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Energy and Water Wiki

The two biggest problems facing the world today from a scientific standpoint are fresh water and energy. Scientists do NOT doubt that the climate is changing because of human kind's atmospheric pollution from burning fossil fuels. In terms of climate change the good news is that fossil fuel supplies that have traditionally been utilized will be empty within the next 20-30 years. The bad news is that there is hardly anything of note that could possibly take their place currently in place. Furthermore, having burned all those fossil fuels and having emitted so much CO2 we've changed the atmostphere and started global climate change. There are winners and losers in global climate change over supplies of fresh water. Some water rich areas will enter long periods of drought. This will be especially devastating if there are large populations of people nearby. Some water poor areas will find that they can start growing lush gardens where only desert existed. You can even read about the genocide in Darfur that started when global warming dried up the rivers and people started killing eachother in order to have enough water to live.

Your goal is to start walking the path to be the change your generation will need so desperately. You have to look at energy sources and supplies of fresh water. So, here's a list of potential energy or water sources. You have to learn about them and write a report on them. This project is due June 8th at 5pm., To start solving the problem write a wiki that starts by addressing:

1. What is the problem at hand?
2. What is the driving force of the problem?
3. What are poeple currently doing or not doing to solve the problem?
4. Pick your favorite of the following list

water desalinization
cloud seeding
waste water treatment
Nuclear fission
Nuclear Fussion
solar power
wind power
hydro power
corn based ethanol
switch grass ethanol
cellulosic ethanol
biodiesel from canola, soy beans, or rapeseed oil
biodiesel from algae
biodiesel from waste vegetable oil
solar thermal
clean coal
diesel fuel
increasing fuel efficiency standards
hydrogen economy
hydrogen fuel
fuel cells


You can also try to work on things that consume major energy supplies
try the habor-bosch process (2% of world energy consumption)
try air conditioning (major electricity demand)
look at fuel efficiency of standard engines (50-60% of petroleum consumption in the USA)
Study the inefficiency of converting fuel to heat, heat to steam, and steam to electricity

any other thing you can come up with that is energy or water related

5. Explain how it works. THIS IS A BIG ONE!
6. determine the amount of CO2 it produces or inhibits (THIS REQUIRES A STOICHIOMETRY EQUATION!)
7. determine the amount of water it can generate or purify
8. highlight the best aspects of it
9. describe how the critics would discuss it
10. If it already makes up a lot of the world's fuel/energy supply explailn why.
11. If it doesn't make up much of the world's fuel/energy supply explain why.
12. Try to include a lot of pictures.
13. YOU MUST include quotes from scientists or policy makers.
14. Explain how it could help solve some of the problems or contributes to those problems.
15. Explalin what it would take to do your thing better or in a larger scale.
16. Explain who uses that technology and why. If it isn't used very much explain that instead.
17. After learning about it what would you do next to change how its used? why?

Look, I know it's a lot of questions. I also know that you want an exact amount of detail to include. This project is going to be worth 10% of your grade. If you give me a breif, but solid project you'll be ok. The point of this isn't just to write a wiki though. The point is to start thinking about how you're going to contribute to the solution to world problems that you're going to encounter. If you hate the project just be a robot and get it done... but for those hardcores ready to take on a challenge: put some heart in this and see what you can come up with. Who knows... with just a little chemistry and a bunch of elbow grease you can be on your way to actually solving a problem. I have faith that you could.


Good luck fellas,

D. Reich

Work with a partner if you want, no groups of three, no groups

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