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Low-carbon future requires ‘industrial activism’

smokestack-pollutionUK Business Secretary Peter Mandelson is calling on firms to demonstrate a “new industrial activism” to help Britain achieve low-carbon competitiveness.

In a speech at the Cumbria Economic Forum last week, Mandelson addressed the need to not only stabilise the economy but to have Britain “fight back” to create a new type of economic future.

“We’re on the edge of a new low-carbon industrial revolution,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re making industrial composites. Or running a small business in Keswick and keeping an eye on your energy costs. Or managing venture capital or carbon trading in the City of London. The shift to low-carbon technologies and production will transform how we live and work.”

Mandelson pointed out that the UK government will begin setting its vision for how to achieve a more sustainable future at the Low Carbon Summit in London in the first week of March.

“We need a strategic lead and vision from government that commits this country to change and in doing so sets the right frameworks for the private sector and uses public investment strategically,” he said. “This is a prime example of the ‘new industrial activism’ that I am advocating in my new job.”

1 Comment

  • Sven Sonander
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Mandelson should take note of the following.

    A sub ambient temperature, sea water distillation process provides the missing link to:
    1) Control atmospheric CO2 levels.
    2) Resolve third world fresh water issues.
    3) Produce carbon neutral energy that can be stockpiled and used on demand.
    4) Reverse the recession.
    It is now up and running in Scotland.
    None of the above issues can be resolved in isolation because of the magnitude of the problem. However, if they are bundled together, a global, commercially viable and sustainable solution unfolds.
    Atmospheric CO2 levels will continue to rise at ever increasing rates, whilst population and industries expand at a time when the earth’s ability to absorb the gas is reduced through desertification and destruction of tropical rain forests. We cannot prevent other countries from chopping down their trees, but with new water technology, we can convert deserts into green, carbon capture lands.
    About one third of the world’s land surface is arid or semi-arid and is unable to play a role in balancing the earth’s carbon activity. However a new sea water distillation process can deliver all the fresh water needed, without emitting any CO2, to convert hot barren lands into prime crop growing regions. A model of the process has been constructed in transparent materials so that it may be observed how water can be distilled by normal sunlight, without the use of mirrors or lenses.
    The process is driven by the temperature differential of two thermal masses, such as incoming sea water, to extract heat from a condenser, and sun warmed sea water to provide the latent heat energy for boiling at sub ambient temperature. Fresh water output is proportional to the area of desert used to transfer solar heat energy to the incoming sea water. Driven by the earth’s greatest power source, the sun, with a distillation efficiency of 100%, the fresh water output can exceed that of any fossil fuel powered system but with zero energy costs.
    The coastal regions of the Sahara receive enough solar energy for conversion to chemical energy to replace all fossil fuels used globally. The most efficient solar energy converter is algae which, given optimum growing conditions, will double its mass every 3 hours. No other form of plant life can match this phenomenal propagation rate.
    Although algae will grow in salty or brackish water, any water impurities, such as salts that are not absorbed by the algae, will build as the water is split into hydrogen and oxygen and slow down the process until it stops. To sustain algae’s phenomenal propagation rate it must be grown in fresh water containing essential nutrients. The crop must be harvested on a daily basis to prevent the mature plants shading the young growing cells. Algae can be grown to produce food, fuel and fertilisers.
    For a quick fix to atmospheric carbon levels, sacrificial algae can be grown to be dumped in disused wells and mines together with its carbon content where it will eventually transform into fossil fuel. This action may prevent mankind from experiencing the revenge of Gaia assuming that appropriate action is taken before the earth’s dynamic equilibrium with greenhouse gases has proceeded beyond its tipping point.
    Desert irrigation with fresh water supplies, produced with zero energy cost, provides the engine of sustainable growth. The poorest people in the world will gain new wealth and stimulate the economy out of recession. It gives governments the means to control atmospheric carbon to its optimum value without restrictions to economic growth.

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