The Dec. 13 op-ed piece by Mary Zhu on hydrofracking really misses the whole energy-environment problem. The only way we humans will survive on Earth is by making the sun our sole energy-power source. All nuclear and fossil fuel energy keeps releasing buried trapped energy to worsen climate change/global warming with fossil fuels emitting CO2 as an added onus.
We ought to be hearing about our entering the Hydrogen Age of totally clean energy power, but our energy companies do not want you to know that several catalysts have been reported to use sunlight to split water to get hydrogen, the clean fuel. Every company supporting fracking is scared of the public realizing that fracking ourselves is what we will end up doing. But we don’t need any fossil or nuclear fuelishness to be worsening climate change and ruining our kids’ futures.
I urge readers to start calling for our clean energy-power future from making full use of the sun. (We have some scientists calling for sun-deflecting actions to get a cooling effect, but that would reduce food production.) Among other steps we need to revive the conservation programs of Roosevelt as we need to double our tree plantings to get much more CO2 taken up.
Fully grown trees eventually resulting from such plantings can be harvested to submit to pyrolysis, the process to make charcoal. That also expels a collectible light oil mix that can be refined to make drugs, detergents and fuel. Right now, with millions of dead and dying evergreen trees in the Northern Rockies, we need a major conservation program to get the dead trees out to be pyrolyzed while planting other trees that are not attacked by the borers.
The Arabian oil barons won’t be happy when they find their oil is no longer of value. Also, much of our biowastes, including separable solids at sewage plants, can be pyrolyzed instead of being processed to allow re-emitting of CO2 from the natural biodegrading that takes place. That could save mega dollars as pyrolysis will destroy, germs, toxics and drugs, greatly reducing any chances of messy pollution problems and reducing the mounting costs of monitoring dump sites.
James Singmaster III