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By Laurence O Williams

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The collectors require windshield wipers to perform frequent cleaning; cleaning and/or windshield wiper maintenance causes a significant increase in operating cost. Solar thermal technology has many problems. These are, cost of facilities, large areas of land required for the hardware, unrehability of sunlight, and potential high continuous maintenance cost for cleaning. It is clear that the cost of energy must increase significantly before solar thermal plants become economical. Even when other fuel costs become high enough that solar is economical, the intermittent energy production of the solar collectors will make their use very inconvenient.

The soap we use to wash our face may be hydrocarbon derived sodium lauryl sulfate. We walk to the kitchen with polyvinyl chloride floors and sit at a Formica® table. The polyethylene milk carton is at hand to supply the milk for the cereal stored in the polyethylene bag. It is eaten from a urea formamide bowl. The frying pan has a phenolformaldehyde plastic handle and a Teflon® interior coating. The drug industry relies heavily on hydrocarbons for compounds used in drug synthesis, for extraction solvents, reaction media, and precursor substances from which microorganisms synthesize drug type materials.

These compounds are used for fertilizer. This nitrogen is essential for the biosphere but we make too much and allow too much to leak away into the environment at large. The excess and leakage are becoming a problem. ^^ Fossil fuel combustion adds some of these nitrogen compounds to the atmosphere. As mentioned above regarding acid rain, when combustion takes place at very high temperatures (above 2500 Kelvin) some nitrogen from the air is oxidized to nitrogen oxides. The energy plan proposed in "An End To Global Warming" will reduce the amount of high temperature combustion and as a result will reduce the amount of nitrogen contributed from energy generations.

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