"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo Da Vinci
Why incrementally reduce carbon footprint when it is "simply" possible to completely eliminate carbon footprint?
Simply understand, expand and harness two simple technologies...the magnifying glass and the prism.
1. Look at two "practical applications" of focusing ("concentrating") light energy with a magnifying glass:
Any child with a magnifying glass can ignite fossil fuels (leaves, paper, or tinder for a camp fire).
Any child with a magnifying glass can also boil a glass of water into steam.
Expand this from child's play into commercial application... perhaps innovative new technology can harness concentrated light energy to generate "high pressure steam". It just may be practical to replace (fossil fuel or atomic energy) boiler technology that generates electricity at power plants around the world today!
"Carbon footprint" is the result of burning fossil fuel... just breath smoke and fumes from burning leaves, paper and camp fires, or witness "particulate" belching from power plant chimneys... or catch a breath of poisonous gas from
combustion engine exhaust pipes. (Additionally, "nuclear footprint", (the side effect of atomic powered electric generating plants) is perhaps even more lethal... because spent "radioactive" fuel rods dangerously decay for "thousands of years", while the threat of accidents or terrorism can become instantaneous global catastrophes.)
Fossil fuel and atomic energy are simply "dirty"... and (for that reason alone) are effectively "obsolete".
While it might as well be a "top secret" from the general public, innovative "energy beam" technology is just about available to power boilers generating steam at any terrestrial power station. "Concentrating light", or "energy beam" technology" is a new technology that simply has no carbon footprint, (and additionally, no atomic footprint!).
Practical technology to boil water into steam (to turn turbines) to generate electricity is no longer absolutely dependent on fossil fuels or atomic energy.
2. Harnessing light energy with a prism. (Dispersion)
Any child playing with a prism understands "dispersion"... visible light separates into the colors of the rainbow as it passes through the prism. (This is just the opposite of light energy "concentrating" at the focal point as it passes through a magnifying glass!)
These two unique, yet "interchangeable" and "complimentary" characteristics of light energy are already keys to harnessing energy in a multitude of common devices serving the world today.
Just as the individual colors of the rainbow are identifiable because each color has its own unique "wave length" and "frequency", each separate and individual type of energy outside the visible light spectrum has its own unique and individual "wave length" and "frequency". It is as simple as choosing your favorite radio or television station, or the setting on your microwave oven.
Solar energy (visible light waves from the sun), radio waves, television waves, microwaves, X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, sonar, radar, gamma rays, beta rays... every individual type of energy is simply a variation of "wave length" and "frequency" of energy.
Modern technology already uses radio, television and microwave energy for communications across the Earth with "dish antennas" to send and receive energy to and from satellites in orbit, and between dish towers for cell telephones.
Interestingly, energy from the sun... contains every wave length and frequency of energy available to be harnessed by each "specialized" technology invented and currently available for practical applications in modern society.
It is not science fiction to state that Mankind commands 21st Century "Space Age" technology and resources today.
Since mankind has access to "space age" technology... rockets, satellites and "dish antenna" for transmission of energy from place to place... it is possible to completely eliminate fossil fuel (and even atomic energy) to generate steam to turn turbines at electric power plants.
It is simply time to replace "obsolete boilers" generating electricity at power plants around the world today.
Instead of boiling water with fossil or atomic energy, it is simply time to deploy in geostationary orbits new "energy beam" satellites at LEO (Low Earth Orbit) to:
1. "Collect" solar energy 24/7.
2. "Convert" solar energy into "microwave" energy.
3. Using "dish technology"... "beam" microwave energy (from new "collecting and conversion" satellites) to new power plant "receiving dish" boilers to generate steam.
Simply replace every fossil fuel and atomic energy boiler with a new microwave dish "energy beam" boiler... immediately eliminating power plant carbon (and atomic energy) footprint.
In fact, Japan plans to test launch the first "energy beam" satellite technology in 2013 for satellites that will be designed to power 500,000 households per satellite. (This is not science fiction or idle speculation... test launch is only three years away.)
There are 110 million "electric utility" households across America... divide by 500,000 households per satellite:: 220 "energy beam" satellites could convert all fossil fuel and nuclear power plants across America... perhaps in only 6 to 8 years.
It does not take Harry Potter to wave his magic wand to eliminate global "carbon footprint"... a decade of transition to "energy beam" power plant technology can "really" get the job done.
"Dare to be naive." Buckminster Fuller