fuel cells and population reduction

  1. 5,447 Posts.
    Interesting dicussions going on about fuel cells on Long Waves...the yanks must be really worried about oil and their way of life.Also thrown in is this mention of a population reduction on some continents.

    Fuel cells
    by Nick Black
    25 February 2003 01:00 UTC < < <

    Dear Stuart: I love the idea of fuel cell technology. But the fundamental
    problem with FC tech is the distribution of hydrogen in the universe. Its
    ubiquity we take for granted. As is well known, next to stupidity (see our
    govt), hydrogen is the commonest element in the universe. However, although
    this sounds great it is concentration we are after. It is what makes
    gasoline so grand as a fuel. All you have to do is crack a few long carbon
    chains and bingo. But fuel cells need pure hydrogen which is notoriously
    flammable (see picture of zeppelin, whoosh) and it requires a lot of energy
    to generate a usable form of pure hydrogen (2d law of thermodynamics). So
    while it may not use demon oil, it will be very expensive.

    On the broader front considered by your post: I think it is almost
    inconceivable that humankind will react differently now than it has done in
    the past. religion will be invoked. tribalism/nationalism at various levels
    will be invoked. So how do we lose 2 billion people: Unless the Aliens
    arrive with a bigass aid package, Africa will collapse in the next ten
    years. The nations scribbled on the map by mendacious English civil servants
    will be erased. Imagine Somalia on a grand scale. Tribal affiliations and
    armies of aids orphans whose only possession is a Kalashnikov. Between
    aids.ebola.war.famine it is not too hard to see Africa losing 70% of it's
    billion people in the next 20 years. Russian life expectancy has plummeted
    since the fall. The area that used to be called the USSR will lose perhaps
    1/4 billion over the same time period. Look for lurid tales of environmental
    catastrophe coming out of Russia. Of course a provincial nuclear exchange
    between Pakistan and India might kill 1/2 billion. As you can see, it is
    actually not too hard to get down to about 4, or even 3, billion people in
    20 years. Not much really needs to happen. So the question becomes: when do
    we go into Africa and rebuild the entire continent. As soon as we've rebuilt
    Afghanistan presumably.

    I wrote sometime ago (my first post I believe) about a post colonial
    revolutionary crisis. I think I was incredibly optimistic. The essential
    idea was that we are truly at the end of the colonial era, and the arabs,
    the last people still really colonized by the west, would like their land
    and oil back now. I am now seeing this progressing as imagined. However, the
    effects are being rapidly amplified by the incipient collapse of Global
    Capitalism. I notice from some of the very helpful posts re; oil industry
    numbers and news, that we are now reduced to hoping there will be quick war
    and thereafter a slide in oil prices to give the economy a boost. Which
    would imply that if there is not a nice quick in and out there will be no
    slide and the US economy enters a panic phase. On the assumption that this
    would be a severe depression over the next 5 years at least, it would be
    reasonable to see poorer parts of the world really fall apart. the
    beginnings of population decline are already with us.

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