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Opinion ~ Would I advocate against my own green oil sands design?
When it comes to dumb ideas in modern manufacturing, the Alberta Oil Sands are the model of SLOTADS*. The amount of energy, and the parasitic energy load, of the total manufacturing process, is quite like burning a perfectly good wood barn to get enough charcoal to gently grill a garden fresh red pepper. It's a waste — no matter how ethical the spin.
The complexity of the oil sands "argument" is vast, not a Rove-Velshian "Yes" or "No" bipolar level of comprehension, as we see currently being schlopped — is there too much damage being done to extract this dirty energy? Some say leave oil sands in the ground — there is a wisdom to that. I concur.
Oil sands are worthless assets considering the class of competition it faces — there are many new toys coming down the green technology pipeline. Some are secret, others mostly unknown, but innovation happens. The steam engine couldn't compete with the internal combustion engine — blame thermodynamics.
Being a designer, I have had oil sands sloshing in my mind for a long, long, long time. Knowing what competition traditional fossil fuels faces coming down the pipeline seems to give me and advantage in the green market. Did an economist predict our first Industrial Revolution? Should we be listening to the current crop of "expert economists" about the Third Industrial Revolution?
As much as I love Jeremy Rifkin, did he call the Third Industrial Revolution correctly? In my opinion, no — the Third Industrial Revolution was not the internet of renewable energy, these things have existed in different forms for some time. Sorry, Jeremy.
A few weeks ago I was talking with a tweep and something clicked in my head, poof, I got a new idea — total mind blowing experience. As a designer, that is called a rush. I like them. All kidding aside, my idea supports green extraction of oil sands. Is that possible? Will I follow this blog with a blog attacking this blog for oil sands? No.
I will sell my idea, under the correct circumstances and conditions. If we can extract energy from oil sands without harming the environment and demonstrate that it is safe, perhaps it can be done. Of course, it will require quite a bit of technology and design. Is ten years too long to wait for a 90% efficient oil sands energy process? If Canada can extract ~400% more energy from oil sands and not pollute, is it a good idea? Yes.
My green design for oil sands is radical — no physical extraction is required, no water is used, no carbon dioxide is released, no capital equipment such a pipelines or refineries are needed. Did I also mention that it makes fracking obsolete? Sounds cool, eh? Well, it is. Could be only 10 years away, but would need investment and research.
New ideas can sprout from the weirdest places. Exercise your mind and sometimes it just must surprise you! But, be careful of what you say, sometimes good ideas sound like bad ones to others, just ask Douglas Adams — until my design for green oil sands is complete I will not advaocate against my own design idea.
* — SLOTADS — Second Law of Thermodynamics Aversion and Delusionment Syndrome**.
** — of course SLOTADS isn't real, but then again, DSM6 could probably list it with success***.
**** — yes, that is a Douglas Adams reference. Now, that's 100% true.