Fossil fuel volcano

I’m reading Light of the Stars “Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” — Adam Frank.

I’m about halfway through and so far Frank has supplied mostly background in his attempt, I’m assuming, to present various models — based on our solar system’s mechanics and planetary variations — to determine the probability of exo-civilizations, in the galaxy and the cosmos in general.

Humanity’s existence and technological capability is dependent on a host of serendipitous “coin-flips” all landing up heads. Two of the biggest and most impactful are plate tectonics and the availability of a billion years worth of stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuel.

Plate tectonics ensures that CO2 is recycled. (CO2 is fixed from the atmosphere as sediment and rock, calcium carbonate — limestone, taken below the crust, disassociated and then re-released by volcanoes around the planet.) Without this cycle, CO2 would stay fixed, the planet would cool (as it has done in the past) (Nitrogen and Oxygen, 78% and 21%, are not efficient greenhouse gases) and that would be it for Earth.

And we all know what fossil fuels have done for humanity; taken an energy starved species and give it unlimited access to millions of years of nearly-free solar power. Without fossil fuels, humanity would have killed off all the whales (for fuel), burned down all the forests (for fuel), and never seen the explosive population growth that produced copious ideas resulting in constant technological advancement.


Part of his premise (I’m guessing) is to determine the impact and potential mitigation of global warming during the Anthropocene. This unusual release of extra CO2 that is warming the planet is, as far as he’s concerned, a potential solution to the Fermi Paradox: exo-civilizations might kill themselves off by their shear size and impact on their planet.

As I read Adam Frank’s setup I thought about a strange “ready for fiction” story line:

What would happen if a volcano suddenly spawned beneath one (or more) vast crude oil fields? Imagine if a Kilauea sized volcano burst up from the sands of Saudi Arabia. The heat and fire would start the oil burning. Thirty mile-high plumes of smoke would spread out for decades. Nuclear winter would descend. This is much like what a super-volcano would do, but a smaller volcano would suffice to trigger the calamity.

This is typical, don’t you think, this reading of anything and the extrapolation of a fiction story from the material? The “what if”s. I thrive on them.

LENR – Replacing the fossil fuel oligopoly

I have a tenuous set of ideas to put forth here. The linkages I’ve outlined are frail if not ghostly, yet I offer them as a meager meal for thought.

$12 million seems a cheap price to pay for the future of humanity.

I remember when Steorn came out. I recall debating it on the forum there and my general hope but overall incredulous position that Steorn’s invention couldn’t possibly exist for the simplest reason that any such device would threaten the existing energy industrial complex machine dominated by the U.S. government and its underlying currency, the dollar. The same, I believe, applies to LENR.

LENR and the E-cat may never have been compared to atomic weapons but LENR’s potential impact on society might be just as formidable, just as disruptive. Atomic weapons were developed in the deepest of secrecy by the smartest of people available. Had anyone else been trying to develop such technology, the Russians for instance (who were and did), the U.S. government would have been trying their damnedest to discover, subsume or suppress any parallel efforts. The bomb was that important.

The advent of the atomic weapon forever changed the way society developed. The cold war, all of the constant espionage, the development of advanced submarines and the entire space race were due to changes atomic weapons wrought on society. It might even be said that many of the wars fought between democratic ideals and communist ones were due to the threat that nuclear weapons had on society.

If atomic weapons were so disruptive with regards to nation state security then, in turn, there is no way, in my opinion, LENR would be allowed to disrupt the fossil fuel oligopoly. I’ll elaborate. The entire world runs on oil. And the world’s oil supply passes through one currency, the U.S. dollar. Oil and the dollar are intricately linked. Threaten oil and you threaten the dollar. Threaten oil and you threaten world stability. (The UK’s DOD fleeting mention that joined LENR to OPEC state instability was fanciful nonsense if only because such a condition would never be allowed to develop.)

If we, for the time being, assume that the quick, broad adoption of a new, oil replacing energy source would be just as disruptive, and mostly likely more, than atomic weapons, then one would have to theorize that such a potential disruption would be thoroughly monitored and if found viable, subsumed or suppressed. Such a disruption would be catastrophic and would scarcely be left to toddle along without curtailment. Picture the disruption terrorism has confounded the world with. Threats to oil and its reserve currency would be a thousand times more shocking.

