||[Aug. 7th, 2008|09:54 pm]
A few clouds are still floating about, faintly illuminated by the crescent moon which will reach its first quarter tomorrow night. I don't think there will be any lightning tonight. In fact, tomorrow and succeeding days are expected to be cooler, and nighttime temperatures will be dropping even faster. With luck, the last two nights will turn out to have been the hottest of the summer. I could gladly have done without either of them.|
Here's something I found interesting: A Scientific American article (Note: the link worked a while ago but appears to be down at the moment) about a process by which the carbon dioxide currently being released from power plants can be captured and used in the production of cement, thus sequestering it from the atmosphere. The process involves passing the flue gasses through seawater, which captures both calcium and magnesium from the water. Developers of the process claim that the water can then safely be returned to the ocean, or can be desalinated since stripping seawater of those minerals is the first step in the process of desalinization anyway.
I'm always a bit chary of the promising rabbits that are plucked from technology's hat— sometimes it turns out that they multiply unexpectedly and devour Mr. McGregor's garden (and everything else they can sink their teeth into.) But if this rabbit can be kept under control, it would not only reduce and sequester at little cost the greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and some other sources, producing a marketable product at the same time, and reducing current overall energy consumption in, and pollution from, the production of that product (making cement is not only incredibly energy intensive, it produces its own abundance of greenhouse gases), but might also bring dry places such as California closer to solving the problem of providing sufficient water for domestic uses. That would be an impressive hat trick indeed.
Oh, and I got my head successfully yanked on today. I'm hoping that it will reduce the discomfort I've had in my neck for the last couple of weeks— discomfort I attribute in part to having slept during the late, fire-induced evacuation on unfamiliar beds that were not always comfortable. With this, and the moderating weather, a considerable part of the negative experience of the most abominable July in my memory will be overcome at last.