Drink the Ocean

By | Feb 19, 2009

As ideal as it sounds, moving to green energy involves a dizzyingly complex series of factors. We must reduce our consumption – we can’t expect to move our energy source from coal to wind and still keep turning on the television and flipping the light switch in the way in which we have grown accustomed. Big changes are coming and our way of life is necessarily going to scale back from the excesses of today. More awareness will come as part of the solution: I see a world where every citizen will be involved in the production of power in ways that have a low impact to the natural environment.

As we try to bring sustainable resources online, we will increasingly run into resource limits that will prevent us from building infrastructure. For example, solar cells require petroleum-based plastic but we’re running into the limit of our capacity to pump oil; we use natural gas to pump more oil but we are running out of that too (incidentally, many of us need natural gas in order to heat our homes in the winter!); we switch to water to increase the pressure of the oil but now it takes more energy to refine the oil while in the meantime we are running out of freshwater to drink. Resource chains like this will be present in all aspects of the ultimate solution.

Oasys Water has a promising solution for extracting drinkable water from the world’s oceans. The company has raised $10 million in venture capital to develop its desalinization technology that promises to greatly reduce electricity and fuel demands thus making it economical to purify ocean water for regular applications.

Expect to see more forward-thinking like this as the energy crunch worsens. Technology alone won’t help us with our resource problems, but when combined with conservation and awareness there is hope for a better future.

1 Comment so far
  1. Good Riddance 2009 | Ignorant Mouth January 4, 2010 8:41 pm

    […] the finest organic wood(!?). In the end it’s not about technology or one-off changes – creating a sustainable world is going to be hard work – we should start sooner rather than later. Look out for the resource land […]

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