The NSA has been monitoring state security for decades. They’ve gone so far as to suspend the U.S. Constitution and invade citizen’s rights. This all in the name of the war on terror. Only through Edward Snowden do we know that such a supervision infiltration has persisted. This could be said to be excellent evidence of the government keeping constant tabs on all potential threats. As noted, the risk of terrorist activity pales in comparison to the menace an alter-energy source would have on the country’s oil supremacy. If so many billions of dollars were spent just to monitor potential terrorist activity, imagine the money spent to maintain the constant flow of oil. (Two Iraq Wars and countless military actions in oil supply states.)

If LENR is a threat to world stability its leading candidate, the E-cat, should have been worth a sight more than $12m.

Global warming doubters aside, humanity is in for a sequence of serious challenges if we don’t find another energy source aside from oil. The world needs LENR or a LENR like fossil fuel substitute now. The world needed it decades ago in fact. All ideas of threat aside, the economic potential of LENR, of the E-Cat, extends so far beyond anyone’s understanding that to make estimates is to invite shear conjecture. A hundred trillion dollars? 500 trillion over the next 100 years? It’s silly to guess. All estimates can’t possibly extrapolate the impact of a nearly free energy source on the world.

And this breakthrough, these technologies were all touted to be the savior of humans and planet alike. COPs greater than 2 or 5 or 10 or … were a godsend right? Indeed, thank the stars above. I mean, this cliff we are headed toward, or backing up against – being pressed to the edge, is looming disastrous. And the likes of Rossi, DGT, Brillioun, Blacklight, and others, their discoveries are going to save us. Right? Well, they all proposed that their devices would be our salvation. And that they would reap the rewards, and rightly so. They would be replacing the fossil fuel energy complex, that enormous expensive beast and I’m sure that would be worth a pretty penny. Rossi et al were going to be the seeds of that destructive creativity.

And so, for less than the cost of a mansion in Malibu I could have owned the premier alternative energy source that was going to save the world. A source more disruptive than atomic energy. An energy revelation that even the U.S. government failed to suppress or subsume. A tumultuous chaos rendering revolution in energy production that would topple Aramco, Gazprom, PetroChina and the others without a wimper. For $12 million dollaroonies. Such a deal.

Philathropic inventors and NFE

Hypothesis: Inventors who create humanity significant inventions serve themselves and humanity better by gifting their inventions to all of mankind.

It’s a philosophical question as to whether an invention that might save millions of lives should be given away so that all humanity might benefit. Or to pursue the capitalist dream and retain control of production such that the invention can be sold for billions of dollars.

On one hand the inventor would be considered a philanthropic savior in the company of people listed below. Any wealth that might accumulate would come from the reciprocal giving that would take place, the Nobel prize (perhaps), the speaking engagements, the notoriety and the accolades.

On the other hand, retaining control and doling out the invention’s product to the highest bidder is simply “good” business. An avaricious avenue to be sure but no different from the millions of other capitalists who have come before.

So, which would you choose?

Let’s say you’ve invented a source of nearly free energy (NFE). Nearly free energy could singlehandedly save millions of lives, lift millions of lives up from poverty, give millions of lives an opportunity to to contribute to humanity’s progress. NFE, if your invention is truly real and effective, would change the course of history more so than the microchip or microbiology. The impact of NFE cannot be accurately predicted the extent is so great.

So, what will you do? Gift your invention to humanity? Or attempt to capture the billions, nay, trillions of dollars it might represent in profit if commercialized by you and you alone?

So choose. Choose wisely.
If NFE is truly a possibility only history can accurately judge you.

Some of the important inventors who gave their inventions away:

• Galileo Ferraris – Physicist, Pioneer of Alternating Current Systems
• John Dobson – the Dobsonian telescope, gave his invention away to all to use it
• Tim Berners-Lee  – The Web
• Linus Torvalds – Linux
• Vint Cerf – co-investor of TCP/IP – gave it away.
• Jonas Salk – inventor of the polio vaccine – gave it away for free.
• Dr. Willem Johan Kolff – the inventor of the first clinically effective dialysis machine freely gave his invention away and,
• Belding Scribner – Scribner could have become a multimillionaire but instead gave his invention away and by so doing saved millions of lives in different corners of the world.
• Nikola Tesla – gave away almost all of his royalties on future inventions