Thursday, October 18, 2007

If I Were Queen Of The World

Sunday Scribblings( Prompt-"If I were king or queen of the world")
The first thing that I would do, were I queen of the world, would to make breakfast for the king. Just kidding! Otto and I have been working with the same motivations for so long (66 years) that I can't imagine going solo with what have always been our shared dreams. Granddaughter Daria took the above picture (which I have abridged) at the August Smith reunion and birthday parties, showing that sometimes we even are arrayed like king and queen.

I will assume that we have but one lifetime to accomplish at least one of our many goals, and we would almost surely choose the one with the most urgency - global warming. It isn't that we would wish to ignore our dreams of world peace and universal brother/sisterhood, for instance. But to neglect the accelerating rate of global warming would be to exacerbate the rest of earth's problems in the struggles for survival that would follow. The naysayers to the dangers of global warming don't understand the nature of positive feedback systems. Global warming is not just a steady state of increase in earth's heat. It is an ever increasing rate of acceleration. If any readers of this wish to joust with me on these points, feel free to do so. I would welcome the opportunity to explain further.

I am assuming that if we are Queen and King of the world we would have a rather large treasury. From this treasury I would draw enough money to build solar-thermal electric power plants in desert areas - such as the Gran Desierto of northern Mexico, the Yuma desert of Arizona, the Sahara and Gobi deserts. The power plants would be the conventional steam turbines now used, with the schematic below showing a more economical design than any current solar plant. Low-cost parabolic trough concentrators would boil water. The wet steam would then be dried and superheated by the focused solar light of tracking heliostats..
This would significantly reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It would be a first step toward slowing the accelerating pace of global warming before it reaches the point of no return.

This leaves the problem of transportation. I trust that we are not the only ones tackling global warming issues. Very good work is being done to improve batteries, which would make electric cars extremely desirable, and an electric car can be plugged into the electric energy generated by the afore-mentioned solar power plants.

Oh, yes. I wasn't entirely kidding about making breakfast for the king. Most days I do just that. But most nights the king brings me a dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream at bedtime. Who could ask for more?

7 comments:

Liza's Eyeview said...

He brings you a dish of mint chocolate chip ice cream at bedtime? You are indeed a Queen! :)

Great ideas on your scribblings. And I must say I love your photos - you are adorable granny smith :)

nonizamboni said...

This post is why I want you to be our reigning Queen--smart and knowledgeable, kind, motivated, artistic, look good in a tiara and really, really c.a.r.e. And Otto bringing your ice cream (my Audrey's favorite) should keep you in charge for years to come. Reign on!
p.s. love the new photos!

khambagirl said...

I love the photo! How cute that you already had the photo. Great idea about solar power. We are trying to use solar power for everything on the Tibetan plateau. They still have a way to go on the electric car, as it is not healthy for our bodies yet. Great post!
Khambagirl
www.yakattack.typepad.com

Honey And Papa said...

You and father are wise and talented. (Sorry that this is so long.)

In regards to electric cars for the vast majority of driving they are viable today, and should get better as batteries get better. The Telsa (www.teslamotors.com) has a 200+ mile range sports car with a top speed of 125 MPH. The propulsion system is licensed from AC Propulsion Technology (www.acpropulsion.com).

To put this in perspective, the motor is more powerful than the V8 in my '55 Chrysler but weighs only 70 Lbs. My engine's dry weight is 691 Lbs. Add fluids, transmission, 120 Lbs of gas, etc., and on a conversion that would leave a lot of weight for batteries. It might not get me 200 miles on a charge, but I don't drive that far very often. Note: Today it would cast $50,000+ to do this conversion using the system listed above, and my description is an over simplification.

Now, if I could start with a 52 year old car and make it a workable electric, any car company could follow Tesla Motors lead and make workable daily use cars.

Lastly, I've gone around work asking for donations so I could buy a $98,000 base price Tesla, but to date my total is $0. :)

Marianne said...

Love the photo and love this post! I'm with Nonizamboni!
also... make it all affordable so *everyone* can participate... how else will it work?

gautami tripathy said...

Great picture and you are indeed a great queen.

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