Today is the teeter-totter on which our actions determine what the future of our planet will be. We can tip it either way. What we can’t do is wait. There is a chance that we have already waited too long before acting, and that we are beyond the tipping point, the point of no return.
This prompt inspired the following as yet unpolished, untitled, inverted, Italianate sonnet. At least I think that’s what it is.
As glaciers and the polar ice-caps shrink,
that which radiated to the sky
is trapped by smog-spawned blankets holding heat.
And still our SUVs and Hummers drink
their Falstaff-portioned quaffs of gas. We buy
tales that without more sales we face defeat.
Coal-fired power-plants belch deadly gasses,
contaminate the earth - as carbons fly
and poisons rain on skin and leaf and grasses
and scorching droughts turn fields to desert-dry.
Yet all the while our hope is shining high
above us: Sol, our star, our answer, Sun.
Its flames can turn our turbines. Will earth die?
Not if humans are wise and act as one.
As to harnessing the sun, he has proposed building solar-turbine power plants in such places as the Gran Desierto of northern Mexico, the Yuma desert of Arizona, the Sahara and Gobi deserts.
The power plants, of his improved design, 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.
These are small contributions in the total scheme of things. Everyone must do his or her part if we are to save our beautiful planet.