Monday, November 13, 2006

Emergy Vision-o-matic

Take a break right now from the computer screen and look at some of the small objects that surround you. The pens, papers, headphones, wallet maybe, a postcard, perhaps a sandwich or some fruit or even a little Kinder Egg toy used as decoration. Now reach into the screen and grab the Emergy Glasses I am passing on to you and put them on.

Your vision will change and see bright objects of different intensities. The fruit beside you has a weak glow to it, but that Kinder Egg toy is almost blinding. Quantifying the value of these objects by all the resources that are used to produce it can be done by measuring the amount of solar radiation the resources needed over time. This is called a Solar Emergy Joule or sej. Like a fruit taking a season to grow absorbing solar energy. Of course, I am simplifying it a lot, but I am sure you understand the general idea.

It is useful when you are talking about a system with inputs and outputs. For example, a farm or a vehicle, or even a forest. Emergy modelling can take any type of system and describe it while measuring the sustainability of a system. Ecological modellers use emergy to understand how outside-the-system disturbances change a system or how to quantify the "free" resources that are consumed in a system, like air, wind, land etc. It is a very comprehensive analysis and it is rare to see such an analysis performed.

If you had a chance to check out the wikipedia site I linked last week, you probably noticed the age of this concept and how it is rather new to scientific circles. My professors might not know too much about this concept, but I still feel there is some value to learning more about it. Perhaps there is a future thesis opportunity with this subject.

I want you to keep the Emergy Glasses. Put them on once and a while to see how certain things light up. Use them when making choices about what to buy or use. The brighter the light the more emergy it contains. For some things you can read the labels and see how many calories or joules a serving will give the consumer. Give it a factor of 5-10 and this will give you a rough idea.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great!!! keep on the good work!!!
Have you read the book "the celestine prophesies" it talks about these images that you are talking about. Perhaps your mission is to transform all these concepts into "praticum methods" of survival in this world and perhpas to find the essence of the "emergy" and transform it into sustainable resources. Like harnessing electricity from a electric storm that is now our electricity . Perhaps you can use these radiations from the objects and harness this "emergy" into sustainable sources and free this world from the monopoly of the "black gold". Then we will have again a real fresh air.... another era could start... You are at the verge of bringing the new era to Random Thoughts

2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brilliant stuff latinoswede.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, Canada has sadly received the "The Fossil" prize in the last environmental world summit.
Perhpas your mission if you accept it, would be to bring Canada to its leadership role that lost in the tangle web of political doctrine... by Random Thoughts...

12:37 AM  
Blogger Swedish lamps and other energy tales said...

Thanks folks for all the kind words. It is unfortunate that Canada has decided to take such a path. If you really want to do something about it, make a comment on the Notice of Intent which you can find in the Canada Gazette. The Canada Gazette is where all the governments intentions are published for the public to know what the hell is going on. The Notice of Intent lays out the plans for the next 50 years on what things will be looked at and how legislation will be made. It is a really good way of getting your message heard. It is how the lobbist do it. Check out:
You have until Dec 21, 2006 to comment.


12:58 AM  

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