The Louisiana gulf coast disaster is perhaps going to be bigger than the spill of the Exxon Valdez, and has happened in a much more significant area – where one was off the coast of Alaska, this one is in the area where many go to vacation, making things much more visible.

The estimates vary as to how much oil is being released into the ocean from the sea floor, but one thing, they all are getting larger, as none of them are retracting the statement of the quantity.

The ultimate solution is to take up to 90 days, when another pipe will be put into a different hole, and the original is capped completely. Only the bean counters will know the total amount of oil made useless to the refiners, and allowed to ruin the land and sea it touches.

It makes the news from slashdot seem as though it is unimportant, yet it is very important – there is another, safer way to produce power, with no danger of explosion or fouling of the environment.

separsons writes "Researchers at Wake Forest’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials created a low-cost solar power system geared towards developing nations. By coating fiber-based solar cells with dye from purple pokeberries, a common weed, scientists created a cheap yet highly efficient solar system. Wake Forest researchers and their accompanying company, FiberCell Inc., have filed for a patent for fiber-based solar. Plastic sheets are stamped with plastic fibers, creating millions of tiny ‘cans’ that trap light until it is absorbed. The fibers create a huge surface area, meaning sunlight can be collected at any angle from the time the sun rises until it sets. Coating the system with pokeberry dye creates even greater absorption: researchers say the system can produce twice as much power as traditional flat-cell technology."

It’s not that this will make us change to using purple pokeberries and all our troubles will be over. There is no one solution to the energy problem. However, there are so many small solutions to the problem that many people will be able to make the world better, and a decent living at the same time.

Instead of trying to make offshore drilling foolproof, we should be making things like this easily available, so that those countries that are burning trash, or dirty coal, for power, can instead make power that will not add to the pollution of the planet, and also keep the coal in the ground, so that strip mining doesn’t become a bigger problem than it already is.


EARTHRISE keeping it blue, instead of reddish-brown is a good thing, and using plants to deliver energy, without burning them, is ecologically sound.

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