Last Wednesday there was news of pumping millions of gallons of water into the ground in order to obtain natural gas.  Some idiot figured out that we could recycle the previously fresh water that “comes back” to the surface loaded with contaminants.  The logic is that the contaminants in that returning toxic soup can be “treated” like sewage.  Some well operators are also selling their waste, rather than paying to dispose of it.  “Because it is so salty, they have found ready buyers in communities that spread it on roads for de-icing in the winter and for dust suppression in the summer. When ice melts or rain falls, the waste can run off roads and end up in the drinking supply.

We only need to examine the KESTERSON EFFECT-FROM ROCK to DUCK MODEL where selenium found in rock formations becomes dissolved in crop irrigation runoff.  The simple difference is that when that contaminated water hits an reservoir or an aquifer.  It is no longer an effect—from rock to duck, it becomes an effect—from rock to human as we , well, poison the water.  “At least 50,000 new Marcellus wells are supposed to be drilled in Pennsylvania over the next two decades, up from about 6,400 permitted now. We need to stop depending on carbon for our energy.

Another idiot suggested that to get rid of CO2 that we should pump it into the ground.  Again, “Out of sight/Out of mind” does not mean GONE.  It JUST means that it is out of sight.  If one takes a simple compound, CO2 , and adds another simple compound, H2O, the CO2 disolves in the H2O and we get another, but not so simple, compound H2CO3. What that means is that pumping carbon dioxide into wells in the ground will turn into carbonic acid when it meets ground water or aquifers.

This is the same problem that is occurring in the oceans and other large bodies of water when the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in those bodies.  The oceans are becoming more acidic.  Things that used to live in those bodies no longer can –live in that water.

I live in an energy efficient house.   While everyone around me is turning their thermostats way down are still having $200 to $250 electric bills,  my highest bill was $80.  In the summer, these people turn their thermostats way up and have $250 to $600 monthly bills where I pay $70 at the most and my house is All electric.  I am not saying this to brag.  I could do much better.  I could have a larger photovoltaic system and a more efficient solar hot water system and be even more efficient.  No, the reason I am saying this is to point out that if everyone took advantage of today’s existing technology, we would not need this natural gas.  If everybody retrofitted their house, we could get this carbon monkey off our backs for good.

The government needs to give people a larger incentive to do this.  This would allow green industry to flourish in this country and put people to work in a way that improves this country.  THAT is a real win-win situation.  The reason the government needs to help is varied.  Ideally, if people can afford to do it, they should because it is better for us and the planet.  However, there are people who need to do it but simply cannot afford it.  There are also people who can afford it, but because they are “older,” they may not live long enough to see the return.  An incentive would shorten the payback and perhaps get them to do it anyway.

I am guessing that “solar investment” is highly elastic.  That is, if the price of an item is dropped a bit we would see a great increase in the rate of purchase of that item.  If the government tax rebate for solar investment was increased from 30% to 60%, I think we would see our solar industry take off in this country, an increase in the number of people working to install those systems, and a huge decrease in our carbon addiction.  Now that’s WIN-WIN.