Friday, September 12, 2008
We get our energy from the sun. The earth, varying from 91-94 million miles away based on the earth's elliptical orbit around it, receives the energy from the energy. The sun is a gigantic nuclear fusion energy generator. Every second, massive amounts of hydrogen atoms by fours are fused into helium atoms in a 32 step process. Part of the reason for this is the tremendous force of gravity from the mass of the large orange ball. The resultant loss of mass (the four hydrogen atoms lose about 12% of their mass fusing into a helium atom) is converted to energy using the famous E=mc squared formula (not exactly the formula but close enough). So every day we have massive amounts of energy. We can't "eat" sunshine but plants can through photosynthesis and animals eat plants and we eat plants and animals. Vitamin D is activated by the ultra-violet rays of the sun. There are also massive amounts of energy within the earth such as volcanoes and geysers. In Iceland, the whole island is powered by geysers. They move the heat via pipes to their homes. Wind is also an incredible source. When the sun evaporates the water to the sky and it falls again as rain, we capture the potential energy in dams, mills, etc. The most efficient energy producer is nuclear power which unfortunately for economic and political reasons is forestalled. We really have more than we will ever need already. Recently, we learned that the Sun set a recent record for lack of sun spots and some scientists are inferring global cooling. So the issue of global warming is a very complex issue, but I am convinced that man is having minimal impact on the heat of the earth compared to the sun, and cosmic events such as meteors, volcanoes, etc.