Powering the Future: How We Will (Eventually) Solve the Energy Crisis and Fuel the Civilization of Tomorrow

In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we’ve ceased to use carbon from the ground—either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.

How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we’ve burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal.

 

The Predictable:
 
Fossil fuels will run out. The present flow of crude oil out of the ground equals in one day the average flow of the Mississippi River past New Orleans in thirteen minutes. If you add the energy equivalents of gas and coal, it’s thirty-six minutes. At the present rate of consumption, we’ll be out of fossil fuels in two centuries’ time.
 
We always choose the cheapest gas. From the nineteenth-century consolidation of the oil business to the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, the energy business has shown, time and again, how low prices dominate market share. Market forces—not green technology—will be the driver of energy innovation in the next 200 years.
 
The laws of physics remain fixed. Energy will still be conserved, degrade entropically with use, and have to be disposed of as waste heat into outer space. How much energy a fuel can pack away in a given space is fixed by quantum mechanics—and if we want to keep flying jet planes, we will need carbon-based fuels.
 
The Potential:
 
Animal waste.If dried and burned, the world’s agricultural manure would supply about one-third as much energy as all the coal we presently consume.
 
Trash. The United States disposes of 88 million tons of carbon in its trash per year. While the incineration of waste trash is not enough to contribute meaningfully to the global demand for energy, it will constrain fuel prices by providing a cheap supply of carbon.
 
Solar energy.The power used to light all the cities around the world is only one-millionth of the total power of sunlight pouring down on earth’s daytime side. And the amount of hydropump storage required to store the world’s daily electrical surge is equal to only eight times the volume of Lake Mead.
 
PRAISE FOR ROBERT B. LAUGHLIN
 
“Perhaps the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Richard Feynman”
—George Chapline, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 
“Powerful but controversial.”
Financial Times
 
“[Laughlin’s] company … is inspirational.”

New Scientist

 

EXTERNAL FUEL POWER PACK BACKUP RECHARGEABLE BATTERY CASE FOR iPHONE 5 5S BLACK

$24.99
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Oil and the Future of Energy: Climate Repair * Hydrogen * Nuclear Fuel * Renewable and Green Sources * Energy Efficiency

The most important and accessible science writing on a topic of intense public interest and concern: oil and the future of energy.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies – MiniPak Handheld Portable Fuel Cell Power Charger

The MiniPak portable electronic device charger is designed to meet the needs of users who want more portable energy in one package, at a lower cost than existing rechargeable or disposable battery-based options. The MiniPak portable electronic device char

Product Features

  • Handheld hydrogen fuel cell charger that offers affordable and portable power for electronic devices
  • Combines oxygen with hydrogen from the included Hydrostik cartridge that converts hydrogen into electricity
  • Compatible for electronic devices that require up to 2 watts of power; including cell phones; game/music players; GPS and lights
  • Packs more energy than traditional batteries, with 1 Hydrostic offering several times the energy of a AA alkaline battery
  • Hydrogen storage with green power made with non-toxic materials and is 100-percent recyclable

DIY Kits Green Energy Educational Toys Salt Water Fuel Cell Car For Kit Children

$2.30
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Profiting from Clean Energy: A Complete Guide to Trading Green in Solar, Wind, Ethanol, Fuel Cell, Carbon Credit Industries, and More (Wiley Trading)

With Profiting from Clean Energy, respected investment analyst Richard Asplund provides an in-depth explanation of the technology and industry structure behind various sectors of this field and in the process identifies more than 150 stocks related to clean energy. Along the way, Asplund discusses exactly what it takes to effectively invest in clean energy—whether it be through buying individual stocks, investing in green exchange-traded funds or mutual funds, or trading the biofuel and carbon credit markets.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies – Sunbox USB 3.0 Portable Solar Charger

Product Features

  • Solar battery power and lighting system in one convenient box
  • Full charge with 6 to 10 hours of sunlight
  • Off the grid energy is great for camping; travel or emergencies
  • Great for charging cell phones and other handheld devices
  • Includes solar panel, sunbox power system, LED lamp, cell phone adaptor tips, 14V DC charger and LED flashlight

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Renewable Energy Monitor

educational hydrogen fuel cell evaluation board includes measurement software for graphical display of performance characteristics. Compatible with any of our Horizon Fuel Cell (‘HZ-‘) educational kits.

Product Features

  • Horizon puts renewable energy technology into the hands of our future scientists
  • Take direct measurements of your solar and wind powered energy experiments
  • Can be used with or without a computer – indoors or ourdoors
  • Produces immediate and graphical displays without cumbersome computations
  • Compatible with any of Horizon?s clean energy educational kits!

Horizon Puts Renewable Energy Technology Into The Hands Of Our Future Scientists – Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Solar Hydrogen Education Kit

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies solar Hydrogen Education Kit

The solar Hydrogen Education Kit has all you need to setup your own fun science experiment dealing with a zero carbon fuel source! This new educational tool mixes a solar panel and a hydrogen fuel cell to power a small propeller, to help spark interest in the wonders of science. Sure to inspire students of all ages with the wonders and possibilities of hydrogen fuel cells is the pefect starting point to explore the science applications of renewable fuel sources in your classroom or home. This great science project idea comes with all you need to start learning today including easy to understand instructions and an educational CD that comes with a complete curriculum on renewable energy. Not recommended for kids under 12. **The fuel cell generates gases that are very easily ignited. Please exercise caution**
Horizon’s line of educational products demonstrate the science behind renewable energy technologies in a fun and tangible way for all. As technology continues to progress towards carbon-free energy systems, innovation is placed into the hands of our future scientists. With the solar Hydrogen Education Kit you have freedom to invent your own clean energy applications using fuel cells and renewable hydrogen created using solar energy and water. This new set is an optimal tool for inspiration and education in classrooms, as kids get to develop their own applications using a zero-carbon fuel. The kit also comes with a small electric motor and propeller blade as the starting point for motorized applications you can build using your futuristic solar energy storage device. The set comes with a complete curriculum on renewable energy with easy to follow experiment manual, assembly guide, flash animations, and background history on the technology.

Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 3.9 inches

Disclosure: Suggested age is 12 – 15 years Product may contain Small parts Not suitable for childr

Product Features

  • Horizon puts renewable energy technology into the hands of our future scientists
  • Solar Hydrogen Education Kit generates clean energy using the sun
  • Renewable hydrogen is created using only solar energy and water
  • Combining cutting-edge science, education and fun for all!
  • Includes fuel cell, small electric motor, propeller blade, experiment manual and assembly guide