words by ethel & paul

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GLOBAL COOLING: THE SUN, THE TREES, AND AEROGEL

SUN
To avert the catastrophe of Global Warming, we should look first to the giant warmer of the Globe--the Sun. The light, energy, heat from the sun--these are neglected or rejected in favor of electricity--energy mostly from polluting coal, and a mainstay of the Profit System that keeps households enslaved to “The Power Company”. Use of solar is liberating. And electricity has created a massive dependency; sabotage could cripple every aspect of modern urban society. Solar energy, solar warmth, is wasted precisely because of the political power of the “electric companies”.

TREES
Look back to a time when folks were less smart but more wise: houses/housing were built to benefit from sun and from prevailing winds. Houses were protected by trees as wind-breakers in cold weather, and as coolers in summer. It was realized that trees made air smell fresh; it was not yet understood they were essential to life itself. Today, trees’ countless benefits are ignored: trees are destroyed with no thought of their colossal role in preventing--diminishing--Global Warming. Appreciation of their beauty has been traded for hypnotic T-V watching that corrupts health and intellect.

AEROGEL
A quarter-inch layer of Aerogel would insulate a typical house so well “a candle flame would be sufficient heat”--so claims Aerogel’s publicity. Available since the eighties, Aerogel used in space craft but is not promoted for general commercial insulating uses, of which there could be a plethora. (It has uses other than insulation.)

Aerogel is made from quartz, the commonest mineral on Earth, except for Feldspar, and probably the most accessible. The processing into Aerogel may be costly; the raw material is cheap. Its durability may not be established.

Is the processing too expensive?--too expensive to save Planet Earth? Too costly to save humankind from inconceivable disaster?

Some entrepreneur has already grabbed it; why has that person (or group) not run with it? Most huge projects are funded by the Government (the taxpayers): The railroads, dams, jetties, airports, irrigation to turn desert to farm, highways to help the auto industry--why not Aerogel insulation?

Ethel C. Hale and W. Paul Wharton