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David Hamilton

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Boil the oceans... Yeah... I said it.

In general I'm a huge fan of solar concentration, and desalination for the purposes of bringing drinking water and energy to third world countries, uninterested in green technology... like America.

In the back of my mind however, I've always had a weird idea, to solve global warming... actually two. The first... Boil the oceans... Hear me out.

Sea level is rising... because of climate change, whether this is man made or not, islands are sinking, and farmland is dying. I am not an expert in this field... though I don't know if anyone would really be qualified to comment... but, What if we just boiled the salt water, and created clouds?

Everywhere near the equator, fresnel lens could be made from recycled material, we could pump water away from sea life, preferably in an area which is already polluted... and we could make clouds, out of the ocean.

Certainly this comes with some questions. What percent of clouds are formed by ocean water? Will it provide safe drinking rain? If not however, I'm sure a filtration system could be designed. Don't just start pointing fire at the water... but... Would solar concentration, for the purpose of cloud seeding, stop global warming?

Key point here, is that clouds reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere btw. Which brings me to my second backwards idea... Flood the salt flats. There are numerous salt flats around the world that when flooded, give of the most beautiful mirror like shine... It's not just so you can check your make up, it reflects sunlight... very usefull. If we had solar concentrating desalination plants, we'd have enough water to waste some of it every year...

I am a novice, and an eccentric however, I may just be missing something obvious. Enlighten me.

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  • Jon Ho

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    Oct 4 2012: David, let me enlighten you on something that captain obvious always told me. If there is a problem, fix that goddamn problem! Now, what are the main causes of global warming? Fossil Fuel related CO2 emission. H2O, aka water is a major greenhouse gas too, but its level in the atmosphere depends on temperature. Excess water vapor rains out in days. Excess CO2 accumulates, warming the atmosphere, which raises water vapor levels and causes further warming.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11652-climate-myths-co2-isnt-the-most-important-greenhouse-gas.html

    So, you are not really helping, you are making things worse with:
    Problem 1
    Oh yeah, good idea, plankton stew! Plankton gumbo! All the plankton in the world, boiled to death! And when plankton become scarce, small fishes like anchovies that feed on them starts dying off, and big fishes like tuna that feeds on anchovies start dying off, and humans who feed on fishes will be in big trouble.

    Problem 2
    Water evaporation are inversely proportionate to clouds creation. The more clouds you make, the less sunlight you get to power the fresnel lens. What happens is that not only did you fail to decrease global warming (you are actually causing it to increase!!!), you killed off millions of plankton, thereby contributing to problem 1.
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      Oct 5 2012: Okay... I'll fix the problem... let me sit down with all 7 billion people individually, and I will convince them all to switch to solar concentration and electric motorcycles... Just give me a million years.

      If you think we can stop people from using "free" fuel, which literally bubbles out of the ground... More power to you Jon... I realized people were way too stupid to stop killing themselves long ago.

      Problem 1 - again... I'm fixing a problem. Sea level is higher than it naturally would be, because of human intervention. I don't want to boil more water than will level off sea level rises.

      Problem 2 - I have already addressed this... In general, I'm certain solar concentrating desalination, is one of our best tools for fighting climate change... This is already being done in Australia, and several other warm ocean communities... Creating clouds may be a net greenhouse loss. However... You keep cutting off the equation, before it reaches it's end.

      The more clouds you create, the more water rains down on the earth, the more plants grow, the more we capture co2, and release oxygen... However, it might be more efficient to simply pump the water directly to farmland, than to create clouds. I said I was an eccentric... Still boil the oceans creating agriculture, and energy, lowering sea level.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 5 2012: Your sarcasm is extremely misdirected. I've spent the last 10,000 years trying to teach you humans to stop killing yourselves; has never given up on you humans, and never will. ;)

        No, you are not fixing the problem. You are running away from it. It's not H2O that needs fixing, its CO2.

        AND you are getting the concept of greenhouse effect wrong! Read the New Scientist article again, and fully understand it! The more clouds you create, the hotter the world will become, the faster the ice cap melts, the faster the sea level rises! And this effect is compounded exponentially due to CO2.

