Great idea OR disaster waiting to happen?

@speakeasy (4215)
United States
July 24, 2008 7:02pm CST
How about a way to get all the electricty we can use without drilling, using our food sources to make fuel, or polluting our planet and endangering the environment? And, with a cost that is no more than what we are currently paying for electricity 8 - 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Plus, we already have the technology needed. So, it is not something that needs to be developed. O. Glenn Smith, a former manager of science and applications experiments for the International Space Station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is proposing that we collect solar energy in space and then beam it back to earth for use. Here is a link to his proposal - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/opinion/23smith.html?th&emc=th It sounds good; but, there are a few things he is not addressing that need to be addressed. We all know that too much sun can cause burns and cancer; and, excessive radiation of any type can cause a wide range of health problems. So, when the article says: "this solar energy would be safely beamed to Earth via wireless radio transmission" - the word "SAFELY" actually has me questioning this person's sanity. While a wireless radio transmission can be sent safely back to earth; this is not talking about sending a short occasional message. This is talking about a sustained high powered transmission; broadcast across the earth. While a special receiver can absorb and transform the signal into electrity, the signal will not JUST go directly to these antennas. It will cover the world and irradiate everyone and everything on the surface of the planet 24/7 - 365 days a year. NO ONE has EVER studied such transmissions on this type of a scale, not even on mice and rats. We have NO idea what type of damage it could or would cause. We do know that "wireless radio transmissions" are being implicated in cancer and other cellular damage to humans when they are only exposed to them periodicaly on a daily basis (cell phones, high voltage lines, etc.). And, what about people who rely on electronics to live - people with pacemakers, etc. How would these transmissions affect them? An unshielded microwave and other devices that emit transmissions can cause pacemakes to malfuntion. Standing in front of a high power radio transmitter WILL cause temporary and/or permanent sterility. "Wireless radio transmissions" powerful enough to provide electricity to the ENTIRE planet; just might, be enough to sterilize every living thing on the surface of the planet. And, we're worried about little things like nuclear reactors and oil wells. What do you think about this energy "solution"?
2 people like this
3 responses
@narayan2006 (2954)
• India
25 Jul 08
The eneergy generating option,you have desribed can undoubtedly serve to provide cost-effective and economic solution to our ever increasing energy hungry planet,but it is fraught with a great deal of risk and danger that outweigh its published benefits.Excessive solar radiation can cause serious,damaging and life threatening disaster,on a massive scale over a vast sgment of population,for along time.It looks highly unsustainable and hazardous,unless adequate safety measurs are not explored,tested and built into the generating and transmission system.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
25 Jul 08
Another problem that I just remembered is the fact that when you are transmitting energy; heat is produced. With cell phones, radios, etc. the amount of heat is very small and not a real problem; but, with a project big enough to provide electricity for the entire globe; that is a lot of extra heat when it is added to the heat we already get from the sun and the heat we generate ourselves. Isn't global "warming" one of the reasons we are looking for alternative energy sources in the first place? Even if our current global warming is a natural part of the earth's cycle; wouldn't this make it worse and prevent the normal cooling cycle that should take place again in the distant future?
@vanities (11409)
• Davao, Philippines
25 Jul 08
actually its a great idea!!but i think it will take time to consider this type of project since the government must of course study the pros and cons of this harnessing whatever...which of course your views on peacemaker or whatever stated above may one of the considerations that will be taken care of..and of course rest assured that if the US govt. willpush through on this they were really do something on the side effects that it will causes..
@reckon21 (3484)
• Philippines
25 Jul 08
Nice and a very interesting post.Yeah, that is a great idea to use solar energy. That would be great. But they must conduct experiment first for long time before doing it for real. We might never know the damaged it could bring to our health.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
25 Jul 08
And, that is the problem. Scientists have come up with a lot of"good ideas" over the years; but, quite a few of them have proven to have serious consequences in the long run. This has the potential to affect not just the people who use it but the entire planet. By the time we found out what the long term effects are, it may be to late to reverse any damage.