Saturday, 1 May 2010



Young Chuck wants to get rich with his own ranch. To start with he buys a horse from a farmer. He gives him 100 dollars -- all his money -- who promises to deliver the horse next day. Next day the farmer visits Chuck and gives him the bad news: "Sorry, son, but the horse dropped dead during the night." "No problem", says Chuck, "just give me back my money." "Can't be done!, replies the farmer, "I already spent it all on fertiliser yesterday."
Chuck thinks for a moment. "Well, I'll take the dead horse anyway." "What for?" asks the farmer. "I want to auction it," declares Chuck. "But you can't auction a dead horse, surely!" says the amazed farmer. But Chuck replies: "No problem, I just don't tell anyone it's already dead..."
Months later Chuck -- in a smart suit and stylish shoes -- bumps into the farmer in town. Asks the farmer; "Chuck! How did it go with the cadaver auction?" "First class", says Chuck. "I sold over 500 lottery tickets at 2 dollars each and made my first 1000 dollar profit."
"Weren't there any complaints?" "Oh yes, from the winner" says Chuck, "but I simply returned his 2 dollar stake to him."
Today Chuck sells structured financial products at a large investment bank.

(Found in Forum Finanzcrash from an unknown author, as quoted by Franz Alt & Peter Spiegel: Gute Geschaefte, Aufbauverlag GmbH & Co.KG, Berlin, 2009)

Buckminster Fuller proposed the World Design Science Decade 1965-1975 to the International Union of Architects for adoption by world architectural schools[6],[7] stating the most inspirational reasoning of what still remains doing :

".... to render the total chemical and energy resources of the world, which are now exclusively preoccupied in serving only 44% of humanity, adequate to the service of 100% of humanity, at higher standards of living and total enjoyment than any man has yet experienced."
That such a task is not beyond the realm of human achievement is illustrated by a similar scale project actually accomplished during the same period - the Apollo Program 1963-1972 which put man on the moon - and back.

Fuller's challenge does, of course, not go away even if all the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) theory turns out to be not quite what it's made out to be. Following Thomas L Friedman's calculations in his book "Hot, Flat and Crowded" (p.214) I reckon that the world in 2100 at, say 10 billion people, would need to have access to at least four times the current electricity consumption of 13 terawatts. A nuclear power plant producing on average one gigawatt, the world would need about 50,000 nuclear plants - needing to be built at a rate of 1.5 plants every day from now on till 2100. Try your own numbers. At least read that book. [see earlier posts for reasons why only solar energy can possible meet that challenge]

Given the nature and size of Fuller's Global Challenge and as far as energy is concerned (there are myriad other concerns but energy is a fundamental one), there appears to be only one physical unit with which to measure progress to meet that challenge -- while avoiding being sold 'dead horses' or accepting the wooden nickels of carbon- and carbondioxide-measured endeavours: kWh of Clean Energy. Everything that is sold as 'green', 'sustainable', 'renewable' or similar not producing any kWhCE -- exportable beyond selfconsumption -- belongs to a realm other than facing up to this energy part of Fuller's Global Challenge.