the nineteen fifties people began to realize oil fields were becoming depleted and air pollution from fossil fuels was becoming an international problem. We also became apprehensive about the rapid increase in world population. In the last fifty years it has become clear, humanity has damaged the world environment.

With today's population and energy used per person, our air and water are polluted and there is little unexploited land for use as a dumping ground. What was once unexploited land is now someone else's front yard. The moderate pace of natural regeneration is besieged. The projected growth in population and fossil energy use will exhaust earth's regenerative capability with dire effects for all life. If we continue our current path, the only point worth debate is how soon these problems will overwhelm our ability to cope.

Our 19th century energy technology was not selected, it just happened. At it's beginning, no one suspected that energy use could affect the environment of the entire planet. Today, our energy system is indispensable; yet, it appears to be hazardous to the health of all life on earth. The difficulty is not with technology itself, but is with the selection of methods, and systems exacerbated by lack of foresight. We must replace our impromptu fossil fuel system with an energy technology based on environmental concern, close coupled to excellent science and engineering. This new energy technology must be configured to serve us today and protect future generations.

Humanity requires an energy system that can provide a high standard of living for all without further damage to the earth. The survival of humanity may depend on how soon and how boldly we act. We need to follow the advice of Sir Crispin Tickell, former British Ambassador to the United Nations, when he said, "Scientists (and the rest of us) should be much braver. Caution, in any case, may in reality be recklessness. We must always look at the cost of doing nothing." (New Scientist March 21, 1992 Page 38, article titled 'The Green Diplomat')

In seeking a solution the technique of systems analysis was applied. Simply stated, this means looking at problems as if you were an outsider with no preconceived notion concerning where the evaluation would lead. For example, in analyzing an automobile, you start with the iron, copper and aluminum mines and follow them through to the auto's final disposal as recycled materials or in a landfill. Initially, each facet of the problem is examined from many viewpoints and varieties of solution paths are considered. The analysis must start at the beginning and carry through to the end. The solution path presented in "An End To Global Warming" was derived in this manner.

"An End To Global Warming" presents the results of the system analysis in a series of chapters. Chapter 1 reviews our contemporary energy infrastructure and its impact on the earth. This review provides solid reasons why fossil fuels must be replaced. In Chapter 2, the characteristics of possible alternative energy sources are examined to determine those most suitable for a benign planetary energy system. Chapter 3 describes the optimum energy source. Chapter 4 shows that a portable and storable fuel is required, because the optimum energy source will only provide heat and from heat electricity. Chapter 5 describes the optimum portable fuel. In Chapter 6, the energy generation and the portable fuel are integrated into an energy system coupled with the optimum distribution technology. The manner in which this system will provide zero pollution transportation is described in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 shows how a by-product of this system will be of great value in eliminating several forms of pollution that are not derived from fossil fuels. In Chapter 9, a path for implementation is sketched.

The system outlined in "An End To Global Warming" has the potential to provide humanity with plentiful energy for hundreds of years without damage to the environment. It will be easily used by all nations, from the least to the most developed. It will reduce international tensions arising from competition over fossil fuel reserves.

The nation that undertakes implementation of this system will be gifted with a mammoth surge of economic activity. This economic surge will be similar to those engendered during the 20th century by the development of automobiles, the space program and the development of computers. Its citizens will become optimistic about their future because of the favorable economic conditions and in the knowledge that they are preserving a healthy world for their descendants.

Critics will argue that implementation of this system will cause disruption of current industries, financial structures, worldwide society, and the balance of power among nations. The critics will say that the costs will be large. The critics will be correct.

The alternative to these voluntary disruptions will be disagreeable and possibly devastating. They will involve the same or greater levels of disruption and cost, driven by degradation of the environment, escalating energy prices and international conflict over dwindling reserves. These disruptions will come when the when the world's ability to respond is diluted by the very conditions we need to correct. However, if we accept the disruption and costs associated with implementation of this plan it will be accompanied by certain knowledge that we will have an energy system that will not harm the earth.

The critics will also say that the existing "political/economic system" cannot accommodate this level of change. In this, the critics are wrong. We are the "system" and this criticism is only an excuse for inaction.

The twentieth century will pass into history as the century that changed the earth. In the twenty first century, humanity can choose whether this change will preserve or destroy. It seems prudent to embark on a course that will have the potential to preserve the planet for all life. The energy system outlined in "An End To Global Warming" provides the desired course of action.

When you finish this book if you agree, press your government to instigate action to get this plan under way as soon as possible. If you do not agree come up with a plan of your own and promote it with gusto. We owe all future generations action in our time.

"The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it of not, spells duty"

Winston Churchill Rochester, New York, 1941

Laurence O. Williams February 2002

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