        Seriously, if you really want to save the earth with crazy ideas, how about this:

        instead of boiling the ocean, why not use those same fresnel lens to somehow burn the CO2 particles in the sky to its base element, Carbon and 2 Oxygen? Of course you may need to spray some other chemicals as catalyst, but don't you think this idea is much more feasible?
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          Oct 6 2012: My sarcasm is extremely misdirected? This conversation is called "Boil the oceans", and your first response was "Oh yeah, good idea, plankton stew"... So, we're a bit past claiming the moral high ground on sarcasm, especially since you go on to claim to be 10,000 years old... If you want people to take you seriously, you might want to keep that to yourself.

          You didn't read my whole response obviously, because I already said that clouds were not the best way to go about it. Also you're equation, continues to ignore the effect of plant life created by the clouds, so even if I was serious about it going into clouds, rather than agriculture, you still would not have convinced me. Clouds bad, plants good... what's the equation for the net effect?

          Carbon capture is good, but solar concentrating desalination, is the future in coastal and warm communities... Not for clouds, for energy, and agriculture water. My cloud idea may not be relevant, but boiling the oceans certainly is. Carbon capture doesn't really deal with the problem though, it just makes everything more expensive, for all the carbon we release, we will also have to make enough money to fund the carbon capture process.

          Boiling water to turn kinetic energy into electricity, and create drinking water, actually solves the problem, replacing coal.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: Aha, touche!

        But you're still not getting it. Let me explain it in a way that even a 6 years old can understand.

        Boil Ocean Bad.
        Makes Greenhouse Worse.
        Ocean Water is Number 1 Reason For Greenhouse.
        More Ocean Boil, More Greenhouse Happen.
        More Greenhouse Happen, More Ocean Water Increase.
        More Ocean Water Increase, Landmass Decreases.
        No More Plants.
        Humans All Dead Or Mutate Into Fish.


        No boil Ocean.
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          Oct 6 2012: I'll refute using your own logic...

          Ocean water is number 1 reason for greenhouse...
          We are adding to sea level.
          More ocean water, less landmass... Greenhouse gets worse.
          Boil ocean, filter, sell salt, sell water, grow crops.
          Crops reduce greenhouse gases.
          Water from ocean, going to crops, makes less ocean water, more land mass.

          So, as I have said numerous times... I concede, not boil ocean for clouds.
          Boil ocean, cool water, put in ground, grow plants.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: Post Scriptum :
        David, either you are a moron or an idiot, when you claimed my first response was "Oh yeah, good idea, plankton stew"...

        No sir! My first response was this :
        David, let me enlighten you on something that captain obvious always told me. If there is a problem, fix that goddamn problem! Now, what are the main causes of global warming? Fossil Fuel related CO2 emission. H2O, aka water is a major greenhouse gas too, but its level in the atmosphere depends on temperature. Excess water vapor rains out in days. Excess CO2 accumulates, warming the atmosphere, which raises water vapor levels and causes further warming.

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11652-climate-myths-co2-isnt-the-most-important-greenhouse-gas.html

        -----------------------------------------

        Post Post Scriptum :
        Actually, I'm 15,000 years old, give or take a few. ;)

        And you don't believe that I've spent the last 10,000 years, give or take, trying to help you humans? FINE. I will also NOT believe you when you claim to be a young man; in fact, I think you must be an 80 years old geezer, stuck in your room, spending all your time sitting in front of some electronic devices, all alone with no friends or family whatsoever, wishing you had been more friendly or jovial when you were younger so girls were attracted to you, and married you and had many children and grandchildren, so there! ;)
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          Oct 6 2012: Well, as long as I have the 2 options... Personally I tend to think of myself as a jester, and a fool... but whatever insults float your boat.

          For someone who has spent 10,000 years trying to help human beings, you seemed to have learned little about them, and little tolerance. No wonder no one listens to you. Calling them idiots without any evidence doesn't help.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: All that time I spent with you humans, I learn that you will almost never, ever learn from your mistakes; you humans keep repeating the same mistake again and again and again. Why? Ego. Just like the one you have right now.

