Monday, June 11, 2007

Bio Fuels and Alternative Energy

Bio Fuels are BAD!


Why are people trying to stop the production of alternative fuels? Every day I read or hear a new story about how bio fuels are bad for the environment because they take up so much land and limit the amount of plants that can be used for food. That's just ridiculous!

Okay. If we use up so much land to grow corn, palm, soy, whatever, that half the planet becomes a giant farm... then, yes, that's bad. But who says we have to use up land to grow vegetables? Why don't we grow plants in... oh, I don't know... THE OCEAN? It's being explored right now. Here is one example:

Seawater Agriculture Utilizing a Solar Still Greenhouse
Speitel, T. Siegel, B. Massey, J. Cade, W. LaRosa, A.
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA;

This paper appears in: OCEANS
Publication Date: Sep 1976
Volume: 8, On page(s): 313- 315
Posted online: 2003-01-06 17:26:31.0

A structure which we call a solar still greenhouse can provide the necessary protection from the adversities of the marine environment for many vascular plants. Utilizing seawater and sunlight, this structure distills seawater, providing freshwater for plant use. This unit can be placed anywhere that seawater is available, including arid shores, or even (with flotation) on the ocean surface. The basic design is a cubicle array of eight ft tall columns filled with lava cinders and spacedimath 3ft apart. These columns connected with trasparent plastic form the walls of the solar still greenhouse. Planting is done in perforations in the side of the columns, foliage growing into the central greenhouse space. Seawater in a black pan within the greenhouse is solar evaporated, with fresh water condensing on the sloping transparent roof and trickling down into the columns, bathing plant roots.

How about this idea...
Instead of expanding crops outward to take up acre upon acre of land, why not expand the crops UPWARD in a Vertical Hydroponic Greenhouse. If we can build hi-rises to house tons of people and equipment, why can't we do the same for agriculture? Heck, for that matter, why can't we build Descending Greenhouses? Just dig a big hole and drop the multi-storied hydroponic greenhouse underground. No skyscraper eyesore, and acre upon acre is left alone.

I know I'm oversimplifying here, but why can't this be done? I need an intelligent engineer (is that redundant?) to explain to me why we can't have vertical farms... or (as I expect) why we CAN have vertical farms, and then show me how easy it really is.

Come on now... think about it. If skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and parking decks can hold the weight of people, equipment, and CARS, why couldn't a similar building house plants? We already know how to route water to those heights. We already know how to grow plants under fluorescent lights. So, what are we missing?

In all seriousness, somebody please tell me why this can't work. There has to be a reason it can't work. Otherwise, we'd be building vertical greenhouses. Right?