All Energy Is Solar Energy

August 25, 2012 at 11:06 am (Alternative Energy, Cool Tech, Entertainment, The Economy) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Long time since the last post, I know. This has been another busy year. So I’ll try to make this interesting.

I was visiting my father recently, and having a nice chat, as we often do. We got to discussing cars, and then electric cars. It’s an open secret that I’d like to build one someday. (After all, gasoline is not going to get any cheaper, now is it?) I mentioned that an actor – Robert Llewellyn – who had a role in one of my favorite TV shows ever (“Red Dwarf”) now has a very cool show on YouTube, called Fully Charged. In this series, he reviews electric cars, and discusses other issues & events related to electric vehicles and energy in general. Fun and funny. Here’s a recent episode, as an example:

Mr. Llewellyn does a marvelous job of covering some of the details and advances that are under-reported in the American main-stream media. In short, there is a lot more going on these days than you might think, especially in Europe, where energy costs have historically been much higher than in the USA.

But back to the discussion I was having with my dad. I pointed out to him that ultimately, all energy is solar energy. This caused dad to give me that look. The one that I remember from my youth. (You may know that look too!) The one that says, “What the hell are you talking about, kid?” So I explained what I meant.

I began by asking where the oil and coal came from. Of course, they are composed of old plant and animal material that got buried and transformed into coal or petroleum. And what caused those plants to grow? Sunlight. Solar energy.

And what about nuclear? Where does the uranium come from? Yes, out of the ground. But before that? In fact, where do all the elements come from, that make up our planet Earth? From other suns! Yup. All elements, aside from hydrogen, were fused together in the hearts of ancient suns – suns which eventually used up their hydrogen, and exploded, scattering their star-stuff throughout the galaxy. That stuff re-condensed into our Earth, our moon, and the rest of our solar system. And here we are – we’re made of stardust.

Any other energy you care to mention – wind, tidal, even geothermal – all of it can be traced back to the energy from our sun, or from ancient suns which burned billions of years ago. Think it through. It’s another inconvenient truth. And it’s why I like renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and so on. It cuts out the middleman.

Feel free to refute me, below. More soon, fellow Netizens!

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