        And now, instead of admitting your mistake, you are trying to justify it, by putting all the spotlight back on me, by saying how I hurt your ego, instead of actually listening to what I said, and the way how I exposed your reluctance to learn and understand, even though I backed it with evidence. Now, isn't that the hallmark or modus operandi of a moron or an idiot?

        You claimed to think of yourself as a jester and a fool. That is just a mask that you hide behind. The true face, the real you behind that mask you put up is much different. I sense that your mask hides a face that has been scarred by a lifetime of pain, angst, and fear. Don't let it control you! Sometimes these demons grab hold of you and don't let go; I say fight it, overcome that barrier!

        If you had phrased your replies to me in another way though, I might be fooled into thinking you were jesting but, ah well.... ;)
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          Oct 6 2012: 15,000 years, of calling us stupid ego monsters didn't work... I'm shocked. Maybe there is a reason your trapped here with us... Maybe you have to learn to control your own.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: Ocean water is number 1 reason for greenhouse...
        We are adding to sea level.
        More ocean water, less landmass... Greenhouse gets worse.
        Boil ocean, filter, sell salt, sell water, grow crops. - Point of Failure No 1. Here We Reach Critical Mass
        Crops reduce greenhouse gases. - Point of Failure No 2.
        Water from ocean, going to crops, makes less ocean water, more land mass. - Point of Failure No 3.

        So, as I have said numerous times... I concede, not boil ocean for clouds.
        Boil ocean, cool water, put in ground, grow plants.

        By Zeus beard, arrrgghhh!

        You know you are proposing a system that will overload our current atmospheric convection system? Not only do we need to contend with accelerated CO2 emission that has been overloading the atmospheric convection system for the last 50 years, you want to add this system into the mix?

        You realize that when you reach critical mass at point of failure no 1, you get dust-bowls, off the scale tornado's, mega-storms, etc. Forget point of failure 2 and 3, you won't even last that long. What plants you have now will die at point of failure 1, and new plants are impossible to grow. At point of failure 2, due to reduced number of plants, green house effect is accelerated in a snowball effect! Forget point of failure 3, the whole world is submerged in water!
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          Oct 6 2012: You can't just say point of failure 1... What about it, fails? What about lowering sea level, to normal levels, and creating fresh water, and salt fails?

          "Crops reduce greenhouse gases - Point of Failure No 2." Are you suggesting, that growing plantlife, does not reduce greenhouse gases?

          "Water from ocean, going to crops, makes less ocean water, more land mass. - Point of Failure No 3"... You're the one who said increasing land mass, and reducing ocean would lower the temperature, not me... I admitted to being a novice in this field, in my initial statement.

          You are emparting a much larger ego on me, than I contain. Yes my life is scarred by the decisions of our parents, I feel incredible responsibility to help fix this system, and this is one, admittedly crazy idea I have. I posted this one for free in public, because it was fun, and funny, and could provoke an interesting debate. I was not particularly funny in this debate, nor do I tend to be in debates, but my true personality, is that of the jester.

          I laugh at what humanity has done, "forgive them for they know not what they do", and all that. I also take very seriously the business of fixing it so that the world exists in a tolerable way in which for me to raise a child. I mean you no harm, I don't understand... Pretend I'm 5... Nothing in the article you are suggesting tells me why solar concentrating desalination won't work.

          Maybe you don't understand that my intent is to capture and redistribute all water vapor, internally, then distribute it below ground, where it would otherwise be unable to reach. So it's like a virtual cloud surviving one extra day, to get further inland, and grow plants.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: What about it, fails? What about lowering sea level, to normal levels, and creating fresh water, and salt fails?
        --- It fails because you are accelerating global warming by playing around with atmospheric convection system, which you originally stated with using clouds which I enlightened you to the fact that this is actually contributing factor to global warming, and now you want to use a magical black-box-boil the ocean-cooling-system that feeds into the underground aquifers. Let me introduce you to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This cooling system you propose will generate a lot of heat, and unless you can vent it into outer space, the heat this cooling system generates will increase global warming, and starts screwing with earth's atmospheric convection system, which leads to Point of Failure No 2, where crops start either start dying or will not even germinate in the first place.

