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Global Warming: Cooling the Planet

Updated on March 20, 2013

In 1974, Professor Stephen Salter of the University of Edinburgh invented a novel device that became known as the Salter Duck or Nodding Duck or Edinburgh Duck. In small scale controlled tests, the Duck's curved cam-like body could stop 90% of wave motion and convert 90% of that into electricity. It does it by part of it bobbing up and down on the waves while part remains more or less stationary and converts the difference in movement between the two parts into electricity.

The really interesting thing for me was not the electricity production but its effect on the envronment. Having seen film of it in operation, what struck me was how the sea was choppy in front of the ducks and calm behind. This should not come as much of a surprise because of its claims of extracting 90% of the motion of waves. It was just so striking to see the effect in real life.

We are told that global warming will bring such problems as more severe storms because of the extra energy in the Earth's eco-system. Yet here we have a solution here which not only contributes less CO2 to the problem while it generates energy but actually reduces the excess energy within the system, effectively cooling the planet. And it is not alone. Along with tidal power systems, wind power and even passive solar systems will also do the same job.

According to opponents of alternative energy electricity production, these forms are less efficient and more expensive than other forms like nuclear power. Now I have yet to see any figures used to substantiate these claims, but let us presume that they are correct and ask ourselves the question: does nuclear power or any other form of energy production actually cool the planet as a side effect of the production ie without extra cost?

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