|Optical Systems, Illumination, Solar Energy, Stray Light, Remote Sensing, Global Warming
Modern society can only function by consuming large quantities of energy for heating,
transportation, electrical power generation and other activities. Most of this energy is obtained by
burning fossil fuels. Fraudulent claims of carbon dioxide induced global warming have led to the idea
that alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar and biofuels can be used in place of fossil fuels to
reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Such ideas are, to say the least absurd. Like global warming, the
whole concept of alternative energy relies on a belief in empirical pseudoscience that has no basis in
physical reality. Solar and wind energy have low energy densities that require an extremely large
surface area in order to generate power on a utility scale. The cost is prohibitive and will result in
significant economic stress to any society that tries to use alternative energy on a large scale. Solar
power can only be collected while the sun is shining and wind power is intermittent at best. The
technology does not exist for large scale electrical power storage and probably never will. When
alternative energy is examined from an energy systems perspective it simply does not make any sense.
Similarly, the resources needed to produce biofuels are better used in growing agricultural crops for
food. World population is now at 7 billion, so there are a lot of people to feed.
An energy systems approach to the analysis of our energy supply system requires a careful
consideration of all of the factors that impact energy demand and consumption. This includes the
availability energy sources, their efficiency, reliability, cost, environmental effects and other factors that
determine their use. In addition to energy production, the efficiency of use also needs to be addressed.
This includes for example, the use of thermal insulation, electric motor efficiency, lighting efficiency and
transportation options. However, it must be remembered that modern society demands large scale
energy use. The basic issue is how to meet this demand using the available resources. The
fundamental limits are set by the basic Laws of Thermodynamics and related scientific principles.
Pseudoscience of any kind has no basis in the realities of energy supply and demand.