Christina Sarich, Contributor
While it isn’t free energy just yet, wind power is one of the many clean’er’ energies that can help to eliminate our dependence on the petro dollar and the many environmental and social problems that accompany an oil based society. Just one example of new advances in wind production engines has proven to bet out recent inventions in wind power by increasing more kilowatt hours – 600% more – than its competition with wind speeds as low as 1 mile per hour. This means that even if you aren’t Dorothy living in Kansas, you can still generate wind power and increase energy production by up to 72%
Called Invelox, this complete retake on the design for wind power has been developed by SheerWind, a company in Minnesota:
“Invelox takes a novel approach to wind power generation as it doesn’t rely on high wind speeds. Instead, it captures wind at any speed, even a breeze, from a portal located above ground. The wind captured is then funneled through a duct where it will pick up speed. The resulting kinetic energy will drive the generator on the ground level. By bringing the airflow from the top of the tower, it’s possible to generate more power with smaller turbine blades, SheerWind says.” [GizMag]
With advances like this, it means we can potentially produce energy for less than 1 cent per kilowatt hour, making energy cheaper than even natural gas and hydroelectric powered generation. One of the problems with these competing energies is that they pollute the environment. Natural gas, for instance, releases “methane, the chief component of natural gas, causing it to escape into the atmosphere in far larger quantities than previously thought, with as much as 7.9 percent of it puffing out from shale gas wells, intentionally vented or flared, or seeping from loose pipe fittings along gas distribution lines. This offsets natural gas’s most important advantage as an energy source: it burns cleaner than other fossil fuels and releases lower carbon dioxide emissions.”
While hydroelectric power has been seen as a ‘clean’ energy, it changes the temperature in the lakes and rivers from which the water-power is generated, causing more than a slight inconvenience to aquatic ecosystem. The dams, themselves, make it very difficult for salmon to travel upstream to mate and make more salmon. According to WildSalmonCenter.org we need to protect salmon. “Salmon are inseparable from their freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. This is true of all species, but especially true of salmon. Juvenile salmon and steelhead use the entire river ecosystem, from headwaters to the ocean. They are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality, trophic webs and upstream perturbations to the river flow, turbidity and temperature. Juvenile salmonids feed on freshwater invertebrates that are also indicators of water quality. Generally, the more pristine, diverse and productive the freshwater ecosystem is, the healthier the salmon stocks. Declines in the capacity of a watershed to grow juvenile salmonids can indicate declining ecosystem health.”
Unlike fossil fuels, the supply of wind power is unlimited and cannot be depleted. As long as the sun shines, the wind will blow, and so we have lots of clean, cheap energy. Until someone comes up with ‘free’ energy, and gives it to the masses, this might be a good option to save our ecosystems, the economy, our society at large and our wallets. I personally believe, it is only a matter of time, and social activism, much in the same manner same as people are marching against Monsanto on May, 25, 2013 all throughout the world.
According to Jeff D. Colgan, in Petro Aggression, “Oil is the world’s single most important commodity and its political effects are pervasive.” He calls it a “resource curse following into the realm of international relations, exploring how countries form their foreign policy preferences and intentions. Why are some but not all oil-exporting ‘petrostates’ aggressive? To answer this question, a theory of aggressive foreign policy preferences is developed and then tested, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Petro-Aggression shows that oil creates incentives that increase a petrostate’s aggression, but also incentives for the opposite. The net effect depends critically on its domestic politics, especially the preferences of its leader. Revolutionary leaders are especially significant. Using case studies including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, we c an gain new insight into why oil politics have a central role in global peace and conflict.”
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.