        "Crops reduce greenhouse gases - Point of Failure No 2." Are you suggesting, that growing plantlife, does not reduce greenhouse gases?
        --- Stop reading what I wrote piecemeal, start reading it as a whole. Did I EVER say that growing plant life does not reduce greenhouse gases? No, I alluded to the fact that since you have already screwed up the atmosphere with accelerated global warming, crops will start dying or simply stopped germinating/growing in the first place.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 6 2012: Continued due to silly character limitation-

        "Water from ocean, going to crops, makes less ocean water, more land mass. - Point of Failure No 3"... You're the one who said increasing land mass, and reducing ocean would lower the temperature, not me... I admitted to being a novice in this field, in my initial statement.
        --- You're doing it again, reading what I wrote piecemeal! Start reading it as a whole. Sure you get cubic tons of water from the ocean due to accelerated global warming, but going to what crops? All crops are dead or dying, and no new ones will grow. So where do these cubic tons of water go? Why, back into the ocean, making land mass grow smaller and smaller! Until finally, the world is drowned in ocean water forever, with mega storm cell and miles high tsunami raging over the water.

        No I'm not imparting a much larger ego on you, I know, you do. And please, EGO IS GOOD! It proves that you are you, and not sheeples conforming to the status quo. It is only when you humans start thinking and acting irrationally, trying to protect an idea or meme that should die gracefully, that you become a monster, trapped by the dogma of self. ;)

        I love crazy idea, seriously I do. I also love jokes, sarcasm, et al. too. When I see something posted is fun, funny, provoke an interesting debate, my logic follows : post serious logic stuff backed by scientific reason first, then throw in a little parody here and there. If the guy who I took a stab out of laughed and played along, I know that that guy is a jester for real, and not some guy who has a big chip on his shoulder, menacing and threatening to sue anyone who parodied him.

        And yes, I AM a 15,000 years old, who spent the last 10 millenium living on earth as an illegal alien. Nah, just joking haha. Or am I? Dun dun duuunnnn ;)
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          Oct 7 2012: Okay... I'm assuming you're trolling at this point... but whatever, it was fun defending my idea. In the very first sentence of my original post.

          "In general I'm a huge fan of solar concentration, and desalination for the purposes of bringing drinking water and energy to third world countries, uninterested in green technology... like America."

          If you know what those words mean, you know that my main point was to bring up solar concentration and desalination again, as I am want to do, because it is a passion of mine. I added to it, the crazy idea of clouds, which you still insist you refuted... but you still have not. I'm not going to boil the entire ocean. Obviously projects start small... So... Everything's not going to be dead, a month after we boil a few hundred gallons of salt water...

          You can take that to crops pretty quick. Once the crops are growing, you have not even bothered to take seriously whether the system is a net gain, or loss, because you feel like being an arrogant blowhard, and talking about how you're ancient and inhuman, and if only I wasn't so stupid and egocentric I'd understand you. In this argument you're been a reductionist moron, and I accidentally wasted my time taking you seriously.

          Aside from that... again, in my first sentence I alluded to my real purpose, promoting solar concentrating desalination... I also linked to this article before you posted, if you had read the conversation. http://www.sciencealert.com.au/opinions/20091203-18907.html

          So, since point one fails, in every measurable way, and point 2 and point 3 are nonsense without it, you just dismissively critiqued a perfectly good idea, and tried to sound smart while doing it... Epic Fail!
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 7 2012: I KNOW about Solar Desalination, heck even built a couple of prototype for a company. BUT, just like perpetual motion machine, even though they sound good on paper, in practice it does not work. That company is now using something else, which does not have the design problems of solar desalination project.

        There are two inherent design problems facing any solar desalination project. Firstly, the system's efficiency is governed by preferably high heat and mass transfer during evaporation and condensation. The surfaces have to be properly designed within the contradictory objectives of heat transfer efficiency, economy and reliability.

