James Altucher Just Solved That Little “Global Warming” Problem

In an article titled “10 Great Ideas Someone Should Invent” at Techcrunch.

I don’t know why nobody has thought of this yet. Just look at the words “Global. Warming.” i.e. The surface of the planet is getting hotter. That means it’s giving off energy. Use photovoltaic strips to harness the energy coming off the planet to reduce our need for carbon-based energy. BAM! Problem solved.

Actually, “photovoltaic strips” don’t capture energy coming off the Earth. They are designed to harness energy coming from the sun…

But while this might be at first sight better suited for publication at the Onion than at Techcrunch, Altucher actually has a point. Global warming itself will not be without influence on energy production.

That’s especially true for wind. All things equal, global warming leads to more and fiercer storms. That means it also leads to more wind, which is great news for wind energy.

As to my topic of special interest, “energy from the desert” will be much easier to do if the Sahara jumps the Mediterranean and extends into Southern European states. Just build the renewable energy there now and wait until the desert catches up. That would be good, since it would eliminate much of the need for long power lines.

On the other hand, if your big coal or nuclear power plant requires water cooling, you will be out of luck on a planet mostly turned to deserts. That is already a problem in France, where they have needed to switch off some nuclear plants for this reason in the past, and it will obviously get worse with global warming. So contrary what Altucher seems to assume, global warming may actually make it more difficult to use some energy sources.

And his point is of course not that this particular proposal will save us from global warming. It won’t, actually. His point is that one should make a habit of thinking of many new completely strange ideas every day. I agree with that.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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