[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Sean Conner sean at conman.org
Fri Jun 11 16:40:41 PDT 2010

It was thus said that the Great Jeff Bone once stated:
> Last bit: anybody catch the bit about wet-phase uranyl extraction from  
> sea water that made the rounds last week?That was one of the first  
> things I've seen in a while that makes me optimistic that the race  
> against time can be won w/o a serious die-back.

  No, but I did come across this:


	1. We have a lot of coal in this country.  It contains Thorium,
	   which is a natural substance that can be used to build nuclear
	   piles.  Said technology was developed and built more than 30
	   years ago - this is not "pie in the sky" technology.

	2. Each ton of coal we burn up contains 13 times as much energy as
	   that liberated by combustion of the carbon in said Thorium.  We
	   could thus receive the same electrical energy we gain by burning
	   the coal through extracting the Thorium and using the nuclear
	   energy to produce power.  With the rest of the energy, the other
	   12/13ths, we could then extract hydrogen from seawater (which we
	   have lots of) and convert the remaining coal to either diesel
	   fuel or gasoline.  To put a not-fine-point on this, we throw away
	   more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline (after conversion
	   losses) in thorium tailings alone.  That is damn close to all of
	   our existing gasoline consumption - with ZERO oil being drilled. 
	   (PS: Those are conservative estimates - mathematically, it's 200
	   billion gallons!)
  -spc (Wouldn't mind seeing Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon refuse to sell
	California energy; let's see how long those "Not-In-My-Backyard"ers
	last ... )

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