OTEC and Climate Change

The recently released new books, The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert, are making real the dire predictions of scientists and environmentalists the world over.
Recommendations to reduce emissions have been with us for decades, and the need is even greater than ever now that China has become so rapidly industrialized.
The OTEC technology, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, is one component of the new approaches to energy generation. It can harness the solar power in the oceans for a benign power production. One version, the open cycle OTEC plant, can also produce fresh desalinated drinking water.
Shamcher Bryn Beorse worked tirelessly from the 1950s to 1980 to bring OTEC into the international energy area, but like many OTEC pioneers, his efforts were opposed by oil, coal and nuclear lobbyists. His outline on OTEC should be required reading for officials and activists alike. Some of his work on OTEC can be found at www.shamcher.wordpress.com, and www.shamcher.org.
The predictions in the 1970s of a war in the Middle East over oil have sadly come to pass, while OTEC remains unbuilt on any scale useful to humanity.
In the tropical oceans, just offshore, plants could be built to generate benign non-polluting power – harnessing the temperature difference between the warm ocean surface and the colder depths. This difference drives the turbines which produce electricity. No emissions, as with coal. No nuclear waste or danger of disaster as with nuclear power.
The time has come for major consideration of OTEC as a viable alternative. It just might save us all.


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