Sunday, August 31, 2008

BYBS: Algae Farms

An algae farm near Rio Hondo, Texas

The picture is an aerial photo (from Google Maps for the curious) of an algae farm near the border with Mexico. The farm is operated by a company called PetroSun to produce biodeisel, a product that can be used in place of regular diesel fuel.

I like things like algae farms this because they show that humanity is clever. It shows that our collective ingenuity can be put to uses other than blowing each other to bits. It gives me hope when I hear news stories about how we squander what we have and then fight over what's left.

While such approaches are theoretically feasible, it still remains to be proven whether or not something like a algae far will actually work in a commercial endeavor. If it works out, it could show another step towards a better future.

Such endeavors are not free of problems, however. Such a farm displaces natural eco-systems. In order to produce enough fuel to satisfy America's hunger for energy, somewhere between 10,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers would be required. The farm pictured here is around 10 square km --- between 1,000 to 100,000 more of them would be needed.

On the other hand, maybe we'll reduce the amount of energy we use, thus reducing the amount of land needed. Maybe several sources will be used instead of just algae. Maybe none of this will happen.

In the mean time, I'm content to see this as a sign of hope.

5 comments:

PERBS said...

AND what a blessing indeed FOR ALL OF US!

I have a new blog -- coem and see my blessing for this week.

CyberCelt said...

Great post. There is more than enough land in West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona that may be used.

The disruption of ecosystems is far less than oil and gas production.

I have nominated your blog for the Brillante Weblog Premio 2008 Award.

SandyCarlson said...

I marvel at the ability of our minds to solve problems, too. (And to create them....) Thanks for this.

Whatever said...

OK, I nominate cybercelt for president :-) Thanks muchly for the nomination.

Whatever said...

For those people who might not realize it (as in me), the new home for Postcards from Paulie is http://postcardsfromthenorthwest.blogspot.com