User talk:Real Samson

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There are fundamental errors in this article in the classification of resources. Renewable Resources should include only those resources that are recoverable in the short term. These are regenerated by the only external source we have: the sun and even this is ultimately a finite resource. The article excludes resources recoverable on the longer term; even oil, gas & coal may be regenerated given 100m years or so. However it is unforgivable to include tidal and geothermal power in this class. These energy sources have were created with the formation of the earth itself, resulting from the accumulation of material in a gravitational mass. These are a one off gift and no more replaceable than nuclear resources.

I propose that the article be revised with these resources included with nuclear resources under a revised heading of Earth Resources.

This is not an argument about whether these resources should be used but to counter the glib assumption that there will be no effect if they are used. The greater risk appears to result from the extension of tidal power. If additional energy is taken from the tide this is provided by the rotation of the earth and the earth will slow down. It is true that the energy stored in the earth’s rotation is huge but it is also finite. An immediate example of this effect is the moon which once used to rotate like the earth. Tidal forces acting on the moon’s solid materials have reduced the spin to be the same as the rotation rate round the earth. This is why we always see the same face of the moon.

We do not know what other effects might occur with increased tidal use. The axis of the earth is not consistent moving in several patterns at once. The location of a single large tidal power source will act as a brake at one point on the earth’s surface and like a child’s top could destabilise the existing rotation pattern or at least introduce a new element. We also know that the rotation of the earth is not completely stable and has for periods in the past been the other way up i.e. with Arctic and Antarctic transposed. Like a top the reversal of the axis results from precession. It is not likely that such instability would occur at the late stage of development the earth is now at but we need to be sure that all possibilities have been properly considered.