HUMINT: Free Fuel
ENERGY IS INHERENTLY VALUABLE: There will never be such a thing as free fuel, however, energy is now and will forever be the most important commodity in human society. Energy is valuable because it can be converted into virtually every other commodity. With enough cheap energy, civil engineers could create land – so there would be no need for feudal systems of land owning lords or renting serfs as was witnessed in history when people and energy were synonymous. Automation and mechanization has liberated mankind from most of the backbreaking labor of our ancestors, yet machines and automation still require energy to operate.
COSTS OF COMMODITIES: What about other commodities such as gold, platinum or silver? Recycling for example, is cost prohibitive because of the amount of energy recycling requires. If fuel were free, or nearly free, the price of recycling would presumably drop below the price of mining for more gold, platinum or silver. For a while at least, the price of all consumables would drop, and or the amount of profit made by businesses would skyrocket.
PENNIES PER GALLON: An economic and environmental analysis probably should be used to show the direct impact on the planet if a gallon of gasoline were to cost consumer’s pennies instead of dollars. Thinking about free fuel is fun. Free fuel is a feel good idea, even if it isn’t going to happen tomorrow, even if it’s not going to happen in the next century
REVERSING ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE: Free fuel implies more than just “no financial costs”; free fuel also implies “no environmental costs”. If energy were free, it might become feasible to deploy machines/filters capable of reversing most if not all environmental damage created by using the fuel in the first place. If fuel were free, it would be feasible to purify salt water and pump the resultant fresh water wherever it’s needed. These are just a few obvious opportunities that would be revealed if fuel were free.
CASTRATE RESOURCE OPPRESSORS: An immediate benefit of cheap synthetic fuel would be stripping the Islamic Republic of Iran of billions of dollars in revenue it receives for its oil exports. Iran’s President, Mahmood Ahmadinejad is a radical religious fanatic who enjoys threatening the United States and our allies around the world. He uses the money his nation makes from exporting unrefined oil to denigrate and attack the United States. Fossil fuels are extremely valuable but it is not an earned value. The fact that Iran doesn’t earn its wealth is probably why it feels justified in hating the people and nations that pay them for their oil.
WORSHIP THE SUN: In terms of the fuel we use today, it is extremely inefficient. It took millions of years to produce, it takes millions of dollars to extract, it costs U.S. consumers billions of dollars use, and it costs the environment an undetermined amount in atmospheric damage. It is important to realize that most of the energy consumed in the world today is a manifestation of solar energy. Coal, natural gas, oil are all fossil fuels that stores energy chemically. The source energy of the fuel you use in your car and probably your home as well originated as nuclear energy inside the sun. As you are aware every day, that energy travelled to the earth in the form of radiation (sunlight). Geothermal and nuclear energy are the only exceptions. Nuclear energy, as we all know, has serious drawbacks in terms of safety and weapons proliferation. Therefore we should collectively look to the sun for energy salvation, if there is such a thing.
MIRRORS AND MICROBES: One approach to efficiently harvest energy directly from the sun could be some configuration of mirrors concentrating solar energy to force feed genetically engineered microbes capable of converting the energy into usable fuel. Theoretically, genetically engineered microbes could produce usable fuel at a pace consistent with our current lifestyles and growing energy demands. Where would we do it? Vast areas of international waters could be used as oceanic fields to produce the fuel. All of this brain storming is wildly speculative but there are reasons to be optimistic about genetically engineered microbes. Genetically engineered microbes are already producing valuable commodities such as insulin for diabetics.
FOR EXAMPLE: Dr Stephen Curry, a structural biologist from Imperial College London's Division of Cell and Molecular Biology who participated in the research explains: "This work has shown that it is possible to manipulate molecules and proteins that occur naturally in the human body by changing one small detail of their make-up, such as the type of metal at the heart of a porphyrin molecule, as we did in this study. --- "It's very exciting to prove that we can use these biological structures as a conduit to harness solar energy to separate water out into hydrogen and oxygen. In the long term, these synthetic molecules may provide a more environmentally friendly way of producing hydrogen, which can be used as a 'green' fuel."
HUMINT: While fuel will never be free, the future sources of fuel will not remain what they are. Woe to energy exporting nations who are leveraging their natural resources against free people who represent their customers. What seems clear is that resource rich oppressors are extremely ambitions despite the fact that they didn’t earn their petro-wealth. Their day of reckoning is near…