        Secondly, the heat of condensation is valuable because it takes large amounts of solar energy to evaporate water and generate saturated, vapor-laden hot air. This energy is, by definition, transferred to the condenser's surface during condensation. With most forms of solar stills, this heat of condensation is ejected from the system as waste heat. The challenge still existing in the field today, is to achieve the optimum temperature difference between the solar-generated vapor and the seawater-cooled condenser, maximal reuse of the energy of condensation, and minimizing the asset investment.

        These two design problems is the main contributor to the all powerful Point Of Failure 1 as soon as it hits Critical Mass. The other two Points of Failure is just icing in the rapidly snowballing global warming cake of apocalypse.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 7 2012: Now, for the last time, I will try to enlighten you, and that is that, because I'm tired of teaching humans who does not want to empty their cup full of their own opinions first, seeing their cup of knowledge overflow when I pour my knowledge into their cup. A waste of my precious time.

        If you really want to desalinate ocean water to replenish the groundwater, use semi permeable membrane. Reverse osmosis is a pressure-driven process that forces the separation of fresh water from other constituents through a semipermeable membrane. This is the preferred method in large-scale desalination implementations where electricity is cheaply available. What the hell am I talking about? Check out this website http://www.gwrsystem.com/

        And now you name call me a troll, right after I proved you wrong yet again. Seriously, why say enlighten me, when every time I tried you don't want to accept enlightenment and stubbornly keep clinging to your ideas? Why keep saying you are a jester when every time I try to throw in some parody you start getting defensive and start name calling? Oh wait, I get it, you're not a moron, you're an oxymoron! Hahahahaha, good one! So when you say you are a young guy, I can safely assume that you are actually an old woman right?

        Epic Fail indeed! ;)
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          Oct 7 2012: Okay... So after about 10 pages, of nonsense and self contradiction you arrive at. "The only thing I really disagree with is that pressure and membranes, not heat should be used to accomplish your goal"...

          I could have said that in one sentence... In fact, I just did. Good to know though, thx.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 7 2012: I can do better with one word:

        Winning ;)
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          Oct 7 2012: Just to be clear though for anyone who reads this. The energy for that pressure, in warm climates, is best provided by solar concentration, ie something like www.zenithsolar.com. So while yes, you win, and we wouldn't literally boil the oceans. The idea I came here to promote "solar concentration, and desalination for the purposes of bringing drinking water and energy to third world countries, uninterested in green technology... like America", is a great one. People are already working on it... and the more people who think about it, the better, correct?

          You might not like zenith, and the gwr system, is apparently the component which should be attached to the solar concentration plant... but there is no actual fundamental flaw in what I initially came here to promote, correct?

          The only reason I got defensive, was because seperately, desalination, and solar concentration, are industries, I am constantly pimping out, and think the ted community should be paying more attention to. I apologize if because of that, you thought I was defending the cloud idea into the ground, I was just worried on the big concepts, I might be wrong... I am not, at least not from anything you've shown me.

          If you were suggesting that I was, I was prepared to defend those two ideas seperately as long as I could, because, I'm virtually certain they represent California, NZ, and Australias only real hope for growth and sustained living in the near future. If California, Nevada, and Arizona, were the new solar concentration power centers of America, and we were using that energy to plant crops, I'm very confident that would be a huge win.

          If I'm wrong, I want to know. It turns out just the steam/cloud part of the equation is stupid, and I have nothing tied up in that, so this conversation was a waste of both of our times... but I learned about gwr, and I'll research that a bit more because of it, so despite the hostility of our interation... Thanks.
      • Jon Ho

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        Oct 7 2012: Excellent! In fact, go and pay those a visit, they're in Orange County. Public tours of the Groundwater Replenishment System are offered at 10 a.m. on the first Friday of every month if I'm not mistaken, and you need to reserve in advance. ;)

        The thing about zenithsolar is that they generate heat, and they're very good at it. But then you want to pump those evaporated hot water through a cooling system and that cooling system transfers that heat back into the atmosphere thus contributing to more global warming, and this is where solar powered desalination failed.

        Unless you can come up with a way to remove that excess heat, by either channeling it into a miniature black hole or venting it thousands of miles into the vacuum of outer space, solar desalination for the moment is just not feasible....

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