Guest viewpoint: global warming

Because coal and other carbon dioxide producing fuels are used to produce electricity we need to consider non-gaseous solutions, such as nuclear power. However, developing nuclear fission reactors and fusion reactors (still theoretical) is still in its infancy. Nuclear fusion (the power of the sun and stars) would be the better of the two but still has many problems. The major argument against nuclear power is what we do with the radioactive waste until it deteriorates enough to be safe. There are plenty of underground storage possibilities, though quite expensive. Another interesting observation is the danger in the Northern Rim, which is the total land mass north of the equator with considerably more than in the southern hemisphere. In The North, methane in the form of methane clathrates is locked up in the permafrost; if the permafrost keeps melting, it will release a gas twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. Another observation is that, amazing as it seems, cities are considered green because they are relatively efficient. Here we have the convenience of shopping, community contact, cultural events, cost effective transportation such as buses, subways, etcetera, and where we can walk, run, bike, skate, doing our chores — good health benefits here. Indeed, if we had 70 to 80 percent of the world living in cities, we would free some three percent of land, which is about 1,800,000 square miles that could be used to grow crops, breed and graze cattle, develop fish hatcheries, and for forestation and recreation to keep species of wild life from extinction and for the production oxygen essential for life in general. We need sources that are not combustible and not land intensive as solar and wind power. We also need a universal, free thinking, uninhibited public and system of education without mass denial and unjustified prejudices. I cannot overstress education; indeed, the more the better! We must emphasize research in fission and fusion nuclear energy, and look for other possibilities. We must do the same with genetic engineering, which is what nature has been doing with all life forms for some 13.7 billion years, to improve our food and medical crops, develop better strains of food, fertilizers, and pesticides, herbicides, — all things green. It is up to us as individuals and the world governments — “to do or die.”

Douglas (Doug) Peden: Mathematician, theorist, and former Rocket and Nuclear Reactor Design Engineer.


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