Journal: “Dumb” Government versus Smart Humans

03 Environmental Degradation, 05 Energy, Commercial Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
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Op-Ed Columnist

Dreaming the Possible Dream

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

March 6, 2010

EXTRACT (1 of 2 Innovations): If you combine CO2 with seawater, or any kind of briny water, you produce CaCO3, calcium carbonate. That is not only the stuff of corals. It is also the same white, pasty goop that appears on your shower head from hard (calcium-rich) water. At its demonstration plant near Santa Cruz, Calif., Calera has developed a process that takes CO2 emissions from a coal- or gas-fired power plant and sprays seawater into it and naturally converts most of the CO2 into calcium carbonate, which is then spray-dried into cement or shaped into little pellets that can be used as concrete aggregates for building walls or highways — instead of letting the CO2 emissions go into the atmosphere and produce climate change.

If this can scale, it would eliminate the need for expensive carbon-sequestration facilities planned to be built alongside coal-fired power plants — and it might actually make the heretofore specious notion of “clean coal” a possibility.

Phi Beta Iota: a “Smart” government would be treating such discoveries as the center of gravity for creating a prosperous world at peace.  As we deepen our understanding of the United Nations System, we are finding that the lack of “intelligence” aka decision-support has its negative impacts there as well–too much spending on health remediation, which is very expensive after-the-fact thinking; and no enough on micro-education regarding clean water including rain harvesting, an indigenous concept that is anathama to the industrial-era profiteers.  A revolution in human affairs is occurring, and the governments and corporations and non-governmental agencies that have the most to gain i mission accomplishment from human-centered innovation are largely oblivious.