Method for Making Cheap, Clean Water Is Announced … Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water … A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue. The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Water is in scarce supply.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a shocker. In another article in this issue we pointed out that bigness did not guarantee creativity and usually retarded it, from what we can tell.
But there is no doubt that given the trillions – literally – tossed at the scientific community, now and again Big Research comes up with a breakthrough.
Usually, of course, the breakthrough appears incremental rather than of a foundational nature. And often there are others working on the same project and only lavish corporate funding allows Big Research to get there sooner.
But nonetheless, a breakthrough is a breakthrough. And this sounds like one. Here's more from the article:
Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin – just one atom in thickness – it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.
The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis.
"It's 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger," said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. "The energy that's required and the pressure that's required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less."
Access to clean drinking water is increasingly seen as a major global security issue. Competition for water is likely to lead to instability and potential state failure in countries important to the United States, according to a U.S. intelligence community report last year.
"Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources," the report said. "Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate electricity."
About 780 million people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, the United Nations reported last year.
As the only publication that regularly covers elite dominant social themes – the organizational promotions of Money Power – we are well aware of scarcity memes and how they figure into larger societal control.
But lately these memes seem under attack by the very forces that have propounded them. It is very strange.
The oil scarcity meme has been a mainstay of the powers-that-be for decades. But now thanks to fracking and other technology it is admitted that there is no shortage of oil either in the US or overseas. How this will affect the price of a barrel of oil remains to be seen.
We've long maintained that water and food scarcity were two other elite memes that were being disseminated on a regular basis. The water scarcity meme seemed especially ludicrous as 70 percent of the world is covered in water and there are plenty of portable desalinization devices that can cleanse water of salt for relatively minor expenditures of energy and payments.
The idea generally, from what we can tell, is to use scarcity memes to reinforce government solutions. Without fear, government loses a good deal of its luster – and even reason for being.
It could be that the war on terror is providing governments around the world for all the justifications they need to continue and expand. But for the past decades, the West has been subject to vast scarcity promotions of all sorts.
Is the "Age of Scarcity" suddenly coming to an end? As we are of the free-market persuasion, we never believed it to begin with. The market itself via the competition of the Invisible Hand can generally provide all that is needed if it is allowed to operate.
Perhaps the Internet itself, and the constant barrage of information about scientific breakthroughs that have been withheld by the power structure for one reason or another is having an impact. Perhaps it is something else.
We're not sure what is happening, or why. But we are intrigued.